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Experts share nutrition tips for people with diabetes

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Teresa Schiffer

Sponsored by Central Florida Healthcare

Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have lived with it for years, managing your diet can be difficult. So it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but being diligent about your diet is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Ron Lund is a Registered Dietitian Dietitian with Central Florida Health Care and works closely with many people with diabetes to help them manage their diet and wellness. He shared some pointers for anyone struggling to understand their nutritional needs as a diabetic.

“For people who are overweight or obese, any kind of weight loss can be helpful, especially if it is more than 5%. “When it comes to weight loss, there’s really no evidence that anything over-the-counter works, so it’s a good idea to save your money.”

Regular visits by a nutritionist are recommended. Lund gives diabetics who come to the Central Florida Health Care clinic a 30- to 60-minute counseling session in one visit, asking them about their motivation levels, their dietary preferences, how their culture influences their diet, and their health. Assess what your access to food is like, your budget, and other factors. , the goal of all is to enable patients to create meal plans that are practical and beneficial to their health.

If food insecurity is identified as a patient problem, Central Florida Health Care can refer the patient to a local grocery store for assistance.

For severely overweight or morbidly obese patients, there are several weight loss options offered by doctors, including prescription drugs and bariatric surgery. You should discuss these options thoroughly with your doctor.

“Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes increase the risk of heart disease, so it’s also important to follow a heart-healthy diet,” says Lund.

“A balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, and grains – try to make half of these grains whole grains, such as whole grain bread, brown rice, and quinoa. As part of a healthy balanced diet.” Protein choices include lean beef and pork, skinless chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, all of which are considered healthier protein options.

There are many other options for protein, such as very cheap dried beans, chickpeas, split peas, lentils, and other plant-based sources such as tofu. Eating helps slow the process by which the body converts starches/carbs into blood sugar/glucose before entering the bloodstream. It will be faster.

Low-fat dairy products such as milk, Greek yogurt, and cheese are a good part of a healthy, balanced diet. If you’re lactose sensitive, there are non-dairy options like soy milk and lacto-aid milk. Check the labels to make sure these choices are fortified with the vitamins and minerals you need.

Fried foods, fatty foods, and sweets are okay to eat occasionally, but should be carefully limited. Lund suggests saving these indulgent treats for special occasions.

Sugar substitutes can help patients transition from a high-sugar diet to a low-sugar diet, as some studies show these substances can lead to increased insulin resistance. , Lund recommends using sugar substitutes with caution.

If you need additional guidance on managing your diabetes, Central Florida Health Care offers comprehensive diabetes education at its clinics in Polk County.