A Diabetes Perspective For National Nutrition Month

by Patti Hillman, RN CDCES

My name is Patti Hillman, your friendly Certified Diabetes Educator at CHC, and I’m here to talk all things nutrition and diabetes, especially since March is National Nutrition Month! 🥦🍏

Let’s dive into some eye-opening stats from the CDC because knowledge is power! Over 38 million people in the US have diabetes, and nearly 23% are undiagnosed! Prediabetes looms over 97 million adults. It’s time to turn these numbers around. Fortunately, nutrition plays a superhero role in this mission.

So, why does nutrition matter so much in the diabetes game? Because it’s a crucial player in prevention and management. We’ve got proteins, carbs, and fats in our diet, but understanding their role can feel like deciphering a secret code. Where to start, you ask? Your main sources are your Primary Care Provider (PCP), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and, of course, yours truly. We’ve got the info on how much, what, and when to eat to keep that blood glucose in check.

Ready for some pro tips? Let’s go:

  1. Veggies Rule: Go for non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and the cool kids – cucumber, greens, and celery. They won’t mess too much with your blood sugar vibe.
  2. Fruity Choices: Citrus fruits, berries, and cantaloupe are your go-to pals. They’re sweet but won’t send your sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride.
  3. Protein Power: Fish, chicken, lean beef, turkey, tofu, eggs, and cheese – these are the protein rockstars. Pump up that protein volume!
  4. Whole Grain Goodness: Quinoa, oats, rye, and barley are your BFFs in the whole grains department.
  5. Fats Aren’t All Evil: Healthy fats can be found in olive oil, nuts, avocados, and some fish. Embrace the good stuff!
  6. Hydration Nation: Stick to water and sugar-free beverages for the win.

What’s on the no-go list for blood sugar control?

  • Junk Food Alert: Say no to processed foods and baked goods.
  • Carb Conundrum: High-carb, low-protein meals – not your blood sugar’s best friend.
  • Sweet Temptations: Sugary drinks and candy/sweets are on the naughty list.
  • Moderation with Spirits: Limit or avoid alcohol for a smoother blood sugar ride.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Fear not! There are game plans like the Plate Method and Carb Counting. The Plate Method helps with portions and food group choices, while Carb Counting involves label-reading and setting goals with your healthcare team. Check out the ADA website for info on the Plate Method and consult your healthcare team for personalized advice. Here is the link to ADA Plate Method

If you’re still hungry for more (pun intended), reach out to your PCP, a local dietitian, or use online resources like EatRight.org. At CHC, we’ve got a great team of nurse educators and me, Patti Hillman (phillman@chesapeakehc.org), ready to answer all your diabetes and nutrition queries at our OB/GYN office. Let’s rock that nutrition game together! 🌟🍽️

Stay healthy,

Patti Hillman, RN CDCES

the four sections of a healthy eating cycle