Nutrition for Diabetes

Type II diabetes is one of the most prevalent conditions in the United States. About 37 million people in the USA have diabetes (1). Another 96 million have pre-diabetes and are on their way to developing type II diabetes (1)! This condition is intimately tied to diet and lifestyle, and prevention strategies can be highly effective.

In addition to type II diabetes, thousands of young Americans are diagnosed with type I diabetes annually. Although type I is physiologically different than type II, there are some similarities in the nutritional approach for both.
1 in 4 people don’t know they’re living with diabetes (1).

Nutrition Therapies

Diabetes is all about blood sugar levels. Our diet, response to insulin, and ability to produce insulin all influence our ability to stay within that range. Nutrition and lifestyle interventions revolve around these three issues.

We have plenty of nutrition therapies to utilize in managing diabetes. Although, there is some overlap in therapies between type I and type II diabetes, each condition calls for specific approaches.

Approaches for type I diabetes

  • Carb counting
  • Balanced meals (fiber, protein, carb, & fat)
  • Consistent eating patterns
  • Identify personal biological responses to foods
  • Personalized insulin regimens

Approaches for type II diabetes

  • Replace simple sugars with complex carbohydrates
  • Carb counting (especially when taking insulin)
  • Balanced meals (fiber, protein, carb, & fat)
  • Weight management
  • Improving insulin sensitivity
  • Enhancing physical fitness

The approach depends on the current diet and lifestyle and your interest in certain changes. For those with type II diabetes, the relationship with food can be as important to address as diet patterns. That can involve many barriers to change that call for creative workarounds. Together, we work through these barriers to get the results you want.

The Process

Our first meeting together focuses on gathering information. After you schedule your appointment, you’ll receive and fill out your intake forms. When we meet, we’ll review the form. Next, we’ll discuss your health goals, diet pattern, health history, medications, physical activity, sleep, and stress. After completing this overview, we’ll discuss our next steps depending on your interests and motivations. Finally, we’ll conclude with a goal or task to achieve before our follow-up.

During Follow-ups, we discuss your successes or barriers with the goals/tasks. Sometimes we tweak the goal/task, and sometimes we try something completely different. Follow-up appointments are also a great place to reflect on the positive behavior changes and outcomes of those changes.

With individualized nutrition therapy, you can minimize your symptoms from diabetes and medical treatment. If insulin resistant, you can even re-sensitize your body to insulin and prevent the need for external insulin and medication. The proper nutrition information could even reduce your risk of diabetes-related hospitalizations. A blood sugar balancing diet and lifestyle has the power to change your future.

Call or schedule an appointment today if you’re ready for your cardiovascular nutrition consult!

Citation:
https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/diabetes-prediabetes.htm