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Diabetes Management Part 2

Since diabetes management is such a loaded topic, we broke things up into 2 parts. Last month, we spoke about risk factors for diabetes, signs/symptoms, getting a proper diagnosis, and the process of self-monitoring glucose (blood sugars) at home. This month, we’ll be go over diabetes-related complications, how to cope if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, medication use, and lifestyle changes.
Our special guest, Margarette Edouard, is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) & Registered Dietitian (RD) and will be sharing all of her expertise with us. Below is a brief overview of the topics discussed! So you have diabetes- but there so many things you can do to get it under control! This way you’re at a lower risk for complications, you feel good, and you are living your best life.

1. Nutrition 
We’ll start with carbohydrates, since they have the most influence on your BG compared to proteins and fats. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you need to eliminate all carbs. Many carb-containing foods are nutrient-rich and have many health benefits.What you want to do is practice portion control with and limit/eliminate refined carbs. Healthy carb-containing options include fruit, sweet potato and other tubers, beans, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grains, and more. What you want to reduce or eliminate are refined grains- white bread, white rice, white pastas, sweetened beverages (even if made with honey or maple syrup), juices- even if they have no sugar added, cakes, pastries, and cookies.When incorporating carbs into a meal use the myplate method, making half the plate non-starchy vegetables (think spinach, collards, Brussel sprouts, eggplant, okra, tomatoes- not corn, potato, and sweet peas)Then have ¼ of the plate with your protein, and the other ¼ of the plate with carbohydrate. I generally recommend having only 1 carb choice per meal- so it’s tortilla or rice, bread or pasta, rice or potatoes. Latinos are big on beans and rice together, and as I mentioned, beans do have carbs. So what I would recommend is if having both, make sure the beans and rice fit onto that ¼ section of the 8-9” plate.
Let’s talk about what that would look like:

  • You could have ½ plate of sautéed kale with ½ cup brown rice and a side of baked salmon
  • You could have 1 small roasted potato with a chicken breast and 1-2 cups of sautéed broccoli
  • You could have 2 scrambled eggs with 2-3 corn tortillas (33g) and ¼ avocado and/or 1c spinach
  • You could have bean soup made with ¾ cup of cooked beans, and packed with 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables.

Note that you don’t have to include carbs for every meal- let’s say for dinner you just want a green salad topped with tuna, chicken, or boiled eggs, that’s totally fine too.

Now with coming up with a meal plan, it really should be individualized and include foods that you enjoy- in a balanced and nutritious way.

Other things you can do- watch the sodium, not just salt added, but all the salt in processed foods. They can contribute to heart disease and HTN which can worsen diabetes symptoms

Watch your portions- especially if you are overweight. Have plenty of non-starchy vegetables with meals, which are packed with fiber and help keep you full. That way, you don’t overdo it on the carbs.

Fiber- fiber slows down CHO digestion, and it helps push things through the GI tract. All unrefined plant-based foods have fiber (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts) etc. For someone not taking in much fiber, I recommend you add fiber boosters- things like flaxseed, chia seeds, or nuts, to your cereals or smoothies for an extra boost.

Now with fruit, you may be thinking- well fruits are sweet, so no fruits. Not the case. Fruits are super nutritious- you just don’t want to overdo it. Stick to 2 servings a day- 1 apple and 1 orange, 1 cup strawberries and ½ medium banana. Try to enjoy with some protein- nut butter, plain yogurt, nuts

Watch your fats- include healthy fats on your plate- nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, fish, and vegetable oils. Limit saturated fat sources- creams, butters, ice cream, full-fat milk, beef, bacon- people with DM are at a higher risk for heart disease so limiting your saturated fat intake can reduce your risk for heart attack of stroke

These recommendations are not exclusive to people with diabetes- these are guidelines for anyone who wants to eat healthy and well-balanced.

Important to note- these recommendations are not set in stone. Personal preference, economic, culture, health beliefs, activity levels and weight goals should all be considered when developing a meal plan. If you’re very active, you may benefit from having more CHO’s as part of your diet. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, tighter control may be needed with food choices. There are so many things to consider and an RD can help you do this.

2. Physical activity (importance of healthy weight, what kind of exercises, how often, special considerations)

3. Manage stress (cortisol and other stress hormones trigger spikes in sugar)- tap into support network, meditation, working out, deep breathing

4. Medication adherence (taking medications as indicated, working with primary care provider to adjust)

5. Attending appointments with your medical team (PCP, RD, CDE, pharmacist, endocrinologist, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dentist, therapist)

Questions from our listeners!

  1. Can u reverse type 2 diabetes?
  2. Does everyone with type 2 diabetes end up on insulin?
  3. Does everyone with type 2 diabetes need medication?
  4. Can people with diabetes drink alcohol?

(listen in for the replies from Margarette!) 


Leave a Reply


3 Comments on Diabetes Management Part 2

  1. Avatar
    September 1, 2016 at 7:59 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you so much for this podcast. I am a nursing student currently taking community health and I have forwarded it so many times to classmates to help us learn more about diabetes, but how to relay the information in an informative way!

    • Wendy
      September 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm (5 years ago)

      That’s amazing! Thank you so much for listening!


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