Eat to prevent and control diabetes |

Eat to prevent and control diabetes

Katie Mazzia
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyKatie Mazzia

As many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 if present trends continue, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Although our community is active and healthy, we aren’t immune to this epidemic so think twice about what you chose for dinner tonight and remember these tips.

1. Choose mostly plant foods, cut back on “added sugars” such as sugar drinks, fruit-flavored yogurt, sweet treats and only drink 100 percent juice (limited to a half cup per day). Choose healthy fats like olive and canola oil and “good sources” of fiber (i.e. something with more than 3 grams of fiber per serving).

2. Timing is everything. Establish regular meal and snack times. If you skip or go too long between meals (more than 4-5 hours), you’re likely to eat more at the next meal.

3. Know how much you eat. Too many or too little carbohydrates at one meal can affect your blood sugar. It’s OK to have dessert, just not the whole cart! If you’re overweight, eat less at your meals and keep snacks to 100 to150 calories or less. Remember, it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’ve had enough to eat so slow down between bites, chew your food slowly and don’t make a habit of watching TV while you’re eating.

4. Use the “plate method” for meal planning. Select a 9-inch plate; fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of the plate with whole grain and fruit choices and the final quarter of plate with lean protein choice.

5. Studies have shown eating too much protein, especially animal protein, may be harmful for the long-term. A balanced diet is key and includes fiber-rich carbohydrate, lean protein and healthy fat at each meal.

6. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy normal food. Diabetic or “sugar-free” foods are expensive and often offer little to no benefit. Some have just as many calories and fat as the regular option or contain “sugar alcohols,” which can cause digestive upset. A diabetes diet is just a healthy eating plan that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains that are low in fat, high in nutrients and moderate in calories.

Still need more help with your diet or diabetes?

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is a service provided by a registered dietitian (RD) for the purpose of disease management. RD’s hold a minimum of a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college, pass a national board exam and maintain continuing education hours.

MNT often includes one-on-one nutrition and lifestyle assessments, nutrition counseling, and evaluation of labs tests or medications which may affect nutritional status, information regarding diet management, individualized recommendations and follow-up sessions to monitor progress. An registered dietician can also provide wellness, preventative, pediatric, pre-natal, weight loss and sports nutrition counseling.

If you have diabetes and have not received education or would like more information on prevention, call the Vail Valley Medical Center Dietitian Office at 970-479-5058 or the Certified Diabetes Educator at 970-569-7717. VVMC has been a recognized American Diabetes Association education program since 2004. Patients are seen in Vail or Eagle and the staff can help with referral information.

Katie Mazzia is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator (CDE) at The Vail Valley Medical Center in the Food and Nutrition Services department. Mazzia has worked at VVMC for more than 17 years and has been a certified diabetes educator for 10 years.

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