Good nutri­tion helps to con­trol di­a­betes

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - Mon­terey County Her­ald (TNS)

Med­i­cal nutri­tion ther­apy ( MNT) is spe­cial­ized nutri­tion treat­ment for peo­ple with di­a­betes and other med­i­cal con­di­tions. Strong ev­i­dence shows that sev­eral vis­its with a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian nu­tri­tion­ist ( RDN) af­ter get­ting a di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis is an es­sen­tial part of man­ag­ing this con­di­tion.

What’s the best diet for di­a­betes? No one “diet” is rec­om­mended, say ex­perts. Diet plans must be tai­lored to the type of di­a­betes, med­i­ca­tions and in­di­vid­ual health goals. For ex­am­ple, a 13 yearold ath­lete with type 1 di­a­betes who re­quires sev­eral shots of in­sulin each day needs a dif­fer­ent nutri­tion plan than a 60 year-old bus driver with type 2 di­a­betes.

That said, th­ese ev­i­dence-based rec­om­men­da­tions can be help­ful for any per­son with di­a­betes or pre-di­a­betes:

Con­trol car­bo­hy­drates. Carbs are sug­ars and starches in foods such as fruit, bread, so­das and all those left­over hol­i­day good­ies sit­ting on your counter. Since too many carbs at one time can spike blood sug­ars into the dan­ger zone, peo­ple with di­a­betes need to space their carbs through­out the day. And peo­ple with type 1 di­a­betes must learn to bal- ance their carb in­take with the right amount of in­sulin.

Set a goal for fiber in­take. Di­etary fiber is found in foods of plant ori­gin such as veg­eta­bles, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes. And if you think it’s easy to reach cur­rent rec­om­men­da­tions for fiber in­take, start track­ing how much fiber you get in a day. (It’s listed on food la­bels.) The gen­eral goal for adult women and men is 25 and 35 grams a day, re­spec­tively.

Don’t rely too heav­ily on su­gar sub­sti­tutes. Re­search shows they can safely help us cut extra su­gar and calo­ries from our di­ets. That still doesn’t mean we should eat a whole su­gar-free pie, how­ever.

Eat like your heart de­pends on it. It does, es­pe­cially if you have di­a­betes. Heart dis­ease is the main cause of death in peo­ple with di­a­betes. Strong ev­i­dence finds that eat­ing foods with more un­sat­u­rated fats like fish, veg­etable oils, avocados and nuts and cut­ting back on foods high in sat­u­rated fats like heavy meats and but­ter helps pro­tect hearts and ar­ter­ies.

Move it, move it! Ex­er­cise is the most pow­er­ful medicine to pre­vent and con­trol type 2 di­a­betes. And this medicine should be spread over at least 3 days a week, say ex­perts. For best re­sults, be ac­tive at least 150 min­utes a week and don’t skip the dose for more than 2 days in a row.

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