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Diabetes Awareness Month

Posted by Janice Cox, RDN, LD, Lunds and Byerly’s Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist
Monday, November 12, 2012

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. At the pace diabetes is increasing, we all need to be very aware of what we can do to limit our risk for developing diabetes.

According to the Center for Disease Control, currently one in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes. That number is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years. By 2050 it’s predicted that one in three U.S. adults will have diabetes because the aging population is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, people with diabetes are living longer, and there are increases in minority groups that are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Knowing these alarming predictions, it’s important that we do what we can to combat diabetes and take steps to take care for ourselves. Here are steps you can take:

  • Eat healthy – choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat or fat-free milk, lean meats, limit sodium and limit/avoid sugary foods
  • Read labels for carbohydrates – carbs are what raise your blood sugar
  • Eat meals and snacks at regular times and try to eat about the same amount of carbs during meals and snacks each day
  • Eat fiber rich foods – fiber rich foods can help keep blood sugar from rising too fast after eating. These include whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, beans, chia seeds and flax seeds
  • Limit portions – read a product’s Nutrition Facts panel for servings sizes and weigh or measure your food to learn what a serving sizes look like

  • Limit your fats – limit saturated fat and avoid trans fats. Choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products and lean cuts of meat. Olive oil, canola oil and nuts are healthier sources of fat than products like butter
  • Manage your weight - a small reduction in weight – just 5-10% of total body weight loss – can make a big difference in blood glucose levels
  • Exercise regularly – exercise helps keep blood glucose levels under control
  • Learn techniques to cope with your stress and emotions – breathing exercises, a brisk walk, positive self-talk, talking with a friend, taking breaks, getting enough sleep…find techniques that work best for you

Additionally, use NuVal to help make healthier decisions while you’re shopping to trade up for better nutrition. In general:

  • Sugar, high energy density and high glycemic load lower a food’s overall nutritional quality, resulting in a lower NuVal score
  • Fiber increases a food’s NuVal score
  • Saturated fat, trans fat and sodium lower a food’s NuVal score
  • Read labels for carbohydrate content and once you’ve identified products, use NuVal to trade up for the most nutritious
  • In general, look for the highest NuVal-scoring foods to help meet specific nutrition requirements for disease management and prevention

If you’d like help reading labels or want more information about NuVal or managing other nutrition concerns, please call me to set up a time to talk at no charge: 952-541-1414.

Tags: diabeteshealthnuval

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