November marks Diabetes Awareness Month, and the chance for us to discuss how we can support (those) living with diabetes.
Diabetes and pre-diabetes are prevalent across Canada, affecting more than 11 million Canadians. No matter what type of diabetes you are living with, the condition can be overwhelming. But there is one thing in common that can help make the condition more manageable – healthy eating.
Maintaining a balanced diet has been known to help with better control over blood sugar and glucose levels.
It can be challenging knowing where to start when it comes to a balanced diet, but I am here to help. Here are some of my top tips for managing diabetes with nutrition.
Prep your meals ahead of time to better manage your diabetes. Meal prepping can sound overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the practice. Planning your meals can help to give you some control over your diabetes management and is a great trick to help you spend less time in the kitchen and at the grocery store each week.
By planning your meals and making them in advance, you might be less tempted to eat foods that aren’t good for your diet. Planning your meals ahead doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the benefits of meal planning is helping you stick to a schedule by having all your meals ready in advance.
For people living with diabetes, consistency and having a routine are important because having scheduled times for eating can help control blood sugar levels and help manage insulin.
Count carbs. Counting carbs is all about focusing on the content of any carbohydrates consumed and setting goals day-to-day. Because carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar levels, it’s important to be mindful of how many carbs are consumed at each meal.
For example, having too many carbs may cause hyperglycemia, while not having enough may cause hypoglycemia. The good news is there are tons of carbohydrates out there to help you maintain that balance.
If you love to bake, try switching out traditional pastry crust for phyllo dough when making pies or tarts if you need to lower your intake of carbohydrates. Look to less highly processed foods. Some research has shown highly processed, or ultra-processed, foods have been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes. When it comes to picking your afternoon treat, try opting for orange slices over orange soda.
Find your own path. Nutrition may not always be a smooth journey and can come with some bumps in the road. But you can always reach your destination, especially with some help from a registered dietitian.
Much like a GPS, registered dietitians can help map out your journey and give you a couple of routes to take you from point A to point B. And always remember, that on those days where you may need a detour, a registered dietitian is always there to support you.
Whether you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes or have been living with the condition your whole life, it can be challenging to find the right balance when it comes to nutrition.
As a registered dietitian, I provide a range of services, such as virtual or in-store one-on-one consultations, store tours, and recipe ideas. To learn more, book a 15-minute discovery call with me at dietitianservices.ca.
Here is recipe for a delicious salad that can help get you started:
Pear Walnut Salad
• 1 shallot, minced
• 1/4 cup PC Splendido white condiment with balsamic vinegar of Modena
• 2 tbsp PC Blue Menu omega oil
• 1/2 tsp honey
• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1 pkg PC Organics baby arugula
• 1 bosc pear, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup PC Blue Menu soft unripened goat’s milk cheese, crumbled
1. In small bowl, whisk together shallot, balsamic condiment, oil, honey, pepper and salt.
2. Place romaine, pear and half of walnuts in large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Top with goat cheese and remaining walnuts.
Joy Zhuang is a registered dietitian at Peter’s Your Independent Grocer in Kelowna.