To successfully manage both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, people need proper nutrition therapy. For this, registered dietitians can play a key role as part of the healthcare team. Anyone with diabetes shouldn’t overlook the importance of having a nutritional expert come onto the scene when trying to deal with the troublesome condition.
A new study in the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association” reviews the evidence and nutrition recommendations for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is a thorough and helpful review that presents 29 key nutrition practice guidelines in order to best support people with diabetes.
There is strong evidence that “medical nutrition therapy” provided by dietitians is an effective and essential therapy in the management of diabetes. They have unique skills that can really help with the process.
The study examined all the past literature reviews to distill evidence-based nutrition recommendations and practice guidelines regarding the major factors of nutrition that diabetics have to be conscious of. These are carbohydrates (intake, sucrose, non-nutritive sweeteners, glycemic index, and fiber), protein intake, heart disease, and weight management.
When dietitians have the most up-to-date information, they can encourage lifestyle changes and select appropriate interventions for diabetics. These include staying consistent in daily carbohydrate intake, adjusting insulin doses to match carbohydrate levels, substituting sucrose-containing foods, proper protein intake, eating nutrients that will protect the heart, weight management strategies, regular physical activity, and use of self-monitored blood glucose data.
Now, on the same note, but slightly different, you can help yourself with some lifestyle choices to manage the disease. Learn all you can about diabetes to understand it fully. Wear a tag or bracelet that identifies you as a diabetic in case of emergency. Get a yearly physical and regular eye exams. Keep your immunizations up-to-date. Treat your feet well and pay attention to signs of skin problems. Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control. If you smoke, seek help in quitting, because it will make a huge difference. Drink alcohol only in moderation. And don’t underestimate the seriousness of stress. Try to control stress and limit its destructive tendencies on the body.