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Food for Thought: Diabetes & Diets

By Jennifer Grable, NC Cooperative Extension Agent and Person County Lifestyle Coach


November is National Diabetes Month and we want everyone to be aware that one in three people are diagnosed with prediabetes, and this number continues to grow each year. The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all five food groups. In addition to eating healthier options, it is important for those suffering from diabetes to eat about the same amount at the same time each day. Eating the right amount will also help you manage your diabetes and any diet that you may be trying to help you lose weight.

Managing diabetes or other chronic diseases can be challenging and overwhelming at times. However, it is important to become educated about not only on managing diabetes in general, but becoming familiar with your diabetes and how your body works. We are all different and our bodies react differently. If you do not have diabetes but know a friend or family member who does, be supportive and engage in understanding their illness. Having a great support system can tremendously help someone with diabetes stay on track with their management. Lack of proper management can cause serious health consequences, such as heart disease, nerve disease, kidney disease, vision problems/loss, as well as other complications. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity can go a long way in reducing the chances of developing diabetes!

Individuals can often help manage their diabetes and other chronic illnesses through proper nutrition and physical activity. What you choose to eat, your portion size, and when you eat, are all factors that will affect your blood sugar level, your cholesterol levels, and so much more. Many people feel they must make big and drastic changes in order to lose weight and lose it fast. However, small changes can help get you to where you need to be, are easier on your body, and can be maintained over long periods of time. Eating well and being physically active can also help you feel good and have more energy. So, if you are trying a new diet and you don’t feel good, lack energy, or are suffering from dehydration or constipation, then that may not be the right diet for you.

What are you doing to prevent or manage diabetes?