Diabetes Q&Aby Dara Bergen, MPH, RD, CDN
How does a dietitian fit into a diabetes management team?
Often referred by your primary care physician, dietitians help with food choice education, meal plans, and portion control. They also recommend low glycemic recipes to help stabilize blood sugar. Scheduling your meals around exercise and medication is also important to manage fluctuating blood sugar levels. Your dietitian reviews your food and blood sugar journals and helps you modify your eating plan as needed.
What foods contribute to an effective diabetes meal plan?
Variety is key to any food plan, and these diabetes superfoods offer plenty of choices. While beans and legumes fall under the starchy vegetable category, they’re high in dietary fiber and make a fat-free protein source while also adding magnesium and potassium to the diet. Kale is a popular dark leafy green right now, but collard greens and spinach are also powerful dietary additions in that they’re both low in carbs and calories. Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes are all sources of fiber and vitamin C. Sweet potatoes prove much more diabetes-friendly than white potatoes, while nuts work wonders at hunger management. Add in whole grains, tomatoes, berries, and omega-3-rich fish like salmon, and there are lots of choices for a supportive diet.
What beverages are right for diabetes management?
Water is always best! Unsweetened teas and coffee, round out the optimal choices. For those who love the feel of carbonated drinks, try low-sodium club soda or sparkling mineral water, and add juice from a lemon, lime, or another citrus. Infused waters also offer refreshment while reducing the impact of full sugar soda.