Can a diabetic eat peas & carrots?

April 25, 2010

ABSOLUTELY! They are full of good nutrients, vitamins & minerals, along w/ fiber. Peas are a starchy vegetable and need to be counted as a carbohydrate for every 1/2 cup eaten. So measuring your portions is the key. Never hesitate to eat colorful fruits and vegetables but be sure to add them into your meal plan as carbohydrates appropriately. If you are not sure how to do that have your doctor recommend a good registered dietician who can help you.

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Is Diabetes Reversible?

April 8, 2010

Type 1 diabetes is definitely not reversible in that the pancreas no longer produces any insulin. Type 2 diabetes, typically caused by obesity and at an older age, can not be reversed. The pancreas is not working as well and/or the body is not using the insulin made by the pancreas as efficiently as it should. However, with a weight loss of even 10% can reduce the need for type 2 diabetes medication. It would be important to continue a type 2 diabetes meal plan and exercise regularly (good life-style habits for non-diabetics too) in order to prevent the need for additional medications and reduce the risk of other diabetes-related medical conditions such as heart disease, retinopathy, neuropathy and kidney disease.

National Nutrition Month ®

February 25, 2010

Did you know March is National Nutrition Month ®? Created by the American Dietetic Association, this campaign focuses on providing nutrition education and information to the public. Take advantage of the wealth of the most valuable and credible source of scientifically based food and nutrition information cast upon you during this month.

The 2010 campaign is NUTRITION FROM THE GROUND UP. Changing your eating habits and making lifestyle changes means starting with the basics. Make small changes in your nutrition from the ground up! No, that doesn’t mean eating dirt…it means taking a look at your current diet and making small changes that will improve your health.

The typical person does not eat the USDA’s recommended 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day. The USDA Dietary Guidelines also recommend at least 3 servings of whole grains or 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber and 3 servings of non-fat or low-fat dairy products per day. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is beneficial in that they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and natural fiber. Look closely at your local farmers market for super fresh produce to add to your diet. Frozen, fresh or organic is your choice!

Making good choices also includes choosing the proper serving size. Back to basics may mean getting out those measuring cups and spoons until you’ve reprogrammed yourself to cut back on portion sizes. As Americans, we’ve super-sized everything from sodas, French fries, hamburgers and muffins. Do we really need that triple-cheese burger and large fries with a 32-ounce Coke? Maybe if you’re feeding a family of 4 with it!

Importantly, don’t start your new health kick by starving yourself, cutting out all of one food group (like carbs) or eating any one particular food.  Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods, from all the food groups and of all colors.  Try new foods and recipes like vegetable soups and stews, colorful salads with fruit or nuts added, lean meats with spicy salsa.

If you need help balancing the food groups in your diet, take a look at www.mypyramid.gov.  Not only can you get a good idea about how many calories a day you should be eating but also how many servings of each food group you should be having. Another web site loaded with scientific evidence-based nutrition information is www.eatright.org.

About Me & My Purpose

February 6, 2010

I am Jan Swanson, a Dietetic Intern, currently interning at a small hospital. My intention is to become a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. I’ve personally had Type 1 Diabetes for over 40 years and am blessed with a healthy life & supporting family. While my life never revolved around being a diabetic or the food I ate, it has always been an important part. I recently came to the conclusion that education is the key to managing and preventing diabetes. Nutrition education has so much to offer in the way of healthy living for all populations.

In hopes of reaching people trying to improve their eating habits and manage their diabetes I’ve recently become a Nutrition Editor at http://FOODPICKER.org – a website designed to help people with diabetes.

I’ve also created this blog for discussing diabetes management and nutrition. I hope you will share your comments and questions about diabetes care, nutrition and your experiences.