House Call: Diabetes and diet management

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Proper diet is an integral part of treating and managing type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a proper diet can improve the health, energy levels and self-esteem of type 2 diabetes patients.

A healthy diet paired with exercise and proper medication management can significantly improve the quality of life of individuals living with type 2 diabetes. One key factor for type 2 diabetes patients in maintaining a proper diet is monitoring their carbohydrate intake.

Female type 2 diabetic patients should limit carbohydrates to three to four servings (45-60 grams) per meal and males should limit carbohydrates to four to five servings (60-75 grams) per meal.

Type 2 diabetics are encouraged to incorporate more low-carb foods such as non-starchy vegetables and protein from lean meats and less high-carb foods such as starches into their diets.

Portion control also plays an important role in a healthy diet.  The serving size is the most important part of food labels—always check the serving size of food items and portion meals accordingly. Using measuring cups when preparing meals can be an extremely helpful tool for type 2 diabetics to properly monitor carbohydrate intake.

Follow the “My Plate” method when preparing meals by filling half a medium size plate with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter of the plate with lean protein and the other quarter with a starch.

Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care physicians, endocrinologists, dieticians and other related medical professionals dedicated to educating the community about type 2 diabetes and providing individualized treatment to improve the health and quality of life of their patients.

Spokesperson Background:

Jenifer Kayan is a registered dietician at Cone Health’s Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, NC.  Jenifer graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Sciences from University of Connecticut in 2008 and completed a Dietetic Internship at East Carolina University in 2009.