There are elaborate nutrition goals for people who develop type 2 diabetes.1 To most health care professionals, the nutrition goals are couched in language that is difficult to convey and be understood by patients. This Nutrition Tidbit will outline some simple nutrition concepts for normalizing blood sugar that can assist you in coaching your patients with type 2 diabetes to make a dramatic difference in their eating lives.
There is a strong correlation between the amount of carbohydrate eaten at a meal and blood sugar excursion after the meal. Human cells depend on glucose for most of their energy needs. That is why there are such intricate mechanisms in place to make sure glucose levels in the blood stream do not get too high or too low. Without the medical condition of diabetes, there is little need to put much thought into what is eaten because the body can manipulate nutrients to be sure ample glucose is available for cells. However, if type 2 diabetes enters the life of a patient, a conscious effort must be made by the patient to help maintain healthy blood sugars. Yes, there are several very helpful medications that help to modulate blood sugars, but no medication can begin to do the job that the body’s own mechanisms did originally. So, what can a health professional do to help a person improve their blood sugars through diet? At the very least, have your patient fill out a 24-hour food log.
For more information on diabetes, try the following resources:
- Making Healthy Food Choices
- Harvard School of Public Health Diabetes Information
- National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
- Evidence-Based Nutrition Principles