This November the American Diabetes Association is bringing awareness to the complex and chronic illness that is Diabetes in the United States. This year’s campaign is “Today’s Diabetes Hits Different”, so NEXDINE Hospitality wants to do their part in highlighting this cause. Why is this so important? Well, 37 million Americans have diabetes and one in five don’t know. In fact, 96 million Americans have prediabetes which is up from 88 million in 2019.
Ongoing diabetes self-management education and support are critical to preventing acute complications and reducing the risk of long-term complications. Significant evidence exists that supports a range of interventions to improve diabetes outcomes. The American Diabetes Association promotes the following tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and management of diabetes:
There is no “diabetes diet.” The ADS recommends talking with your doctor and getting a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who can help you figure out what eating plan makes the most sense for you and your treatment goals. There are many different eating patterns that can help you manage your diabetes from Mediterranean to low-carbohydrate to vegetarian. However, whatever you choose, be sure to include lots of non-starchy vegetables, minimize added sugars and refined grains, and choose whole, minimally processed foods.
- Macronutrients may vary. We wish we could tell you the perfect percentage of calories from carbs, protein, and fat that you need, but the truth is the percentages can and should be individualized.
- Carbs are not one-size-fits-all. While there is growing evidence to show that low carbohydrate eating patterns can benefit people with diabetes and prediabetes, there is no one definition for “low carb.” For some, following an eating pattern lower in carbs (26–45% of total calories from carbohydrates) showed better blood sugars and a reduction in diabetes medications, among other benefits. Work closely with your doctor and RDN if you choose a lower-carb approach to minimize risks (such as hypoglycemia) and maximize success.
- Weight loss works. Losing modest amounts of weight (start with 5%) can improve your blood sugars and other diabetes outcomes in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. There are lots of ways to lose weight, from changing your diet to getting more exercise, taking medications or even surgery.
- Tweaking your food choices can help reduce risk factors for complications. Food swaps are easy ways for people with diabetes to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. For example, consider replacing foods high in saturated fat, such as butter and fatty beef, with foods rich in unsaturated fats, like olive oil and fish.
The great thing about NEXDINE Hospitality? We support healthier options and choices on our menus through our Culinary Commitments like not utilizing convenience foods and procuring fresh local produce. Throughout each segment of our business, we have culinarians and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to create individualized dining and nutrition programs for each client we serve.
ADA Consensus Report. Diabetes Care. 2019; 42:731-754