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Why You Should See a Dietitian for Your Type 2 Diabetes

Updated: Feb 13


Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body stops using insulin properly. This is typically a gradual process. Some may even find out that they are developing diabetes before they are technically diagnosed - what we used to call "Prediabetes".


Once diagnosed, you may require medication to help to control your blood sugar. Your provider may also recommend exercising and following the diabetes (or the diabetic) diet. 


The diabetes diet is really just a set of principles - focus on whole-foods and adequate protein and fat while avoiding excessive or highly refined carbohydrates. But, in practice, I find that clients see the diabetes diet as a big “Do-Not-Eat” list. You can learn about my feelings on the “Do-Not-Eat” list here


The truth is that diet is very important in managing diabetes. But, what’s more important is learning how the principles of the diabetes diet apply to you. To your lifestyle, your budget, your body, and your labs. 

A slice of white cake with white icing on a plate with the word "No!" superimposed across the image in red.
I'll ask a lot of you, but I'll never ask you to give up cake

If controlling your type 2 diabetes were as simple as cutting out cake, there wouldn’t be approximately 35 million Americans living with it.


I often see clients who think that I’m just going to talk to them about the same diabetes diet that they’ve read about online.


You know the one. No sweets, no white foods, no grains, no fruit. Just grilled chicken salads and cottage cheese?


The thing is though, that I don’t like strict diets. My job isn’t to draw you up a meal plan full of foods that you hate or don’t have the time to cook. My job is to work with you to find a way to make the principles of a diabetic diet work with your lifestyle and preferences. 


Will we talk about carbs? Absolutely. Will I tell you that you can’t have fruit, sweets, or white foods? Absolutely not. If I am taking away an entire food group to help to manage your diabetes, I’ve failed you.


So, when you and I meet, I’m not just giving you a meal plan. 


  • I’m walking you through how your blood sugar responds to different things throughout the day (like eating, waking up, and exercising). 


  • I’m helping you to build a meal plan that includes your favorite foods and I’ll teach you how to balance your meals and snacks to keep you from having significant spikes in your blood sugar. 


  • I’m not going to tell you “No cake”. I’m going to show you how to control your portions and how to decrease the impact that that piece of cake will have on your blood sugar.



This type of personalized care is why working with a dietitian is directly linked to better control of your diabetes through stable blood sugars and a decrease in A1C.


And there are so many more things that we can work on together to help you to achieve better blood sugar control:


  • Adjusting meal and snack times

  • Building a meal plan together

  • Making a schedule to exercise

  • Increasing things like fiber, protein, and fat to slow down digestion

  • Limiting refined carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed

  • Incorporating more whole foods into your diet

  • Pairing foods together for better balance at mealtimes


Changes like these are important because poor management of your diabetes can lead to some big problems! Poor wound healing, kidney damage, damage to the blood vessels, poor immune function, and loss of eyesight are all associated with poorly managed diabetes.


I’m sure that you and your loved ones want to avoid these complications. Which is why I recommend doing everything that you can to control your diabetes before any of those problems are even on your radar. 


I know that you’re seeing your doctor regularly and taking your medication as prescribed. But, have you scheduled an appointment with a dietitian yet?


A happy elderly couple walk through a forest together during the day.
Exercise, like walking, can help to control blood sugar

Benefits of working with a dietitian can include:


  • Weight loss

  • Improvement in blood pressure

  • Improvement in serum lipids (Triglycerides, Total Cholesterol, and HDL and LDL Cholesterols)

  • Improvement in kidney function


If you have Medicare - and most other insurance too! - your insurance provides coverage to see a dietitian for Type 2 Diabetes. So, why not schedule an appointment today?

Comments


Brandy Winfree, RDN smiling at the camera.

I'm Brandy Winfree, RDN.

When I was working in dialysis, I saw so many patients who had no idea that diet plays a HUGE role in kidney health.

I decided then that I needed to pass my knowledge onto people with kidney disease BEFORE they went into kidney failure. Not after.

That's why I became a board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition and why I started this blog. 

You deserve to take care of the kidneys that you have now and I want to share my knowledge with you to make that happen.

Are they any topics that you'd like to hear my thoughts on?

Shoot me a message here.

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