How Can a Dietitian Help with Diabetes?

Some of the first things people think about when they hear a diagnosis of diabetes are:

  • Was this caused by something I ate?
  • What foods can I eat to control my diabetes or even prevent it?
  • Can I still have cake on my birthday?

The next step is usually to ask Dr. Google – which when you type in what to eat for diabetes you get 2.6 million sites all telling you what to do. Great – now what? Who has time for that?

I have been a RD for over ten years and the most common questions and concerns I am asked is “what do I eat” “everyone and everything I read or hear from other people says I CANT eat foods anymore” or “is this is good or bad?”.  Food now becomes a part of the management but feels like a punishment at the same time.  It becomes very confusing and overwhelming.  There is a reason that people feel like diabetes is the club they don’t want to belong to, nor did they sign up.  I cannot tell you how many times I was told “please don’t take away this food or are you going to make me eat rabbit food or I made a whole bunch of changes and now I don’t know what to do”. One of the reasons I decided to pursue diabetes was to be able to help people work through the sometimes scary parts and help making lifestyle changes more enjoyable and adaptable to their own life.

 

So how can a dietitian help? Registered dietitians are great at weeding through all the myths and facts when it comes to food and work with you individually on how eating well for diabetes fits and works with YOUR lifestyle and with YOU versus the other way around – think about how much time you will save not reading all 2.6 million sites. We work with people on identifying balance, meal patterns and of course allowing for the “good stuff” versus avoiding foods all together.  Dietitians can also work with the education and understanding how food impacts your own blood sugar levels and strategies that you can incorporate to be able to help you navigate and implement on your own.

Here are some questions to think about it:

  • Are you missing any meals?
  • Do you have troubles with finding ways to add in vegetables and fruit?
  • Are you omitting foods out of your diet as you are worried, they will impact your diabetes?
  • Are you feeling lost with the information you are hearing about eating well for diabetes?
  • Are you looking for someone to sit down with you to talk about your eating and how it impacts your diabetes?
  • Are you looking for ways to change your lifestyle to better manage your diabetes?

If you answered yes to any of these questions – then booking an appointment with one of our Dietitians would be a great idea! Our team has two experienced dietitians —both Certified Diabetes Educators— who would love to work with you on managing your health and diabetes.

Although eating well is one piece of the puzzle we are also able to help support in other ways such as incorporating activity, dealing with stress and day to day challenges that arise.

When you look at the core lifestyle foundation and management of diabetes or any health condition it is always on how we are eating, how we are moving and how we are managing our stress, sleep and mood. My Viva Plan has the ability to help clients determine their meal balance, meal portions, cooking skills, yoga and activity as well as identify areas and be able to reflect on success, challenges and health goals. Developing lifestyle skills that are sustainable as well as the ability to be individualized set people up for long term success. Health conditions such as diabetes are chronic: meaning that we are managing them over a lifetime. Learning the tools to be able to navigate through lifestyle skills is a crucial piece to be able to manage health conditions successfully.
Working with a dietitian alongside of My Viva Plan is a great way to be able to individualize your care further especially on how it is specifically related to diabetes (for example: looking at blood sugars and My Viva meal patterns to figure out what is the best and personalize these further).

By Andrea Shackel

– Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist) & Certified Diabetes Educator