From The Nutritionist

Christine McKinney, RD, CDE
Author:
Christine McKinney, RD, CDE

A Quick Start Guide for Type 2 Diabetes

If you or a family member has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it can feel very overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to even start. There is a lot to learn about diabetes. Try this checklist as a guide to get a head start in managing your diabetes.

Learn about type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is managed by you.This is where knowledge becomes power. The more you know, the better you can manage your diabetes. Start by visiting the American Diabetes Association website and check out all of the great information they have to offer. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a certified diabetes educator for some hands-on training. Diabetes is managed with three things: diet, exercise and medications. Learn about these three components of diabetes management, implement positive changes and help yourself prevent complications from diabetes.

Know your meal plan.
I often hear my clients say, “I was told to not eat anything white and avoid fruit”. That won’t make the best meal plan. It is true that carbohydrates raise glucose (blood sugar) but there is a lot more to your meal plan than that. Just to be to clear, you don’t need to avoid carbs. Carbohydrates are fuel for your body and a diet without carbs leaves out some healthy foods like fruit, whole grains , starchy vegetables , and yogurt. Make an appointment with a registered dietitian to get a meal plan that is tailored for you. In the meantime, a good place to start is to clean up your diet. Avoid added sugars, sweets, and sweetened beverages. To control portions use USDA’s MyPlate and try to include all the food groups at each meal instead of just meat and potatoes.

Get a glucose meter.
When you have diabetes you need to test your blood glucose. The frequency and timing of testing is up to you and your healthcare provider. To get started, contact your insurance company and ask what meter(s) they cover at the lowest copay. You can often get a free meter from your healthcare provider or local pharmacy. The test strips are the most expensive part but they are usually covered by insurance. It is a good idea to have a diabetes educator or other healthcare professional teach you how to properly use the meter.

Exercise regularly.
Exercise is like a medication for diabetes-it lowers blood glucose.The extent that exercise lowers glucose will depend on the duration and intensity of the exercise. An ideal exercise regimen would be to exercise every other day and include both cardiovascular and strength training. Make exercise a priority by including it in your weekly schedule. Be sure to check with your physician before you begin an exercise regimen.

Get support.
To maintain good management of diabetes, you will need some support. Seek out help from family, friends or coworkers. The American Diabetes Association offers several ways to connect with others who also have diabetes. Know that you are not alone in your quest to control diabetes and working with others can help you manage your diabetes.

Campbell’s offers consumers more than 200 healthy products and many healthy recipes that can be part of a nutritious and delicious meal plan for diabetes. Check out the product profiler to search for healthy products or explore these healthy recipes to help you stay on track.

Healthy living,
Christine

Christine’s bio
Christine has been a registered dietitian for 11 years and a certified diabetes educator for 7 of those years. She works part time and enjoys teaching diabetes classes. Christine feels passionate about diabetes education because education and motivation can make people healthy. Christine is also a mom of two and enjoys cooking with her kids and hitting the local gym for cycle class.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.