From The Nutritionist

Kate Williams, RD
Guest Author:
Kate Williams, RD

Self-Help Tools for Diabetes Management

I have a close relative living with type 2 diabetes and chances are you have a friend or relative who does too. I have seen just how much commitment to exercise, paired with some dietary self-management (even small changes) can foster weight loss and blood sugar control. Diabetes can be confusing and overwhelming but with help, managing it can be easier. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes and pre-diabetes are public health concerns that deserve much attention. About 9.3% of Americans are living with diabetes and ~86 million are in a pre-diabetic state. One in 4 people who have diabetes don’t even know it.1





Self-help ways to manage and prevent type 2 diabetes:


Be informed

Explore sound resources – Visit the online Diabetes Forecast magazine resources and consider a subscription to stay up to date on news and research, get recipes, information on products, medications and more! Health professionals and patients can benefit from checking out the 2016 Diabetes Care Standards: What’s New. Also spend time exploring topics of interest on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) website.

Total carbohydrates - Carbohydrates are the nutrient that impact blood sugar, whether complex carbohydrates (like starches) or simple sugars. Starches are found in products like grains, starchy veggies (like potatoes and corn) and beans. Another form of carbohydrate is fiber. Fiber (the indigestible part of plant foods) is important to digestive health, helps you to feel full and promotes regularity. Simple sugar is a form of carbohydrate that is readily broken down and absorbed by the body.2 Examples of foods containing simple sugar include milk, fruit and sweets. Because carbohydrates can impact blood sugar, it is important to monitor your intake and use portion control as part of your diabetes management.

Know your numbers & needs - People 45 and older should get tested for diabetes and individuals under 45 that are overweight or obese with one or more risk factors.3 Dietitians can evaluate your nutrition-related lab work, lifestyle (diet & exercise) and weight and provide an individual plan to meet your needs. Cutting calories (if overweight), limiting portion sizes, eating heart healthy and monitoring carbohydrate intake are important. The Diabetes Prevention Program found that 5-7% weight loss paired with exercise delayed or prevented the progression of diabetes.4 Learn more here.


Tracking counts

Keeping a journal/log is a great tool for patients as well as their healthcare team. Doctors and dietitians can connect the dots between diet/exercise/blood sugars when they are well-tracked. They all matter – if the food log is missing parts, or the blood sugar was only recorded before a meal, it’s like a puzzle with a few pieces missing – hard to decipher! Consider this:

Do food journals work? Numerous studies support food journaling as an effective tool to help people lose weight. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found people who kept a food log, lost twice as much as those who didn’t.5 Food diaries promote awareness and accountability. Check out the numerous dietary tracker apps, many of which are free!

To weigh or not to weigh?Weighing daily, may be effective for some people, but if once a week works better, try to be consistent, (time of day and clothing) so you can see fluctuations or trends.

When and why to check your blood sugar - How often you need to test your blood sugar should be determined by your healthcare team. Testing before a meal and two hours after would give information about how a meal impacts your blood sugar. In addition testing when your body feels “off” or “different” may give you an idea of how a high or low blood sugar feels to you. See what log works for your needs.


Stay Inspired! couple-walking-in-woods

It is important to stay active and continue to eat well, but many people struggle with this, not just individuals living with diabetes. Try these tools to help you keep motivated!

Wearable fitness trackers — Before investing in a wearable activity tracker, it’s a good idea to get online to read reviews, explore features, compatibility and more! Not sure where to start? Check out Consumer Reports Fitness Tracker Buying Guide.

Build community ties - Connect with others who can share experience and support. Check out www.tudiabetes.org (a program provided by the Diabetes Hands Foundation) to connect with “a community of people touched by diabetes”. Here you can join forums, blogs, view videos and so much more! Make a financial donation, participate or organize a Stop Diabetes Community Walk.

Try New Recipes — Eating a healthy diet is important for everyone. Keep your meals interesting with our delicious heart healthy recipe collection.


Take control today!

Kate

Kate's Bio
Kate received her bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over ten years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.


References

  1. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/diagnosis-diabetes-prediabetes. Diagnosis of Diabetes and Prediabetes. Accessed Sept 19, 2016.
  2. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/types-of-carbohydrates.html?loc=ff-slabnav Accessed Sept 22, 2016.
  3. http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2016/jan-feb/2016-diabetes-care-standards.html Accessed Sept 21, 2016.
  4. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/delaying-preventing-type-2-diabetes Accessed Sept 20th, 2016.
  5. http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-reasons-why-you-should-keep-a-food-journal-1463419285 Accessed Sept 22, 2016.


Upcoming Events

 

Veggie Prep 101 >

Think you know vegetables? We've got all you need to know about veggie prep and storing methods to get the most out of these essential and nutritious meal additions.

Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® >

Check out delicious recipes to help you fit in MORE fruits and veggies.

Swanson® Broths & Stocks >

Whatever you're cooking, make your dish more flavorful with Swanson®. Explore our wide range of products and see which varieties best meet your culinary and dietary needs.

 
CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

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.

CLOSE

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.