Back to Top Skip to main content

Proper nutrition can help manage diabetes

A Soldier performs a glucose screening. A person diagnosed with diabetes is lacking insulin or is insulin resistant so that the body can’t process sugars normally. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica A DuVernay) A Soldier performs a glucose screening. A person diagnosed with diabetes is lacking insulin or is insulin resistant so that the body can’t process sugars normally. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica A DuVernay)

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Nutrition | Preventive Health

FALLS CHURCH, Va. Good nutrition is important for any healthy lifestyle, but for diabetics balancing nutrition, activity and medication is vital. Carbohydrates, for example, are nutrients found in bread, milk, starchy vegetables and fruit that turn to sugar in the blood. Other simple carbohydrates found in sweets and sugared drinks are the first to limit when monitoring weight and blood sugar. A person diagnosed with diabetes is lacking insulin or is insulin resistant so that the body can’t process these sugars normally.

“It’s paramount to change nutrition to manage diabetes,” said Air Force 1st Lt. Abigail Schutz, the Chief of Clinical Dietetics at Joint-Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. “The body responds well to decreasing total carbohydrates intake for blood sugar management.  We also talk about pairing carbs with nutrients such as fiber or protein to control the rate of sugar going into the blood.”

Schutz said while she handles a lot of patients dealing with an initial diagnosis of diabetes, she also handles cases where people were initially diagnosed, and did not make the appropriate changes or need a review of the most current recommendations for diabetes management.

“There’s still a stigma against diabetes. It’s super common but people still want to hide it or feel ashamed by it,” Schutz said. “It can be managed very easily with some education, and I do think it’s important to encourage folks to seek help.”

Schutz said people tend not to know how the disease works and they go into denial about the need for behavior change. Her role, and the role of other dietitians, is to help clarify all of that.

For example, reading food labels is pretty important to diabetics and there are changes coming from the Food and Drug Administration to highlight different aspects of the food label. They’re adding a new section for “added sugars” so consumers will know how much of their calorie intake is being taken up by sugar.  This specific label change will help eliminate confusion.  In addition Vitamin D and Potassium will be listed. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required on the nutrition label. She said Vitamin D is something many people are deficient in and the identification of potassium on labeling is helpful for people that experience renal issues; which 40% of diabetics suffer from.

Some of the other changes include more realistic serving sizes based on what people are actually eating.  Larger and bolder fonts for the more important parts of the label like the calorie label and serving size will make it easier for clients to read.

“Label reading is huge in terms of education, especially for somebody dosing insulin,” Schutz said. “Insulin is dosed based on the carbohydrate load, and the ratio is crucial for Type 1 Diabetics. They don’t produce insulin, so they have to count their carbs.”  Folks with Type 2 Diabetes also can learn to carbohydrate count for better blood sugar control along with adequate activity and lifestyle changes such a stress management techniques.

She said behavior changes might take an appointment or two, but eventually a healthier lifestyle becomes second nature for people.

“Carbs are essential for the body to function. It’s a very common misconception that with diabetes you have to avoid carbohydrates, but actually our goal is just to make it consistent throughout the day. There are no “bad” foods or nutrients.  Many times, if you want a food, you can have it. Just reduce the portion size.”

Schutz said behavior change can be hard in any circumstance but seeing a dietitian is the right call.

“People get diagnosed with diabetes and think their life is over. But that education piece of what this looks like and how it can be managed is really important for quality of life,” she said. “Work with goals that are reasonable and doable or the disease never gets managed. Design behavior around those things.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

'SMART' goals can improve health for new year

Article
1/24/2017
Travis Combest, exercise physiology and personal trainer in Outpatient Nutrition Services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, works out in the fitness center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. For better health, Combest encourages people to set SMART goals – Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. (U.S. Army photo by Bernard Little)

SMART goals build momentum, as well as confidence leading to improvements in fitness and nutrition

Recommended Content:

Physical Activity | Nutrition

One Health concept highlights collaboration as key

Article
1/24/2017
Given its nature and the potential for pandemics, flu is of particular concern regarding Force Health Protection and global health. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Esteven Baca, from the immunizations department at Naval Hospital Pensacola, administers a flu shot to Lt. Alison Malloy, Staff Judge Advocate for the Center for Information Warfare Training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor L. Jackson)

Experts, including those at the Defense Health Agency’s Public Health Division, are integrating human medicine, animal health and environmental science to prevent and treat the flu, as well as other serious public health threats

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Immunization Healthcare | Preventive Health | Immunizations | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Veterinary Service | Public Health

Cervical cancer: What women need to know

Article
1/23/2017
Army Medicine Logo

The routine practice of Pap smears has reduced cervical cancer from the number one killer of women in the first half of the 20th century to a mild, treatable condition which rarely progresses

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Preventive Health

Track your weight loss

Article
1/18/2017
Mobile apps and programs are becoming simpler and more intuitive to help monitor your healthy eating. Some programs are interactive as well. They also provide nutrition information for more than 45,000 food items, including brand name and restaurant foods. Entering foods and calculating their calories takes only a fraction of the time when compared to a “paper” food diary. (MHS graphic)

The first step to losing weight and gaining better health is using self-monitoring techniques to track your calories

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Physical Activity | Human Performance Resource Center

New year, new you: Health and fitness tips

Article
1/9/2017
Elizabeth Harris, fitness center manager at Defense Health Headquarters (DHHQ) partakes in a workout session. Harris considers herself to be a fitness ‘lifer’and says, “Being healthy is not a hobby; it’s a lifestyle.”

Some helpful guidelines to become healthy and fit for the new year

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Nutrition | Physical Activity

Preventive Services for Prime Beneficiaries

Video
1/3/2017
Preventive Services for Prime Beneficiaries

This TRICARE TV Episode discusses TRICARE's preventive health benefits for TRICARE Prime Beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Operation Live Well | Integrative Wellness | Heart Health | Immunizations | Men's Health | Children's Health | TRICARE Health Program | Preventive Health | Women's Health

The science behind why you should stop chugging so many energy drinks

Article
12/30/2016
Army Spc. Kevin Alexander of 138th Quartermaster Company grabs an energy drink at the Post Exchange. Most energy drinks contain anywhere from 70 to 200 milligrams of caffeine. The daily recommended intake of caffeine is no more than 300 milligrams. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Bruce)

Energy drinks became the beverage of choice for many service members during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, promising to give an energy boost while in the field

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Health Readiness

Recently approved cholera vaccine available for use in the U.S.

Article
12/29/2016
Cholera vaccinations via injection were routine for service members. Now, An FDA-approved vaccine is available for use in the United States for travelers going to cholera-affected areas. Vaxchora, which received its FDA license in 2016, is a single dose oral vaccine that contains live attenuated cholera bacteria. Cholera is a disease that is often transmitted through contaminated food or water. (U.S. Army Photo by Dustin Senger)

Cholera, a disease often found in contaminated food and water, affects an estimated five million people a year around the world. Now a vaccine to help protect against the disease is available to U.S. travelers going to cholera-affected areas.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Cholera | Preventive Health | Immunizations

MHS year in review: A look into malaria research

Article
12/27/2016
The antimalarial medication Malarone was issued to service members deployed to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. V. Michelle Woods)

With two vaccines and an antimalarial drug set to begin clinical trials next year, Walter Reed Institute of Research looks back on its work in malaria research over the past year.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Research and Innovation

Mindful eating during the holidays

Article
12/19/2016
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Lewis carves turkey for a holiday dinner aboard USS Coronado.

The holiday season can be a challenging time to eat sensibly

Recommended Content:

Human Performance Resource Center | Nutrition

Military and civilian experts came together at AMSUS to share practices in providing best care possible

Article
12/9/2016
Boris Lushniak, department chair for the department of preventive medicine and biostatistics at Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, spoke about raising the bar for preventive medicine at AMSUS (The Society of Federal Health Professionals) 2016 in National Harbor, near Washington D.C.

Experts across MHS come together to discuss ways to move forward in providing best clinical care possible

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Year in Review: MHS stepped up measures against antibiotic resistant bacteria

Article
12/6/2016
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saw a rise in antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. In 2016 the Military Health System stepped up efforts to identify and study such bacteria and share information gathered with the larger health-care community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Stewart)

If the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues unchecked, we will be at a point where we really don’t have antibiotics to treat simple things

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health | Preventive Health | Research and Innovation

Stay fit during the holidays

Article
11/28/2016
Navy Chief Petty Officer Eduardo Medero, right, takes height and weight measurements from Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Rodney Good during a physical fitness assessment weigh-in. Experts say to keep weight in check. Weigh yourself in the morning, at least once or twice a week, during the holidays. This should enough to notice any slight increase from the week and to keep you in check for the weekend and vice-versa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Theron J. Godbold)

It seems as if the Thanksgiving-to-New Year's holiday season is one long, tempting food-fest designed to make you gain weight

Recommended Content:

Physical Activity | Nutrition

Lung cancer screening saves lives

Article
11/17/2016
A patient at Naval Hospital Pensacola prepares to have a low-dose computed tomography test done to screen for lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women. Early detection can lower the risk of dying from this disease. (U.S. Navy photo by Jason Bortz)

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Preventive Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Pediatric Health Care Services

Presentation
11/1/2016

Pediatric Health Care Services briefing to the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 12

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.