EB 2016 San Diego

Diabetes Management: Diet Is Key

Constance Brown Riggs, a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator, was one of our speakers during the 4th Global Summit on the Health Benefits of Yogurt. She agreed to answer a few questions regarding the management of Type 2 Diabetes.
Hint: healthy eating plays a central role!

Constance B. Riggs (@Eatingsoulfully on Twitter) answered 3 questions on Diabetes, putting her talk at #yogurt2016 into perspective.

First, we asked Constance why was Type 2 Diabetes such a key issue today:

It has reached epidemic dimensions!

Constance pointed out that Diabetes has both an individual and an economic cost. On one hand, patients are facing individual costs. These can include all possible physical impact of the disease : blindness, loss of kidney functions, loss of limbs, etc. But also, patients face an economic cost, which can be of different nature: lost days of work, time of hospitalization, helping/educating patients, technology, etc.

 

Then, we then asked Constance how diet and lifestyle could make a difference

As a Registered Dietitian, I think of diet as the cornerstone of Diabetes management

According to Constance, diet should be the first place to check for a proper Diabetes control. It’s important, she said, to monitor the amount of food that patients have per meal. It becomes thus possible to evaluate the impact of their diet on blood glucose levels. Research shows that blood glucose kept under tight control is key when it comes to a good monitoring of the disease. This is how, said Constance, we best prevent individual and economic costs.

 

Finally, Constance gave her views, as a Registered Dietitian, on the best dietary and lifestyle practices

The way a person with Diabetes should eat, is the same as everyone should!

For Constance, it’s very important not to make the individual feel like he or she has to do something completely different from the rest of his or her family, friends or colleagues. Diet should thus:

  • be high in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • favour plant-based as well as animal protein intake
  • encourage dairy consumption, particularly yogurt, which a growing body of evidence recognizes as having health benefits in the prevention of Diabetes and weight control

Also, Constance reminded us that weightloss is key in managing Type 2 Diabetes. Usually, she said, she invites her patients to target a 7% weightloss, which is a manageable healthy goal. In the end, she concludes, it’s all about healthy eating and physical activity, just the same as for everyone.