Raising awareness about raising blood sugar. Diet concerns are one of the first topics a diabetes educator will address.
“Look at how many foods we have you know, look down the aisles at the grocery store. It’s overwhelming the number of food items,” says Sharon Tilbe, a certified diabetes coordinator with Lee Memorial Health System.
To help patients with diabetes make good choices, Lee Heal Solutions offers medical nutrition therapy. It consists of one-on-one time with a dietician.
“We teach a little bit of carbohydrate counting whether its real specific carbohydrate counting or generalities of carbohydrate counting. Making sure that people get adequate whole grains, adequate fruit and dairy in their diet, but not too much to raise their blood sugar,” says Sharon.
Common everyday foods, even ones we don’t suspect, can cause a jump in blood sugar.
“Fruit as an example, would be considered a carbohydrate or a high carbohydrate food in that it has a lot of natural sugar. Milk we don’t think of milk as being a sugar food but of course milk has lactose, which will of course turn into blood glucose. Grains, most people understand that if we eat too much pasta too much rice the blood sugar goes up,” says Sharon.
All things in moderation is a good rule of thumb, a controlling diet can make an absolute difference in managing diabetes.
“Just before you came I took my blood sugar and it was 92, so below 100 is average for regular people,” says George Pickel.
George worked with a diabetes educator to turn his diet around and with it the course of his disease.
“Most people, diets are started and when the goal is achieved people stop the diet. They better realize that eating is a lifelong process,” says George.
It’s a healthy perspective, looking at diabetes as a lifelong journey.