April 10, 2018
A new year has begun, and like many people, you may be trying to eat better. Good for you! Even if things aren’t going exactly as planned, every extra serving of vegetables or every time you choose water instead of pop you are a little bit healthier. Sadly, the reality is that eating healthy is hard because of easy access to fast-food, great marketing by big food companies, as well as personal barriers or conditions you may be living with. As the Registered Dietitian and a Diabetes Educator at the Centre, I have come to appreciate the challenges of eating healthy, especially with diabetes.
When someone is living with diabetes, they are often living with at least one other condition, and are trying their hardest to manage their health by attending multiple appointments and taking the right medications. Add all of this to the already existing challenges of eating healthy and there is no question that people start to get overwhelmed or frustrated.
What surprises most people, however, is that there is no “special diet” for diabetes. There are tips and tricks (which I can share) but nothing that is too crazy; it’s just the basics. Put simply, food can be the most powerful tool to manage your health and especially your weight. This is important because obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and it increases your chances of developing the disease by two to four times.
So why wouldn’t I just run a healthy eating class for everyone? Well, I could (and hope to), but I think individuals living with diabetes need the opportunity to be with others who share the same struggles they do to work through this together. Almost like building a support system. And with almost one in four Canadians living with prediabetes or diabetes, that is a lot of support. I do encourage family or friends to attend as well, to help build a better understanding of the disease and how family meals can be healthier for everyone.
If you want to learn more about diabetes and how to eat well while living with this condition, here is what you will get out of the session:
- No boring computer presentation but a hands-on, game approach to learning
- A relaxed setting that encourages conversation and no note-taking
- A healthy snack for you to try
- An opportunity to share your stories and experiences with others like yourself.
- And most importantly, information to help you manage your blood sugar