Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body's ability to make or use its own insulin. This can cause high blood sugars because they are not being brought in to the body's cells to be used as energy. Choosing nutrient dense foods and being mindful of portion sizes can help someone with Diabetes control their blood sugar levels.
Registered Dietitians (RD) are food and nutrition experts. They have completed multiple levels of training established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and require licensing to practice in most states. An RD who is also a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) not only identifies the appropriate nutrients needed on an individual level using Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), but also educates people with diabetes on how to manage their condition, and improves overall health outcomes. Research has shown that after 3-6 months of MNT services, patient's Hemoglobin A1c reduced by 0.25 to 2.9 percent. In addition, meeting regularly with an RD helps people with diabetes manage weight, improve cholesterol levels, decrease the need for medicines and reduce risk for other diseases.
As an RD/CDE I help people with diabetes understand how food and nutrition affect their bodies to successfully manage the disease, provide detailed information about how to eat, practical tips for addressing daily challenges, and can put together a daily meal plan that considers your individual food preferences, level of physical activity and lifestyle choices. The first nutrition session usually lasts about 60 minutes and serves to assess each client's needs and understand current lifestyle choices. Managing Diabetes is a complicated process and never manifests in the same way from person to person. Therefore, it is recommended that a long term plan is created over 3-6 months where new strategies for managing diabetes can be tried and tweaked as necessary. In addition, yearly follow ups are recommended to stay on track.