People with diabetes have long turned to UCHealth for help with managing their blood sugar levels. Its Diabetes Prevention Program — accredited by the American Diabetes Association — is aimed at preventing or delaying the disease process in adults at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A new class schedule is usually sent out in January, but as with all events involving groups, most of the scheduled programs were canceled because of the pandemic.
But a schedule of virtual diabetes prevention classes is coming, assures Patricia Kulbeth, a clinical dietitian. Telehealth patient visits have been taking place via Vidyo, she said, and soon diabetes education will be doing the same.
Until the classes are up and running, Kulbeth offers some tips — one of which is to visit the ADA’s “amazing” food website: diabetesfoodhub.org.
“It is the best food website for diabetes patients ever,” she says. “And for those gluten-free patients, it has about 300 gluten-free recipes. It also has Instant Pot recipes and slow cooker recipes.”
If you register on the site, you can access the myrecipes section to use the recipe library, create a meal plan and print a shopping list. If you have a recipe that needs sugar and carbohydrate numbers, you can enter it at the site for analysis.
Kulbeth had other suggestions.
“Know your meal plan,” she said, “how many grams of carbohydrate per meal is recommended.”
It’s best to see a dietitian to help figure it out, but here is a general guideline from Kulbeth:
• For most women, stay within 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal. This is two to three servings of carbohydrates.
• For most men, stay within 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates. This is three to four servings of carbohydrates.
• One serving of carbohydrates is considered 15 grams. That’s the equivalent of a slice of most breads, ½ cup potatoes, 8 ounces (1 cup) of milk or half of a regular-size banana.
“Keep in mind that carbohydrates are important in the diet,” she said. “By restricting them for diabetes does not mean to avoid them altogether. Just choose the types of carbohydrates wisely, in the right portion, within a healthy overall eating plan. Avoid any eating plan that leaves out, or almost totally leaves out, any healthy food groups.”
She suggested checking out these healthy eating plans:
• DASH eating plan is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life.
• Mediterranean eating plan is built on meals focused on vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains with moderate amounts of dairy, poultry, eggs and seafood. Red meat is eaten only occasionally.
• Choose My Plate is based on the Department of Agriculture 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines. Visit myplate.gov.
“Nonstarchy vegetables and protein foods have little or no carbohydrates,” Kulbeth said, “so filling up on them is also helpful.”
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