The trifecta of diabetes management is diet, exercise, and medication, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) dietician Mary Gross told the audience at a recent “Diabetes 101” workshop.
In the second session of a series she began in April, Ms. Gross focused on how diabetics can make the best food choices to help manage their blood sugar levels.
Ms. Gross said one of the most common misconceptions among diabetics is that they can’t eat carbohydrates. However, complex carbohydrates such as bread made from whole grains and foods with fiber can help in managing diabetes, she said.
She also discussed portion control and how to make sense out of the nutritional information printed on food labels. Ms. Gross advises that diabetics look at the total carbohydrate count, rather than just the grams of sugar. Otherwise, some diabetics wind up eating too many calories from fats and proteins.
Avoiding the yo-yo effect of highs and lows in blood sugar levels is key to managing diabetes, she also explained.
“Don’t go for more than four hours without eating,” Ms. Gross said. “You never want to have to say the words, ‘I’m staving.'”
Two more workshops will be offered October 6 and February 2, 2012, at 6:30 pm in the MVH medical office building lobby. Information is available online at www.mvhospital.com. Call 508-957-9473 to preregister.