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Eating Well When You Have Diabetes

Eating Well When You Have Diabetes

Proper nutrition is a primary tool for managing diabetes.  Learning how to use food to improve your diabetes care can be a challenge.  The Joslin Diabetes Center has a team of certified diabetes educators and nutritionists available to help you achieve your diabetes self-management goals.  Read on to learn more about the nutrition classes offered at Joslin.


For more information and to register for any of these classes, please call (617) 732-2440.

What Can I Eat- Are you new to diabetes management? Can’t tell a carbohydrate from a vitamin, read the label to find out the price, or are confused about how your eating habits affect your blood sugar?  Then this class is for you.

Participants learn about meal planning, healthy eating and the impact of food on blood glucose.  The class focuses on understanding which foods contain carbohydrates, how much carbohydrate is in standard portion sizes of foods, the effect of portion size on blood glucose and label reading.  Each participant receives a meal plan, which indicates the daily total for carbohydrate and the total needed at each meal.

Foods that Fit- You know the amount of carbohydrate you are supposed to eat at meals, but portions mystify you, you haven’t a clue what the nurse means by pattern management, the menu at restaurants sends you into paroxysms of fear, and you are wondering if you can toast the bride at Aunt Sadie’s wedding.  We have got the class for you.

Foods that Fit is a continuation of What Can I Eat.  Participants refine their skills in carbohydrate counting.  They have a chance to estimate portions of familiar foods and then estimate carbohydrate content in those portions.  The effect of different amounts and types of carbohydrate and fat on blood glucose is demonstrated via the use of a sample 3-day food and blood glucose record.  In addition, the class discusses some of the challenges of dining out and various strategies to employ to maintain reasonable blood glucose control while enjoying the dining experience.

Matching Insulin to Carbohydrate- You take Novolog or Humalog at meals and Lantus, NPH or Levemier once a day.  You give your insulin based on your blood glucose numbers before meals and you are supposed to eat a fixed amount of carbohydrate at each meal.  Eating the same amount of carbohydrate at meals is so unrealistic it is laughable, and you would be laughing except your blood glucose levels bounce all over the place.

This class is designed for the person taking basal (Lantus, NPH, or Levemier) and rapid acting mealtime insulin (Novolog, Humalog, Apidra) who wants more flexibility with his or her meals.  Participants must know how to count carbohydrates accurately before enrolling.  Each participant will receive a basic set of ratios: insulin to carbohydrate, sensitivity factor and goal blood glucose target.  Participants are asked to send back food and blood sugar records.

Cholesterol-The Good, The Bad and The Ugly- You have cut down on red meat, cheese, butter and eggs, but you are wondering if there is something else you can do.  You have heard of fish oil supplements, but don't know how they work.

This class is designed for patients with elevated lipids.  It covers an overview of goal numbers, diet: healthy vs. unhealthy fats, fiber, exercise and basic medication issues.

Page last updated: October 21, 2016