How a Dietitian Can Help You Manage Diabetes
Since dietitians often work in hospital settings, many people with diabetes may never consult with one unless it's part of an initial treatment plan for newly diagnosed patients.
Yet dietitians also work in private practices, and they can be an incredible resource for people managing diabetes.
Whether you work with a dietitian only once or meet regularly, there are several ways to benefit from this type of patient-expert relationship.
Planning for Long-Term Eating Success
Most people with diabetes quickly learn the "basics" of how to eat for health, but this often isn't enough information to sustain long-term lifestyle habits.
Diabetics lacking a more thorough understanding of nutrition may have everyday challenges, like knowing what to eat at a restaurant or learning how to snack healthy.
These are things a dietitian can help you with, including how to customize an eating plan that fits your lifestyle.
When you can gain a sense of control around food, without feeling like you're deprived of the things you enjoy, managing diabetes becomes much easier.
Collaborating with Your Diabetes Care Team
Another benefit of working with dietitians is that they are the most qualified nutrition professionals to be consulting with physicians.
So if you are taking medications for your diabetes or have health concerns that you've discussed with your doctor, a dietitian can be part of your diabetes management team, working together with your physician and health care providers to ensure you have the best care.
A dietitian can also help refer you to other health professionals that you might want to connect with, such as a personal trainer or a home chef.
Learning How to Balance Macronutrients
One of the most important aspects of managing diabetes is learning how to count carbohydrates.
Balancing your intake of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) becomes an important daily practice, especially if you want to lose weight, change your body composition or address hormonal issues that come with age and stress.
To find a registered dietitian in your area, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.