Unlock the Potential to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

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Lifestyle factors, like the food we eat, can influence our health. A healthy diet can lower the risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, as well as improve management and reduce complications. Dietitians are key when it comes to the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. 

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin that is made isn’t used properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps lower blood sugars after you eat. When insulin isn’t working, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy and this can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.

How Can a Dietitian Help Someone with Diabetes? 

A dietitian will work with you and your healthcare team to provide a nutrition care plan that meets your unique needs while considering your lifestyle, goals and challenges. Nutrition therapy can improve blood sugar control and lower rates of hospitalization when used with other components of diabetes care, like medicine.

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What Diets are Best for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes?

There is no one-size-fits all diet for diabetes. The Mediterranean, DASH and MIND eating patterns have been well researched for their potential to prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. These diets include a balance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, dairy, fish, seafood, poultry and healthy fats like olive oil. 

Here are some healthy recipes to help you unlock food’s potential to prevent:

A diabetes-friendly diet may also emphasize low-glycemic-index foods. Ask your doctor to refer you to a registered dietitian to learn more about healthy eating if you have type 2 diabetes.

What are Low-Glycemic-Index Foods?

The glycemic index is a scale from 1-100 that categorizes carbohydrate foods based on how much they increase blood sugars when you eat them. Choosing low-glycemic-index foods (i.e., complex carbs like whole grains) more often can improve blood sugar control. For more information on the glycemic index, check out Unlock Food

A new diagnosis can be overwhelming, but there are many things you can do to stay healthy like working with a dietitian to develop a healthy meal plan, getting regular physical activity, and monitoring your blood sugar. Go to Diabetes Canada to learn more about staying healthy with diabetes.  

Ryan Stallard