National Nutrition Month

During the month of March, we’re celebrating National Nutrition Month by providing tips for healthy eating, information on services available to help you with your nutrition needs, and education specifically for individuals with diabetes.

At DCH, our Registered Dietitian, Linda Klejch, helps patients manage their disease by providing medical nutrition therapy. This process includes reviewing a person’s eating habits and lifestyle, assessing their nutritional status, and creating a personalized nutrition treatment plan. Through nutrition therapy, you may be able to manage your blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, or address other health concerns.

Nutrition therapy can be especially helpful for patients living with type 2 diabetes. In addition to specialized care from our new Endocrinologist, Dr. Haytham Kawji, MD, Linda may be able to help you manage your symptoms and increase your quality of life. In general, the following tips may help you manage your type 2 diabetes:

More Fiber. Fiber may help lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, and manage your appetite by helping you stay fuller longer. Foods rich in fiber include vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. In addition to providing a yummy source of fiber, fruits and vegetables contain other important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. During meals, try to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, tomato, zucchini, asparagus, or other leafy greens. If you get bored with your usual fruits and veggies, try something new! Lots of recipes are available online to help you experience new flavors using healthy ingredients.

Reduce Added Sugars. If you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you are probably very aware of how added sugars can spike your numbers. Instead, try using fruit to add sweetness. When looking for canned foods or beverages, look for fruits packed in their own juices instead of syrup, choose fruit-flavored seltzer waters over soda, or opt for tea with honey or other sweeteners as directed by your dietitian.

Lower Your Saturated Fat Intake. Not all fats are bad. But, some fats are better than others. Instead of foods that contain high levels of saturated fats, try to replace those with healthy fats found in avocados, olive and canola oils, nuts, and seeds. Baking, broiling, roasting, or grilling leaner meats can be a great alternative to frying foods, and can help lower your intake of saturated fat.

Get Moving. After consulting with your health care provider, adding more physical activity to your routine may help you manage your type 2 diabetes. Find an activity you enjoy such as walking, biking, dancing, running, swimming, or yoga, and set a routine to do these activities for at least 150 minutes per week. When you are looking for a challenge, add in resistance and strength exercises twice per week to enhance your other activities.

If you are living with type 2 diabetes, or a thyroid condition that affects your daily life, our new endocrinologist may be able to help. Dr. Haytham Kawji, MD, will visit the DCH Outpatient Clinic 4 days each month starting March 21st. Dr. Kawji can help diagnose and treat a wide range of endocrine disorders, and will partner with our Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian, Linda Klejch, to help patients manage their symptoms and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Depending on your insurance, you may not need a referral to see Dr. Kawji. If you are looking for an endocrinologist close to home, call the DCH Outpatient Clinic at 641-446-2285 to learn more and schedule your consultation.