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Nutrition Tips to Prevent or Manage Diabetes During the Pandemic

by Kimberly Hagenbuch, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES

Diabetes and prediabetes are growing concerns in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 30.3 million U.S. adults have diabetes and 1 in 4 of them don’t know it! November is National Diabetes Month and it’s my privileges to help patients treat and prevent type 2 diabetes, along with my fellow Sodexo RDNs.

Here are some ways to prevent diabetes or to empower you should you develop diabetes:

  • Step it Up: Keeping active can prevent, delay, or alleviate living with diabetes. Physical activity does not have to be structured exercise at the gym. Activity comes in many forms, such as walking the dog, gardening, running around with the kids. These days if you’re avoiding the gym, take advantage of at-home workouts and exercise videos. Create a routine by participating in your chosen activity at the same time of day each session.
  • Cook a new recipe: Healthy food choices do not have to be limited to grilled chicken and broccoli. A balanced diet including a variety of foods is key. We are spending more time at home this year; and trying a new recipe is a great way to prevent getting bored with eating in. As a leader in food service, Sodexo offers a variety of dining options to our customers, based on trends, specific dietary concerns and dietitian expertise. Many of our favorite Sodexo Mindful recipes can be found online.
  • Team Up: Look for a healthy lifestyle class at your local hospital. RDNs and other health professionals typically host informative health promotion programs. These may include Diabetes Self- Management Education programs, lunch-and-learn sessions, and cooking demonstrations. Many classes are available virtually during the pandemic.
  • Limit Stress: With the uncertainty this year, many people report their stress levels have increased. Stress can contribute to higher blood sugars and make us feel unsettled. Being open to add in creative ways to manage stress is worth a shot. Activities such as exercise, guided imagery, meditation, and yoga have shown to decrease stress.
  • Choose Fun! Implementing a healthy lifestyle can be daunting or it can be fun! The choice is up to you. It's difficult to stick to a regimen we don’t enjoy. Focus on the great feeling movement brings into your life or the dedicated feelings from making healthy food choices. By placing energy on our goals and taking action each day toward them, we feel a sense of pride that will encourage us to take the next step.

Nutrition Experts

Sodexo is one of the largest employers of Registered Dietitians (RDNs) in the country. Relying on their expertise, Medical Nutrition Therapy can be used to manage a variety of conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, and of course diabetes.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Guiding patients through the national Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is powerful. Sodexo is a national provider for the DPP. Our RDNs are trained lifestyle coaches that bring the DPP to our local communities. The program has proven that a healthy lifestyle is as powerful as medication. By focusing on areas that can be controlled (like lifestyle), rather than areas that cannot be influenced (e.g. genetics), patients are empowered to be proactive against the onset of diabetes.

Knowing Your Risk

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) created a 60-second quiz to determine your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. You can find out where you stand in order to take healthy steps to maintain or improve your health! Take the quiz here.

Living with diabetes requires extra focus on diet and behavior – but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy an active, fulfilling lifestyle. Prevention is key, and Sodexo can help. Utilizing the national Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is effective in avoiding diabetes. Should a patient develop diabetes, Sodexo’s RDNs are there to support Quality of Life, with expert guidance on eating and living well.

For more information on bringing Sodexo’s Diabetes Prevention Program to your community, contact Sodexo.

November 18, 2020

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