HomeLifestyleHealthType 2 diabetes and carbohydrates: Georgia Pandelios on managing blood sugar levels

Type 2 diabetes and carbohydrates: Georgia Pandelios on managing blood sugar levels

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By Georgia Pandelios, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Owner at Nutrition Prescription.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal. It occurs when the body develops a resistance to insulin and the pancreas gradually loses the ability to produce enough insulin. For some people it is genetic but for others it is closely linked to their diet and lifestyle.

Lifestyle changes can help you take control of your diabetes – not necessarily cure it but at least manage it to slow its progression and prevent it affecting other vital functions or organs like the kidneys, eyes and nerves in the feet.

My top tips for those with type 2 diabetes are:

Firstly, learn about carbs!

Carbohydrates are key to managing your blood sugars. These generally include (but aren’t limited to) your starchy vegetables like potato and sweet potato, breads, cereals/grains, most fruits, some dairy products. Focus on what I call the 3 T’s of carbs – total amount, type and timing. Put simply, portion control, choose low glycaemic index carbs and eat at consistent times from one day to the next.

Photo: American Diabetes Association.

Consistent eating patterns that incorporate the 3 T’s can pave the way for more consistent blood sugar levels. It is not recommended to remove carbohydrates either – a lot of the time clients will come to me with a fear of having even a small amount of good quality carbohydrate in their day. Carbohydrates are a valuable form of energy for our brains. If you are worried about eating carbohydrates and managing your diabetes, please speak to one our dietitians.

READ MORE: Dietitian, Georgia Pandelios, shares her top tips on meal planning like a pro

Secondly, keep saturated fats to a minimum.

Having diabetes dramatically increases your risk of heart disease or stroke. Keep to lean meats, oily fish like salmon or sardines, extra virgin olive oil and low fat dairy for a start. Have a read of my article on fats for more information.

READ MORE: Fat facts: Cholesterol friendly diet explained by dietitian, Georgia Pandelios

Photo: Getty Images.

Thirdly, be physically active.

You don’t necessarily need to join a gym or even go outside to get your exercise. You just need to move your body. A simple walk after a meal can often help you to control your blood sugars.

Photo: Unsplash User Arek Adeoye.

Lastly, access support.

If you have diabetes, you should also have an annual review with your doctor. Have your blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure checked for a start to make sure you are tracking well. Always discuss any medications with your doctor. Unfortunately, it is outside a dietitians’ scope of practice to advise on medications.

Your doctor can also create a care plan for you where you can access a Medicare rebate for visits with a dietitian, diabetes educator, even exercise physiologist to help you take control of your health.

Photo: Unsplash User Derek Finch

At Nutrition Prescription, we will bulk bill anyone that has a care plan with eligible concessions (these include a pension or health care card, is under 18 or of First Nations descent. If you book in with me personally, your consultation can be in Greek and / or English.

If you need help with managing your diabetes, contact us at Nutrition Prescription. You can book through www.nutritionprescription.com.au or email info@nutritionprescription.com.au.

Nutrition Prescription accredited practising dietitians offer nutrition consultations that are specially designed for the whole family – from infants to adults and elderly, through to highly specialised fertility-preconception, paediatric, sports nutrition and food reaction services. We can assist with all your nutrition needs, including complex and chronic conditions – in English, Greek and Portuguese.

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is generalised and is not intended to replace medical or dietetic advice, nor directly manage any medical conditions. For personalised advice, please speak with your doctor or contact us via info@nutritionprescription.com.au to make an appointment with one of our Dietitians.

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