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National Diabetes Week: Diet and Diabetes

diet and diabetes with central coast dietician and nutritionist Jo Allan

Diet & Diabetes on the Central Coast: more than just cutting down sugar

It’s National Diabetes Week! Are you a Central Coast local who struggles with diabetes? This year Diabetes Australia is highlighting the mental and emotional health of living with diabetes. There are many factors that can contribute to the mental health of a diabetic. Some may include diabetes and exercise, the struggles of living with insulin, diabetes and foot care and a large factor being diet and diabetes.

A healthy diet is essential to manage diabetes as it can help to control blood glucose (sugar) levels and achieve a healthy weight. Controlling your sugar levels can mean a lifetime of stress which is why we at Coast Sport are here to help. A common food myth is that people with diabetes should avoid all carbohydrate foods, including sugar. While it is often helpful to modify carbohydrate quality and quantity, the following are also important to consider as part of healthy eating and diabetes:

Dietary Fat:

We commonly see patients who are diligent at reducing dietary fat, but often do not include enough healthy fats (mono & poly- unsaturated) in their diet. Both the type and amount of dietary fat are very important. Healthy fats help to reduce inflammation in the body and can ‘buffer’ the effect of the less healthy saturated fats (butter, palm oil, coconut oil), and have also been shown to improve mental health. Including olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds in your diet each day will add healthy fats.

Dietary fibre

Many people do not eat enough dietary fibre (30g per day), particularly soluble fibre (found in breads, cereals, legumes). Soluble fibre can help control blood glucose levels as well as keep you feeling full for longer. Wholegrain bread, oats, legumes and bananas are good sources of soluble fibre.

Skipping meals

Skipping meals can have a negative effect on both blood glucose levels and mental health. Following a healthy eating pattern and not skipping meals is linked to better stress management, increased concentration, improved sleep quality and better mental wellbeing, which in turn improves blood glucose management.

What about those “carbs”:

The healthiest “carbs” or food containing carbohydrates, are those with a low Glycaemic Index (GI). Low GI carbs are more slowly digested and absorbed and so give better blood glucose control. Whole grain breads and cereal, pasta, fruit, corn, milk and yoghurt are some examples of low GI carbs. The quantity of low GI carbs to include at each main meal varies based on age, weight and activity level, so consulting with an Accredited Practising Dietitian for individualised advice is best.

Coast Sport holds a team of allied health experts who can assist in effectively managing diabetes and enhancing the quality of life for diabetics. Whether you’re experiencing troubles with diet and diabetes, your feet and diabetes, your exercise ability with diabetes, or your overall mental health, we can help!

At Coast Sport, our team is here to help those living with diabetes to effectively manage and take control of the condition, our various practitioners and services can assist, all conveniently under the one roof.
Diabetes is one of the chronic health conditions for which there is a Medicare rebate meaning it’s a good time to put yourself and your health first. Visit your general practitioner to receive your Enhanced Primary Care Plan for financial assistance.

Seeing a diabetes dietitian to provide you dietary advice may mean positive control of not only your diabetes, but your lifestyle too.
If you’re looking for expert advice to assist with your diabetes, Central Coast Dietitian Jo Allan (Accredited Practising Dietitian & Accredited Sports Dietitian) can help you. Book online or contact our friendly team today to book an appointment.