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Plate Method a visual tool in diabetes control

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The nutrition of diabetes control is divided between choice and portion. While it is important to make wise food choices that encourage good blood sugar control, it is also important to practice portion control and add foods in the right combinations.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Diabetes Management & Supplies (DMS) advocate portion control strategies for people living with any form of diabetes and for those trying to prevent diabetes.

The ADA suggest “creating your plate” as an easy way to get started with managing blood glucose levels.

“You don’t need any special tools or have to do any counting,” the ADA Web site says. “It’s simple and effective—draw an imaginary line on your plate, select your foods, and enjoy your meal! You may have heard of this as the ‘Plate Method.’”

The DMS “I’m in Control” diabetes education program details meal planning and the Plate Method in its Healthy Eating section.

The plate method is a way to visualize proper portion sizes using a 9-inch plate. Make half of your plate non-starchy vegetables, a fourth of your plate protein and a fourth of your plate starch. On the side you may either have a serving of low fat milk or a serving of fruit. Following the plate method helps to ensure that you eat a well-balanced meal containing all the necessary food groups and stay within recommended carbohydrate intake.

Menu Planning

  • Start with the Carb choices allowed on your meal plan – how many – what is a serving size?
  • Add the correct amount of Protein food – usually about 2-4 ounces of meat per meal (size of your palm) cooked using a low-fat method
  • Add no more than one or two servings of Fat per meal. Add none if you include fried foods at that meal or if trying to lose weight. (1 tsp = 1 serving)

The ADA plate method is detailed in the video below.

DMS offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific exercise needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

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Exercise, no whey! Yes, whey and activity helps

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Blood sugar control is key to the best results for people living with diabetes. Two recently-released studies offer promising ways to understand what affects blood sugar spikes and glucose levels and offers ways help.

These findings go back to diet and exercise as ways to control blood sugar fluctuations.  One study found that consuming whey protein before breakfast helped to ease the blood sugar spike seen directly after eating. The other study found that the exercise combination of aerobic activity and resistance training sparked an added benefit or tighter blood sugar control.

Whey has been found to improve the body’s insulin response. Researchers took that fact and developed a novel approach for enhancing glucose-lowering strategies in type-2 diabetes. There were 15 test subjects who were not using oral meds to control their diabetes. They consumed whey protein, had meals and were tested 180 minutes later. The study found the group who had whey protein had blood sugar levels 28 percent lower than a group who did not have whey protein.

Dr. Timothy Church, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Dr. Timothy Church, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Exercise has always been suggested as a tool for blood sugar control, but European researchers wanted to determine what exercise regimens would be best for people living with diabetes. The University of Vienna study found patients with diabetes had better blood sugar control and fasting numbers with aerobic exercises such as swimming or jogging than as a result of resistance training such as toning exercises or muscle strengthening.

Dr. Timothy Church from LSU System’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center found similar results in a 2009 study of 262 sedentary women and men with type 2 diabetes.  The Baton Rouge researchers compared the effect of aerobic training, resistance training, and a combination of A1C levels. Subjects who did both experienced benefits that those who just used one method did not experience.

For more on the studies:

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Strawberries with Honeyed Yogurt Sauce

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Strawberries with Honeyed Yogurt Sauce


1 quart fresh strawberries

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 to 2 teaspoons honey

Ground cinnamon


Rinse and hull strawberries. Combine yogurt, juice, honey and cinnamon to taste in small bowl; mix well. Serve over berries.

Makes 4 servings.

Dietary exchanges: ½ milk, 1 fruit

Nutritional value: Calories: 88 – Total fat: 1 g – Carbohydrates: 16g – Protein: 4g (4g fiber)

From the book Diabetic Cooking, No-Bake recipes for summer, 2007

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MLB hero has faith-based response to diabetes

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When Lou Brock played Major League Baseball, stealing was one of his specialties. Now that the stolen bases record-holder has retired, he helps people restore the health and hope that has been taken from them. Brock, a minister and motivational speaker, will be the featured speaker tonight, April 24, at Higher Ground Outreach Church in Baton Rouge. A representative of Diabetes Management & Supplies will be on hand and participate in the event. If you are not in Baton Rouge tonight, you can still participate in a live broadcast starting at about 7 p.m.  The live broadcast will be available via UStream:

Brock was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 60. He now works with Novo Nordisk, an international pharmaceutical company, to promote awareness and encourage tight, proactive management of diabetes.

Area family medicine physician, Dr. Rani Whitfield will introduce Brock and provide some background into the diabetes epidemic gripping the country. He will discuss prevention, diagnosis and risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing diabetes.

Both Brock and Whitfield are products of Southern University in Baton Rouge. Brock, a native of El Dorado, Ark., grew up on a share cropping cotton plantation in Collinston, La. He started Southern on an academic scholarship and later tried out and made the baseball team. His star began to rise on the Southern diamond and continued to shine as he stole bases and captured records. His 20-year professional career spanned three years with the Chicago Cubs and 17 years with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Whitfield, a board certified family physician and sports medicine specialist, has become known as “Tha Hip Hop Doc” or “H2D” to many in Baton Rouge and across the country. Whitfield is an impassioned advocate for increasing the awareness of health-related issues, including HIV/AIDS, obesity, cardiovascular disease and substance abuse.

Higher Ground Outreach Church, led by Bishop Rickey and Pastor Lesia Washington, is located at 3730 N. Sherwood Forest in Baton Rouge. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

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Neuropathy a complication of diabetes

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woman_testingOnce a diagnosis of diabetes has been given, avoiding complications is a prime objective. Diabetic neuropathy is a group of complications that gets a lot of attention because it involves nerve damage and the limbs of the body.

People living with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. This damage can be silent, showing now signs, or it can cause pain, tingling, or numbness-loss of feeling-in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs.

The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explains  symptoms can be mild at first. Because most nerve damage occurs over several years, mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time.

Symptoms of nerve damage include:

  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the toes, feet, legs, hands, arms, and fingers
  • Wasting of the muscles of the feet or hands
  • Indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dizziness or faintness due to a drop in blood pressure after standing or sitting up
  • Problems with urination
  • Erectile dysfunction in men or vaginal dryness in women
  • General body weakness

Diabetes Self-Management services, like those offered by Diabetes Management & Supplies, may help avoid complications like nerve damage and encourage good blood sugar control. The DMS Diabetes education program is accredited by American Association of Diabetes Educator’s Diabetes Education Accreditation Program (DEAP).  This accreditation means that it meets the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management. Visit the DMS site or call 1-866-734-7164 to speak to the education team.

For more from the NDIC, visit Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes

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Holidays may shine light on depression link

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The holiday season may help bring attention to a rarely-discussed diabetes symptom: depression. Whether emphasized by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or just noticed in contrast to the festive season, depression may be one sign of diabetes or a flag that one’s diabetes is not in good control.

The American Diabetes Association explains that people with diabetes are at a greater risk to depression and the complications of poorly controlled blood sugars are very similar to the symptoms of depression.

Spotting depression in yourself or someone you love is an important step to countering depressions effects. The signs include:

  • Loss of pleasure: You no longer take interest in doing things you used to enjoy.
  • Change in sleep patterns: You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during the night, or you want to sleep more than usual, including during the day.
  • Early to rise: You wake up earlier than usual and cannot to get back to sleep.
  • Change in appetite: You eat more or less than you used to, resulting in a quick weight gain or weight loss.
  • Trouble concentrating: You can’t watch a TV program or read an article because other thoughts or feelings get in the way.
  • Loss of energy: You feel tired all the time.
  • Nervousness: You always feel so anxious you can’t sit still.
  • Guilt: You feel you “never do anything right” and worry that you are a burden to others.
  • Morning sadness: You feel worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day.
  • Suicidal thoughts: You feel you want to die or are thinking about ways to hurt yourself.

You should contact your doctor if you see any three of these signs. Taking action can affect both your mental and physical well-being.

Visit the ADA for more on the link between diabetes and depression.

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Side note: Planning a healthy Thanksgiving meal

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The need for good health doesn’t take a holiday, but it is much easier to overlook nutritional advice or doctor’s orders during the big “eating holidays” because it’s a part of the fun and “everybody is doing it.”

Diabetics and those trying to avoid diabetes may be best served by putting some thoughtful planning into the Thanksgiving Day spread or remembering to prepare something healthy in case you are faced with three variations of Fried Mac and Cheese.

Diabetic-friendly side dishes are a great way to fill you and your plate while giving you an alternative to the usual carb-heavy holiday fare. Chef John Wright has some suggestions for a Thanksgiving without post-meal regrets.

Check out these recipes from the Eating Wright archives:

Check back for more recipe suggestions as we approach Thanksgiving Day.

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Balsamic Green Beans

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Balsamic Green Beans


  • 1 pound fresh green beans, washed and stemmed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute garlic and onions in pan in 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add green beans, garlic and onions to roasting pan. Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Recipe yields 6 servings, serving size 3/4 cup 90 calories per serving 6 grams fat per serving 10 grams of carbohydrates per serving

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A recent study suggests that compounds found in pumpkins can help counter the affects of diabetes and may help diabetics by affecting liver enzymes that regulate glucose and fat metabolism. This recipe might prove to be a fall favorite.

Roasted Pumpkin With Feta and Cilantro
Serves 4

Peel and seed a 2 lb pumpkin and cut into 1/2-thick wedges. Toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.

Roast in a 450°F oven, turning occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.

Layer pumpkin with 3 oz sliced feta and 1/4 cup cilantro leaves. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil and sherry vinegar to taste.

NUTRITION (per serving) 128 cal, 5 g pro, 11 g carb, 1 g fiber, 8 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 530 mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of Prevention Magazine

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Ordering Supplies and Equipment

A diabetes treatment plan is very important. Make sure you know how things should work. Carefully following any medication orders and instructions is vital to your plan's success. Make sure you don't run out of supplies just as you refill prescriptions so you don't run out of medication.

Here are some ways you can let us help you reorder supplies:

At Diabetes Management & Supplies, we value the part we play on your treatment plan team and realize that winning is promoting good health.