Expert Advice About Eating with Diabetes


N. Spencer Welch, MD

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Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes can mean making some big changes, especially in your diet.

N. Spencer Welch, MD, endocrinologist at Piedmont Healthcare, answers the most common questions he hears from his patients about managing diabetes with diet.

1. Q: What do diabetics need to be aware of when thinking about their diet?

A: Diabetics need to be aware of their blood sugar and sometimes need to aim for weight loss. People with diabetes either don’t make enough or don’t make any insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the level of sugar in the blood. That means people with diabetes have to change their diet to avoid spiking their blood sugar levels. Things like carbohydrates, sugary drinks, fruits, and baked goods all contain sugar that can increase a diabetic’s blood sugar substantially. Eating the right foods is important, but just as important is watching portions and eating appropriate portion sizes. I find a lot of people choose the right things to eat, but they eat too much of those things so they don’t lose weight. Losing weight can significantly help someone with diabetes manage it better.

On top of tracking your diet and blood sugar, regular exercise is a key part of managing your diabetes. And while any exercise is better than none, certain activities have specific benefits for people with diabetes.

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