Dining with Diabetes will be offered this fall in Newark and Harbeson

September 30, 2013 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature

Dealing with Diabetes – Think Positive!!

After a routine blood test the doctor states sullenly “You have diabetes.”  A diagnosis of diabetes in 2013, although not good news, is different than it was thirty or forty years ago.  Years ago it was thought that an individual with this ominous diagnosis was doomed to a life of eating tasteless foods, never to enjoy a holiday or family celebration.  That isn’t necessarily the case these days

Diabetes is a common, serious and costly disease.  Over the years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes.  Left unchecked the common physical problems associated with diabetes can be disabling and even life threatening.

According to the CDC, diabetes rates have tripled since 1980, now affecting 24 million people in the U.S.  In Delaware it is estimated that 66,000 people above age 18 have diabetes.  This is approximately 9% of the population of the state.  Many more individuals have diabetes but have not been officially diagnosed.

There is now good news for Delawareans with diabetes.  Convincing studies show that complications of diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and amputations, probably can be delayed or even prevented by careful control of blood sugar.  After years of nutrition research regarding diabetes it is now understood that diabetics can enjoy all foods as long as they monitor their carbohydrate intake.

Following a careful meal plan is the first step in controlling blood sugar.  With all the food temptations that surround us, this is also the hardest step in diabetes control.

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is offering a series of classes that have been shown to benefit diabetics throughout the state. Dining with Diabetes is an interactive, fun class that helps by teaching people with diabetes to reduce sugar, salt, and fat in foods without giving up good taste.

The first class in the three part series, Desserts, features information about the use of different sweeteners to control carbohydrate intake.  The next class Main Dishes concentrates on healthy methods of preparing entrees, using healthy seasonings rather than salt, leaner types of protein sources and sautéing and baking rather than deep frying.  In the final class Side Dishes, participants learn about the importance of fiber in the diet and tasty ways to prepare vegetables-an essential component of healthy eating.

What’s unique about this series is not only do participants get thorough research based information presented by a registered dietitian at each class they also see a food demonstration and get to taste delicious foods that they can try at home.

Dining with Diabetes is being offered on October 8, 15 and 26th in Newark from 6:30-8:30 and November 7, 14 and 21 from 10:30-12:30 in Harbeson.  To register obtain a brochure at www.extension.udel.edu/fcs/nutrition/dining-with-diabetes/  or contact Kathleen Splane, ksplane@udel.edu or 302-730-4000.

Everyone-even non-diabetics, can benefit from the healthy eating guidelines provided for diabetics in Dining with DiabetesThinking positively and making small changes about healthy eating can allow a diabetic to live a long, healthy life.