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Expert Answers

If I have diabetes, do I have to forever avoid potatoes, bread and other white foods?
This is one of the biggest myths for diabetes management. Eating potatoes and bread will affect glucose levels, but cereals, rice, pasta, milk, yogurt, snack foods like potato chips, crackers, pretzels, fruit, cookies, cakes and other desserts, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages, will also affect glucose levels.

What really matters is the portion size of carbohydrates consumed and the timing of the meals and snacks that contain carbohydrates. Meal planning for diabetes should be individualized; meeting with a registered dietitian is one of the best ways to determine the best meal planning for your glucose management. A referral from a physician is necessary for an appointment with our dietitians. Please ask your physician to provide a referral.

For carbohydrate counting, can I subtract out the fiber from the total carbohydrates?
Total carbohydrates is the number used for meal planning with diabetes. We don’t incorporate the subtraction of fiber on a regular basis for two reasons: it makes it very complicated, and most people don’t consume the recommended amount of fiber each day.

However, we do recommend that individuals make the effort to incorporate more dietary fiber from foods that are considered complex carbohydrates. For example, choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread and choose brown rice instead of white rice. Speak with your registered dietitian for more information.

Do I need a doctor's referral to have an individual appointment or attend group classes?
Yes. We need your doctor to fill out our diabetes management education referral form before you are scheduled for your appointment or class.

Will my insurance/Medicare pay for diabetes self-management education?
Medicare or insurance may pay for diabetes self-management, individual appointments, classes and nutrition education. Check with your insurance carrier to determine your coverage or contact us for assistance (link new contact page).

What can I do to improve my glucose before my appointment?

  • Be consistent—eat about the same time each day, and eat similar-sized meals.
  • Don't skip meals.
  • Don't eliminate carbohydrates from your diet.
  • Take your medicine as prescribed.
  • Check your blood glucose.

Will I eventually be on insulin if I have diabetes?
Not necessarily. Eating a healthy diet and incorporating daily physical activity are the primary treatments for Type 2 diabetes. Many people can use these healthy lifestyle modifications to manage their diabetes and avoid diabetes medicines.