Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose or blood sugar is too high. When a person has diabetes, the body does not make enough or any insulin, or does not use the insulin the body makes well. As a result, glucose stays in the blood stream and does not reach the cells. Overtime, this can cause many health issues. 

Although diabetes has no cure, there are steps a person can take to manage their diabetes and stay healthy. Nutrition is very important, and one of the best ways to control blood sugar is to eat healthy balanced meals, stay active, exercise regularly and manage medication properly. 

The Plate Method is a simple, yet effective way to manage and control blood sugar and serves as a guide for meals. The Plate Method helps control portion sizes of starchy, carbohydrate-containing foods that have the most impact on blood glucose levels. It focuses on eating more non-starchy vegetables, which are low in carbohydrates and calories and high in vitamins, minerals and fibers. It also helps with getting enough lean protein. The Plate Method can also be used to reach specific health and nutrition goals including weight loss or maintenance, blood glucose management and simple good nutrition. This method is also a useful meal planning tool for people with prediabetes and for those who simply want a healthy approach to eating. 

Start by filling half of a nine-inch plate with non-starchy vegetables. Then, fill one quarter of your plate with whole grain or starchy foods and the remaining quarter of the plate with lean protein. The Diabetes Plate Method also includes fruit and low-fat dairy on the side, as your meal plan and calorie needs allow. Healthful fats are also key ingredients and can be used in any section of the plate for food preparation or as condiments. 

For those with diabetes and pre-diabetes hoping to learn more about nutrition, Trumbull Regional offers Diabetes Education, a self-management outpatient education program that is designed to educate, motivate and support people living with diabetes. The program provides health resources and strategies for successfully living with diabetes. Participants learn through one-on one instruction about important care topics such as meal planning by a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, glucose testing and insulin injections. The program is also recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in accordance with the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management and Education Programs.

Trumbull Regional’s inpatient diabetes program is the only hospital in the Mahoning Valley, one of five hospitals in Ohio and one of only 85 hospitals in the U.S. to earn Advanced Certification by The Joint Commission. 

For more information on Trumbull Regional’s diabetes programs, call 330-841-9689.