HealthNotes: Blog Edition

Nutrition Awareness Month: Diabetes & Nutrition

March 7, 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30 million people – or 9.4% of the U.S. population – are living with diabetes, of which 23 million are diagnosed. Nearly 24% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed. Every 19 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes.

Proper nutrition plays an important role in managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With diabetes being one of the leading causes of chronic wounds, it is important that diabetics understand some of the key aspects of nutrition. Eating the right foods can help a wound heal.

About Chronic Wounds:

  • 6.7 million Americans suffer from a non-healing wound.
  • A wound that has not healed longer than 30 days is associated with 36-69% lower odds of healing.
  • 25% of people with diabetes will develop foot ulcers.
  • 15% of diabetic wounds will progress to amputation.
  • Foot ulcers precede 85% of lower-extremity amputations.
  • Ever hour, ten Americans undergo amputation due to diabetes.
  • Mortality rates 5 years after amputation are over 60%.

Staying Healthy: Nutrition and Physical Activity

What to Eat

A key to good nutrition is knowing what to eat and what not to eat. Fruit, non-starchy vegetables and fat-free dairy have a low glycemic index and provide key nutrients. The American Diabetes Association developed a list of diabetes superfoods including beans, leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, fish high in Omega-3, whole grains, nuts and fat-free milk and yogurt.


There are three types of carbohydrates: starches, sugars and fiber. A proper amount of carbohydrates can be good for anyone’s diet, but people with diabetes need to be especially careful with carb intake. Carbohydrates are directly related to blood glucose. The glycemic index measures how carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Foods can have a low, medium or high glycemic index. A food with a high glycemic index should be mixed with a low or medium glycemic index food.

Physical Activity

In addition to eating healthy, it is also important to live an active lifestyle if you have diabetes. Regular activity can help lower blood glucose. When you’re active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin so it can work more effectively. Physical activity can help with other health conditions and overall well-being.

To learn more, visit Frisbie’s Diabetes & Endocrine Center and the Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine

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