Dietician advises diabetics on grocery shopping for healthy meal - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Dietician advises diabetics on grocery shopping for healthy meals

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It's the season for eating things you're not supposed to -- and that's especially bad if you have diabetes.

That's why dietician Cynthia Chantlin, from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, took several people with diabetes on a shopping tripm on Wednesday. The trip was aimed at having tasty but healthy holiday meals.

Chantlin and the group met at Albertson's on Ryan Street and walked through the aisles while she shared her know how regarding labels and nutrition.

"When you go into the grocery store, it's very overwhelming when you walk in, because there are so many choices. So, it's really important that you understand how to do the label reading and what to look for. Folks with diabetes are definitely watching their carbs. The total carb number is so important, even more important than the sugar content," said Chantlin.

Portion size is everything. For example, a serving of a banana is only one half of the banana.

She said watching portion size allows one to enjoy treats such as ice cream, without busting the calorie and carbs plan. She said fiber is important. One "7 grain" bread may look healthier, but it can be misleading since another with whole grain actually has twice as much fiber.

Anita Gold said since she began following a diet for diabetics, she's lost gone from a size 12 back to a size eight.

"Ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes and had my training, I lost weight," said Gold.

She said food is just as good when you eat healthy.

"They are different foods and they are just as good. I love my chocolate, but you have to make good choices and you eat better and you feel healthier and you are happier," said Gold.

Chantlin agrees and said weight loss occurs naturally.

"If you are going all day long and only having one meal a day, we generally tend to be really, really hungry at that meal so you may tend to overdo it. When you do that, your body only uses the calories it needs at that time, and the rest is stored as fat. Whereas, if you're doing small portions and you're constantly spacing your meals, that's increasing your metabolism throughout the day, and so weight loss naturally occurs," said Chantlin.

She says many people would benefit if they followed a diabetic diet.

"If everyone followed the diabetic meal planning guidelines I don't know if I'd have a job necessarily because we would be much, much better off," said Chantlin.

For more of our interview with Chantlin, look for the web extra.

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