Dr. Nadeau is an accomplished physician who brings extensive experience
to the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center as Program Director, Dr.
Kris V. Iyer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Care and Endocrinologist at Hoag
Medical Group . While he has many areas of interest, the majority of his
recent work, research, and lectures focus on diabetes, obesity, and nutrition.
Being diagnosed with
diabetes does not mean that you can't enjoy some of your favorite foods and
tasty treats. It can be as simple as using healthy alternatives, such
as Truvia, meat alternatives, almond milk and whole grains. One important
first step for successful diabetes management is to become informed about
how certain foods affect blood sugar levels and create a nutrition plan
with your diabetes care team.
There is no special diet for people with diabetes. All of us with diabetes,
and even those without the condition, should try to have a healthy diet:
a colorful, whole food, mainly plant-based diet. A family can sit together
and enjoy fabulous foods and not worry about eating ‘special’ foods.
It’s important, however, to know the best and worst foods from each
food group and how they impact those with diabetes.
If someone has
type 1 diabetes, for example, it is especially important to be able to estimate carbohydrates,
and for everyone with diabetes to be sure that those carbohydrates are
unrefined and from whole foods. Refined carbohydrates (e.g. white flour,
white sugar and foods made from them) are associated with a higher risk
The American Diabetes Association considers a number of foods “diabetes
super foods.” These tend to be low on the glycemic index (they do
not increase blood sugar as much as other foods) and are chock full of
beneficial nutrients. These super foods include:
Beans: Kidney, pinto, navy or black beans provide 1/3 of your daily fiber requirement
in only ½ cup. They’re high in fiber and also good sources
of magnesium and potassium.
Dark leafy greens: Spinach, collards, and kale contain few calories and carbohydrate and
provide a good dose of vitamins A and C.
Citrus fruit: Grapefruit, oranges, lemon and limes pack soluble fiber and are loaded
with vitamin C.
Other super foods include sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, fish high
in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon (not breaded or fried), whole grains
and nuts. Best protein choices include dried beans, lentils, nuts, fish
and seafood, poultry, eggs and lean meats.