Diet Detective Classic

Dear Diet Detectives, I was recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes, I want to make a change but I am always busy with school and work. I am stressed and the only question that has been on my mind is “What should I do now?” How can I balance regular exercising and healthy eating while running on a busy schedule? – Heather T.

Well Heather, take a breather; there is no reason you need to be stressing. Type II diabetes isn’t a death sentence. It just requires some lifestyle modifications, and you taking the initiative of wanting to eat healthy and exercise is the first step.

The second step is to understand why these changes are crucial for you. One thing that is not recommended is for someone to completely change their diet. Instead, try substituting current food choices for healthier options. When snacking, the number one rule is to avoid excessive carbohydrate and sugar consumption. Make your snacks high in protein, high in fiber, and low in added sugars. See the list at the end of this article for healthy snack ideas.

Exercising is a free drug that we can all use as much as we want. Regular physical activity done for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week can help lower blood glucose, and cholesterol levels. Remember that any movements and activities you do will help you gain steps and will count as your exercise for the day. If after all this you are still feeling confused, stressed, depressed, or feeling any sort of emotion, just know that you are not alone and that there are places that you can go to for advice.

For example, the American Diabetes Association can help answer questions, give you tips, and help you get in touch with others who have also felt this way. Also,
ask your doctor for a referral to a Registered Dietitian or a Registered Dietetic Technician to help you with meal planning. In the meantime, here are a few snack idea options. But don’t limit yourself to these.

Healthy Snack Ideas
• 1 cup Greek Yogurt with 1⁄4 cup berries
• 1⁄2 cup almonds

• 1 Sliced apple with 2 tbsp peanut butter

• 1 cup air-popped popcorn
• 1⁄2 cup trail mix
• Vegetables sticks and 5 tbsp

• 6 whole wheat crackers
• 1 stick of string cheese
• 1 tbsp almond butter on
celery sticks
• 1⁄2 cup blueberries

Quick ways to stay active
• Take the stairs
• Park your vehicle farther away and walk to your destination
• Use breaks to go for a 5-10 minute walk

• Track your steps and set personal goals

• Doing simple chores around the house like moving, shoveling, etc.

• Days off? Add a 30-60-minute workout to your day
• Stand and stretch for a minute once per hour

Have a case for the Diet Detective? Send an email to [email protected] or corner of your friendly dietetics students at the West Allis campus.