By Sujatha Stephen  on: 16 August 2013
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A good and honest communiqué with your dietitian is the key to making your diet and lifestyle changes work for you.

Make the most of your dietitian’s visit with these ten helpful tips.

#1.How does my current diet, and lifestyle pattern affect my health?

It is important to know why certain dietary changes have been made to your current meal pattern. This helps you stick to your diet regime for a longer period.

#2.How will this consultation help me achieve my goals?

Discussing this ensures you know how it’s all going to work for you.

#3.Do remember to discuss and set your health goals with your dietitian. Then do ask, ‘when will I see the results?’

We often expect results overnight.
A good healthy diet on the other hand is your slow medicine.

Setting realistic goals in accordance with your dietitian, guarantees you won’t be tempted to do anything unhealthy or push yourself to achieve unrealistic targets.
Especially if you are on a weight loss or gain program, make sure you know how much you would lose or gain in a week.

#4.What should I do if I am not able to follow what you have prescribed? Can I contact you again?

A well planned evidence based diet and lifestyle on paper won’t work for you, if you don’t follow what’s in it.
So, make sure, you are able to follow it or else request for a revision.
Remember, if you can’t follow it, it’s like a prescription from a doctor, but you never really ate the tablet!

#5.Is exercising indispensable for me?

Although, any dietitian would say it is absolutely crucial, it leaves an impact when you hear it from the horse’s mouth! Do chat about how comfortable you are with the exercises prescribed and what could be your alternatives.

#6.An absolute essential question is to find out if the prescribed diet is a balanced combination of carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals?

You may be given different proportion of these, depending on your condition, however, if a particular nutrient is skipped, you ought to reason out why? For eg: Skipping carbohydrates is a rage in current weight loss diets and is not recommended at all.

#7.If you are prescribed supplements or protein powders, make sure you find out why?

Is it because you don’t meet your requirements through your diet or is it because you have an increased need for it? If you aren’t meeting your requirements through the diet, reason out why you can’t meet it through diet alone!

#8.Will the prescribed meal and exercise pattern have an interaction with your current medication? 

Discuss in detail how your prescribed diet will have an impact on the dosage and timings of your medication.

#9.Never visit a dietitian for a temporary or a miracle fix! Though healthy changes to your meal and exercise pattern should become a lifetime habit, but if you have certain medical conditions, your diet will be planned for the condition?

In such a case, one your condition is better, do discuss with your dietitian, which of her instructions you should be following for the lifetime!

#10. Do make sure you visit a qualified dietitian who is registered with the Indian Dietetic Association or a qualified sports nutritionist.

It is important for your well being that you get evidence based information that doesn’t harm your health.

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Eating Right is the key to managing diabetes. Some foods have a bigger impact on your blood sugar than others. Knowing which ones are the best for keeping blood sugar levels steady is especially important when you have diabetes, but it\'s a good idea for everyone. Your dietary goal is to choose foods that help keep your blood sugar level on an even keel. That typically means whole, minimally processed foods. Here are 10 of the best foods that stabilize -- or even lower -- your blood sugar so you can better manage your diabetes. #1. VEGETABLES. Packed with powerhouse nutrients, vegetables are naturally low in calories, and they\'re full of fiber, so they\'re plenty filling.  #2. . FRUITS Best of all, fruit is loaded with antioxidants that help protect your nerves, your eyes, and your heart.  Choose whole produce over juice. Many of the nutrients and a lot of the fiber are found in the skin, flesh, and seeds of fruit, so they’re lost during juicing, and more of the calories and sugar remain.  #3. BEANS.  Beans are just about your best source of dietary fiber, which not only makes you feel full longer, it actually slows digestion and keeps blood sugar from spiking after a meal.  This effect is so powerful that it can even lower your overall blood sugar levels.  #4. CEREALS  Quinoa is a super grain for many reasons: It’s one of the few non-animal proteins that\'s considered a \"complete protein\" in that it has all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build protein molecules.  Even better, all those benefits come with very little impact on your blood sugar level.  It\'s easy to add quinoa to meals. Try using it in place of white rice as a side. The right breakfast cereal is your absolute best opportunity to pack more fiber into your day.  Top your cereal with fruit and you\'ve checked off a fruit serving for the day. #5. FISH Fish is a good source of protein, and a great substitute for higher-fat meats. People with diabetes often have high triglycerides and low levels of HDL, the \'good\' cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve both numbers.  Aim to eat fish at least twice a week. Excellent sources of omega-3s are salmon, mackerel, and tuna. #6. LENTILS Lentils are smart legumes when managing your blood sugar.  Lentils are also packed with both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.  Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like consistency during digestion, which slows absorption of the sugar molecules in the starch.  #7.NUTS Nuts have several things going for them -- and for you. They\'re loaded with \'good\' fats that fight heart disease.  These fats have even been shown to help reduce insulin resistance and make blood sugar easier to control. Nuts are also one of the best food sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells and may help prevent nerve and eye damage.  They are rich in fiber and magnesium, both of which may help regulate your blood sugar.  #8.OLIVE OIL   Olive oil is also incredibly versatile. It\'s appropriate for anything from salads to sautés.  Best of all, it slows absorption of the carbohydrates it\'s paired with for a healthier glycemic load overall. #9.YOGURT Yogurt is rich in protein and another weight loss powerhouse: calcium.  Several studies have shown that people who eat plenty of calcium-rich foods have an easier time losing weight -- and are less likely to become insulin resistant.  #10.CINNAMON Believe it! Amazingly, just by sprinkling cinnamon on your foods, you could lower your blood sugar.  Components in cinnamon help the body use insulin more efficiently, so more glucose can enter cells. A recent study found that in people with diabetes, just 1/2 teaspoon a day can significantly lower blood sugar levels. So go ahead and add powdered cinnamon to your whole wheat toast, oatmeal, baked apples, or even chicken dishes. Or soak a cinnamon stick in hot water to make a soothing and curative cup of cinnamon tea. Reaching your blood glucose targets hardly requires some efforts which are of course worth it.  Maintain your sugar levels with Healthy Diet  Never Skip your meal , avoid large gaps between meals : else you might get hypoglycemic  Avoid to much of sugar , candies , sweets , rice ... If you wanna have , have them but in moderation ... Moderation is the key to good health  Along with Diet , practice Yoga or indulge in exercise : Get Active in your entire day  People with Diabetes suffer from Diabetic Foot : If you have diabetes always take proper care of your foot and keep your foot and surroundings hygienically clean   
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Sujatha    Stephen

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Nutritionist/ Dietician in Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad, India 

Hi, my name is Sujatha Stephen . Starting out as a science graduate, I wasn't sure what direction to go in. I knew I wanted to help people with their overall health, but I didn't know how to choose a specific group of people.  The more confused I became as I thought about the specific medical direction I wanted to go into. As I attended a seminar on health and nutrition in my junior year, the answer finally came to me ... the basis of good health is proper nutrition!!! At that moment I knew I didn't have to choose a specific group of people to help. I could help everyone with preventative measures through diet and nutrition! From that point on, I was hooked on learning everything I possibly could about human nutrition. I truly believe that proper nutrition is the basis of good health and can be a preventative of many chronic illnesses, along with good fitness habits. My passion for nutrition and fitness has expanded throughout the years.  Now, I am on a mission to help as many people as I possibly can live healthier and happier lives. 
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