Your best ally in the fight against diabetes

Here’s a shocker: I just read a study that actually admitted that there are benefits to working with a qualified nutritionist if you’re diabetic or are at risk of diabetes. Of course I’ve been saying this for years. But it’s nice to see research echo it.

This study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, noted: “Continued increases in the incidence of diagnosed diabetes combined with declining mortality have led to an acceleration of lifetime risk and more years spent with diabetes… These findings mean that there will be a continued need for health services and extensive costs to manage the disease, and emphasize the need for effective interventions to reduce incidence.”

Thanks, Captain Obvious. I’ll be honoring that statement with my weekly “Duh” Award.

This finding led a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to note: “Research has shown that weight loss through moderate diet changes and physical activity plays a significant role in preventing or delaying diabetes and its complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems. A registered dietitian nutritionist is one of your best resources for developing a plan to make these lifestyle changes.”

OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Kind of.

The spokesperson continued: “…aregistered dietitian nutritionist[RDN] can create an eating plan tailored just for you, taking into account your weight, medicines, lifestyle and other health problems you may have. The expert advice of an RDN can help you manage your diabetes while ensuring you get the nutrients your body needs.”

This all sounds great, of course. But here’s where I want to step in, waving a huge “Proceed with Caution” sign.

While this is, in theory, an extremely valid point, I need to stress that it’s absolutely critical you work with someone who REALLY knows good nutrition. Not just someone authorized by a huge insurance company—who doesn’t venture beyond the antiquated nutrition model and couldn’t tell good fat from bad if it tapped them on the shoulder.

Why do I mention insurance companies? Well, the above spokesperson goes on to say this: “Check with your insurance plan for specific medical nutrition therapy coverage details.” Riiight. Because insurance companies are such nutrition experts. They probably think gummy bears are a food group.

My recommendation is to find certified clinical nutritionist (CCN), rather than a dietician. Check the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists for a qualified CCN in your area. I’m the president of this organization, and personally vouch for the quality of recommended providers.

I’m aware that not everyone can afford a CCN. But I would encourage you to look into it—especially if you have diabetes or are at risk. Not only is it a priceless investment in your healthy future, but it could also save mounting medical bills later.

In the meantime, you can rest assured that, at the very least, you’ve got me to give you qualified expert advice. And I’ll continue to help you make positive steps to a healthy future every day.


“Trends in lifetime risk and years of life lost due to diabetes in the USA, 1985–2011: a modelling study.” The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70161-5

“New study on diabetes risk emphasizes value of registered dietitian nutritionists in treatment and prevention,” ScienceDaily, 8/14/14(