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Frequently Asked Questions

How can food choices help keep my heart and blood vessels healthy?

Diabetes increases your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke. But you can protect your heart and blood vessels by:

  • Eating less of the foods that raise your blood cholesterol and your chances of heart disease
  • Eating more of the foods that lower your cholesterol and your chances of heart disease

Choosing foods wisely can also help you lose weight and keep your blood glucose (sugar) levels on target.

How can I make wise food choices?

Try these steps to help protect your heart and blood vessels:

  • Eat less fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, and fewer high-cholesterol foods. Saturated fat is found in meat, poultry skin, butter, 2% or whole milk, ice cream, cheese, lard and shortening. You'll also want to cut back on foods that contain palm oil or coconut oil.
  • Avoid trans fats. Trans fats are produced when liquid oils are turned into solids. This process is called hydrogenation. Cut back on foods that list hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils on the labels. This type of fat is found in crackers and snack foods, baked goods like cookies and donuts, french fries, and stick margarine. Use a soft margarine in place of butter or stick margarine. Look for soft margarine in a tub that lists a liquid oil such as corn, safflower, soybean, or canola oil as the first ingredient.
  • Watch your cholesterol. Egg yolks and organ meats such as liver are high in cholesterol. Check the Nutrition Facts and the list of ingredients on food labels.
  • Choose fats that can help lower your cholesterol. If you use cooking oil, choose olive oil or canola oil. Nuts have a healthy type of fat as well. Corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil also protect your heart. However, all oils, nuts, and fats are high in calories. If you're trying to lose weight, you'll want to keep servings small.
  • Have fish two or three times a week. Albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, rainbow trout, sardines and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that may help lower blood fat levels and prevent clogging of the arteries.
  • Use special cholesterol-lowering margarine. Having two to three tablespoons of a cholesterol- lowering margarine every day can lower your cholesterol. These margarines contain plant stanols or plant sterols, ingredients that keep cholesterol from being absorbed. You'll find several types at the grocery store in the margarine section.
  • Cook with less fat. You can cut down on total fat by broiling, microwaving, baking, roasting, steaming or grilling foods. Using nonstick pans and cooking sprays instead of cooking with fat also helps.
  • Eat more foods high in fiber. Foods high in fiber may help lower blood cholesterol. Fiber also can prevent problems with the digestive system such as constipation. Oatmeal, oat bran, dried beans and peas (such as kidney beans, pinto beans and black-eyed peas), fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber.
  • Include more soy protein in your meals and snacks. Replacing foods high in saturated fat with soy-containing foods may help lower your cholesterol. Foods with soy protein includez; soybeans, tofu, miso, tempeh, soy nuts, soy milk, textured soy protein, soy protein powder, and items that are made from soybeans, such as burgers.
  • Limit your alcoholic beverage consumption. Drinking light to moderate amounts of alcohol is associated with a low risk of heart disease, perhaps by raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels. There isn't enough information to recommend that people who don't drink should start drinking alcohol to reduce heart risk. But, for those who do drink alcohol, one serving daily for women and up to two servings daily for men have been associated with good health. Drinking more than one or two drinks a day isn't helpful; it contributes unnecessary calories and may actually raise your blood pressure and triglycerides. In addition, it can cause other health problems. It's best to discuss drinking alcohol with your health care provider to find out if it might be helpful.

Why should you become involved with the diabetes program?

Knowledge is power. The more you know about diabetes, the better equipped you’ll be to address your condition and lead a quality life. The CHC Learning Center is dedicated to having each participant achieve individual success through an established Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) Program. You’ll learn how to prevent or reduce your risk for complications such as extremity amputations and heart attacks.

Being proactive about your diabetes knowledge will truly benefit you throughout your life.

What does the Learning Center’s Diabetes program include?

  • An initial consultation with a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES is the new acronym) and a Registered Dietitian
  • Small group classes or individual instruction available to meet your needs in an informal setting
  • Individual follow-up to help direct and enhance your management program

Class and follow-up determined individually - up to 10 hours instruction.

Certified Diabetes Educators are current with changes in diabetes care practices and accessible to program participants.

Diabetes won’t just go away, but it can be successfully controlled. The CHC Diabetes Learning Center is here to help.

To start: Call us at 252-499-6689 or have your physician refer you to the program.

Physician’s referrals should be sent to:
CHC Diabetes Learning Center
3500 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
Phone: 252-499-6689

Carteret Health Care’s Diabetes Program has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Quality Self-Management Education*.

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