For those living with diabetes, proper nutrition is an effective way to reduce their A1C levels and better manage their chronic condition. That’s why UM Charles Regional Medical Center for Diabetes Education is offering the new Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) program as a critical component of our diabetes education and management services. The program is a nutrition-based treatment provided by a registered dietitian and is designed to support patients in their diabetes management. The program was established to aid in the expansion of services available to those with prediabetes or diabetes in Charles County.
Jocelyne Loran, RD, LDN, CDCES, is UM Charles Regional’s Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, and she has developed and will be administering the MNT program. Born and raised in the region, Loran has been a registered dietitian for over five years with previous experience as an inpatient clinical dietitian at a trauma center. She also has experience as an outpatient dietitian and diabetes educator counseling patients in gestational diabetes, diabetes self-management, prediabetes, bariatric nutrition, diabetes nutrition, and weight management.
The MNT program was established with funds from the HSCRC Regional Partnership Catalyst Grant, which supports diabetes prevention, education, and self-management training programs.
What the Program Covers
Due to the knowledge and experience gained by specializing in nutrition and diabetes care and education, Loran is able to work with patients to individualize their care and help them achieve their health goals. All patients eligible for MNT undergo an initial nutrition assessment. Based on the medical history and specific needs of the patient, the appropriate nutrition education and counseling are provided to help with the management of diabetes while also considering the control of other potential comorbidities (heart disease, obesity, etc.). Patients set specific goals and are able to measure their progress at subsequent visits. There is a plan to establish group classes for nutrition in the near future.
Why Proper Nutrition Matters
Managing blood sugar is the key to living well with diabetes, and eating well is essential to managing blood sugar. But what does it mean to eat well? Simply put, eat healthy foods in the right amounts at the right times, so your blood sugar stays in your target range as much as possible.
That is often easier said than done. For many, working to maintain a stable blood sugar number can lead them to cutting out certain foods, eating other kinds exclusively, overeating, undereating, eating too often, or not eating enough. Also, the ability to process certain foods better than others can vary dramatically from person to person. This shows why there is no standard blueprint for “proper nutrition” for diabetes patients. That is why the MNT program exists. It’s coming up with a plan for people to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the foods they love.
“All foods can fit when enjoyed in moderation. It is a balancing act. It is important to incorporate foods that you typically enjoy while also adjusting your dietary habits to live a healthier lifestyle,” Loran says.
If you would like to learn more about managing your diabetes and your diet, please contact UM Charles Regional Medical Center for Diabetes Education at 301-609-5444.