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Cancer Answers -- John Malinowski

Managing diabetes while undergoing cancer treatments can be a struggle. Let’s look at some healthy ways to help manage your diabetes or pre-diabetes. The national Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommend implementing a sound nutritional plan and an active lifestyle into your daily routine. The plate method is one way to help control your portions and manage proper ratios of the food groups.

What is the proper ration of food? Try these seven steps to get started:

- Using your dinner plate put a line down the middle of the plate. Then on one side, cut it again so you will have three sections on your plate

- Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, bean sprouts, cauliflower, celery, jicama, leeks, mushrooms, peppers or radishes

- Now in one of the small sections, put grains and starch foods like whole oats, brown rice, whole grain barley, whole rye, quinoa, millet, sorghum or wild rice. When choosing cereals pick those that have at least 3 grams of fiber and less than 6 grams of sugar

- In the other small section, put your proteins such as grilled fish, baked chicken or lean cuts of beef or pork. Try some meatless choices like cheeses, tofu, edamame, soy nuts, beans, split peas or black eyed peas

- Add a serving of fruit a serving of dairy, or both as your meal plan allows

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- Choose health fats in small amounts. For cooking, use oils. For salad, some nourishing additions are nuts, seeds, avocado and vinaigrettes

- To complete your meal add a low calorie drink like water or unsweetened tea

Most carbohydrates come from starches, fruit juices, milk and sweets. Try to limit carbohydrates with added sugars or those with refined grains, such as white bread and white rice. Instead eat carbohydrates from vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains or beans. Try not to drink sweetened drinks.

In addition to wise food choices, aerobic and anaerobic exercise included in our daily routine can help stabilize your blood sugars throughout the day and help manage your weight... As you know, being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many co-morbidities like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have some precautions to be aware of when exercising, so it is advised you check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. A certified fitness professional can help you develop a fitness plan to safely exercise on a consistent basis and live a healthy lifestyle.

Whether you have diabetes, pre-diabetes or are looking to prevent conditions we are here to help you. We would love for you to attend our next Health Eating and Activity Living (HEAL) class designed to empower you to live as healthy as you can on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. in Arroyo Grande (805-474-5300 for reservations), or Thursday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. in Santa Maria (805-219-4673 for reservations).

HAVE A QUESTION? This weekly column produced by Marian Regional Medical center Cancer Program invites you to submit your questions to “Your Cancer Answers” at the following email address: mariancancercare@dignityhealth.org

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