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Diabetes Support Group to Discuss Carb Counting, Meal Planning

WARE — Even though millions of people have diabetes, many people feel very much alone when they receive their diagnosis.

“Joining a diabetes support group can also help you gain a new outlook,” said Kelly Slattery, registered dietitian and nutrition educator at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. “Attending a support group and talking to other people with diabetes can offer fresh perspectives on something that may be troubling you, like meal planning, medications, or starting insulin.”

The Diabetes Support Group at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital meets on the first Thursday of each month from 5 to 6 p.m. in the hospital’s Main Conference Room, located on the second floor. However, due to the New Year’s holiday, this month’s meeting will be held this Thursday, Jan. 8.

“During our January meeting, we will discuss carbohydrate counting and menu planning,” Slattery said. Carb counting is a meal-planning technique that helps manage blood-glucose levels,” she added. “Finding the right amount of carbohydrates depends on many things, including how active you are and what, if any, medicines you take. Some people are active and can eat more carbohydrates. Others have to watch the amount of carbohydrates they eat more carefully.”

Foods that contain carbs include grains like rice, oatmeal, and barley; grain-based foods like bread, cereal, pasta, and crackers; starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn; fruit and juice; milk and yogurt; dried beans like pinto beans and soy products like veggie burgers; and sweets and snack foods like sodas, juice drinks, cake, cookies, candy, and chips. “Finding your carbohydrate balance is important so you can feel your best, do the things you enjoy, and lower your risk of diabetes complications,” Slattery said.

Diabetes Support Group meetings are open to community members who have diabetes, their families, and anyone who is interested in learning more about diabetes. Registration is not required. For more information, call Michelle Holmgren, Public Affairs specialist, at (413) 967-2296.

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