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Approximately 3.8 percent of the residents of Anderson County have been diagnosed with diabetes.
The national average is 7.8 percent. That makes Anderson County look good.
However, if you or your loved one has diabetes, then it doesn’t matter what the percentages are. It’s still a concern for you.
Whether you have been recently diagnosed or have had diabetes for a long time, the 12-week class on Taking Ownership of Your Diabetes will help you learn about living with and managing diabetes.
Treatment of diabetes has changed over the last four decades.
It was once common to severely restrict sugar and almost anything that was tasty was off the eating plan for someone with diabetes.
Meal planning is very different now. Almost anything can be eaten as long as it is in moderation. All carbohydrates count, not just sugars, when considering what you eat.
Some carbohydrates are better than others. A food that includes significant fiber is more beneficial than a food that is mostly starch or sugars.
Both are still carbohydrates.
So someone who eats bread instead of sweets isn’t really better off.
Sugar free isn’t what it seems either. Many sugar free foods are not calorie free or some aren’t even calorie reduced. If you read the labels for some sugar free foods, they contain more fat and more calories than the standard product, i.e. sugar free chocolate chip cookies or sugar free candy.
Instead of focusing exclusively on what you eat, it may be wise to consider how much you move such as how active you are. Increased activity is a valuable part of controlling diabetes for life.
Taking Ownership of Your Diabetes will help you or your loved one manage diabetes successfully. Each class is one hour long and includes the opportunity to sample delicious new recipes, which are only available to those who attend the class.
Each class will also include some activity. A separate walking program is also in the planning stages.
The one-hour classes are designed to fit into the weekly schedule for most adults and allow time for questions. Most likely your health care provider has discussed these subjects with you. However, recent surveys suggest that many patients don’t ask questions of the medical provider even when given the opportunity.
You will have many opportunities to ask questions and share your experience if you desire to.
Taking Ownership of Your Diabetes includes the following subjects: diabetes basics; managing diabetes; physical activity and diabetes; the ABC’s of diabetes-A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol; carbohydrate counting; plate method of managing meals; monitoring blood glucose; foot care; and working with your health care team.
Taking Ownership of Your Diabetes is a statewide health management program sponsored by the University of Kentucky Extension Service, the College of Agriculture and cooperating partners such as the Anderson County Health Department.
The 12-week program is free.
Register by calling the Anderson County Extension Office at 839-7271 or the Anderson County Health Department at 839-4551.
Joan Martin is a consumer and family sciences agent at the Anderson County Cooperative Extension office.