Why is it a good idea for a diabetes patient to see a dietitian?

Shraddha Chaubey
Nutrition & Dietetics
Because a registered dietitian is trained to provide you science and evidence based information to help manage your diabetes more effectively.
Karen Graham
Nutrition & Dietetics

The good thing about diabetes (yes, there is a good thing about it) is that you have the ability to control it. That is not true with most diseases. Diabetes can easily be controlled with diet but you need the right advice. A dietitian will show you how to make the right food choices to keep your diabetes in check. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to numerous other heath problems and diet is an easy way to prevent that.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic
Nutrition & Dietetics

Diabetes is a long term condition that needs a team approach to managing it, and a registered dietitian is part of that team. A registered dietitian can help a person with diabetes learn how foods affect their blood sugar, and help them make food choices that will allow them the best control. A dietitian is not there to tell you what NOT to eat, but how to show you the best way to make your favorite foods fit. The dietitian can be your nutrition coach through the entire process.

Along with a registered dietitian, the team should include an endocrinologist, a certified diabetes educator, an exercise specialist, a podiatrist, as well as an opthalmologist. These folks can really help you make the best plan on how to manage this condition.

Lynn Grieger
Nutrition & Dietetics

Optimum diabetes self-management involves healthy eating, regular physical activity, stress management, and if necessary, taking medications. A dietitian can help you figure out the best way to structure your food choices to help you control your blood sugar levels, and can also help you reduce your risk of developing long-term complications of diabetes.

Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

Since food has a direct effect on your blood sugar and Registered Dietitians are the food & nutrition experts, it is very important that a diabetic patient meet with a dietitian on an ongoing basis. 

Registered Dietitians can assist diabetic clients in individualizing their meal plans and enhancing their quality of life. To find a Registered Dietitian in your area visit the eatright.org website and look for an RD specializing in Diabetes.

Dee Sandquist
Nutrition & Dietetics
The registered dietitian has more detailed information about how to eat and practical tips for daily challenges of eating with diabetes. They can help answer your questions with information you can use.
Constance Brown-Riggs
Nutrition & Dietetics

When it comes to diabetes, meal planning is one of the most difficult aspects to manage. “Stay away from sugar,”  “Lose some weight,” “Don’t eat fat,” “Eat smaller portions.” Sound familiar? Sure, it’s all good advice, but it can leave you confused and overwhelmed.

A registered dietitian (RD) can clear up your confusion, ease your fears and steer you in the right direction. An RD, especially one who has been trained as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), can help you understand how food affects your diabetes and how to make dietary modifications that will increase your overall health and wellness.

It's also a good idea to see an RD for:

  • A customized diabetes meal plan.
  • Assistance with carbohydrate counting.
  • Questions about food labels and basic nutrition principles.
  • Recipe makeovers – making diabetes friendly meals at home.
  • Assistance with strategies for eating on the run.
  • Information on the relationship between medication, activity, and diet.
  • Pros and Cons of herbal supplements and alternative diets.

To find an RD in your area visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org) and click on Find a Nutrition Professional.



    It is recommended that you see a dietitian whenever you are having problems reaching your blood glucose targets. It is a good idea to see a dietitian once a year even if you aren’t having problems with diabetes care. A registered dietitian is a member of your health care team who has training and expertise in food and nutrition. For both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, whether or not you take insulin or other medication, a balanced meal plan is critical to living well with diabetes. You and your dietitian can develop a meal plan that has food you enjoy and that will help you balance your food and exercise. You may want help in adapting your diet to special goals, such as losing weight, reducing dietary fat or sodium, or complementing a regular exercise program. Your dietitian can help ensure that your diet achieves these goals and that it accommodates your likes and dislikes, culture, schedule, and lifestyle.

    Continue Learning about Diabetes


    Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

    is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.