Do I need to see a dietitian if I have diabetes?

Roberta Anding
Nutrition & Dietetics
With either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a registered dietitian is an essential part of your treatment team. Look for an RD with who specializes in diabetes often indicated by the initials "CDE" after their name. You should also see an RD if you have prediabetes! According to the Diabetes Prevention Program, lifestyle interventions (diet and exercise) can reduce the converstion from prediabetes to diabetes by 58%! This is more effective than prescription medications!
Melissa Joy Dobbins
Nutrition & Dietetics
A registered dietitian has the knowledge and expertise to help you manage your diabetes through healthy eating, regular exercise, blood sugar monitoring and medication therapy, if needed. While other members of your diabetes team are also important, a registered dietitian is the only one with extensive training in how food affects your blood sugar and your overall health. Working with a dietitian can help you acheive your diabetes management goals and still eat the foods you want to enjoy.
Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics

When I see clients with diabetes, I notice that the majority comes with a lot of misinformation and confusion about their diets. It would be a wise decision to see a registered dietitian who will explain how eating certain foods will affect your blood sugars. He/she will also provide you with a meal plan that will help you meet your nutrient needs and avoid future medical complications. It is vital to maintain adequate blood glucose or sugar levels to achieve or maintain optimum health.  

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics
Since diet plays a crucial role in managing diabetes effectively, it is very wise to meet with a dietitian if you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes. A registered dietitian can explain how foods effect your blood sugar and how to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

You may feel that you don’t really need a dietitian. Maybe you’ve seen sample meal plans recommended for people with diabetes that look easy enough to use. But remember, your meal plan is not a short-term diet that you can follow for a few weeks. You are developing a new way of eating that will stay with you throughout your life.

A dietitian can help tailor a meal plan to suit your tastes and schedule. As you reach goals or your lifestyle changes, you can remodel your plan to suit these changes. Products change, your life and health needs change, and you change. As these events occur, your dietary goals will change, and you will probably need a new plan.

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.