Mindful Eating and Type 2 Diabetes

Making simple changes could help save your life! 

Type 2 diabetes diagnoses are increasing at an alarming rate and for residents of Arkansas the number of people diagnosed is nearing an epidemic status; it’s projected that nearly one in three people will have the disease by 2050. But there’s good news: With proper diet and lifestyle choices, Type 2 Diabetes can be managed, reversed and avoided altogether. By incorporating mindful eating—and really thinking about what you put into your body—losing weight can happen naturally and more easily. Even by reducing your weight by 10%, you lower your A1C blood sugar by up to two points. Take control and save yourself from the dangerous disease that causes blindness, limb amputation, strokes, heart disease and death.

Howard Memorial Hospital recently became an American Diabetes Association Recognized Educator and we are the only provider with the credential in this region. As a certified educator, our Registered Dietician Denise Graves is the first step for patients needing to make a change and can offer support with diet and lifestyle changes before patients try medication. Denise believes in mindful eating. “It’s not about your diet, it’s about changing behaviors and teaching your mind to be a healthier eater,” she says.


How to incorporate a more mindful way of eating:

Slow down

  • It takes nearly 20 minutes for your brain to realize when your stomach is satisfied, so taking your time really prevents overeating. Chew each bite thoughtfully and slowly and sit down at a table, without the distractions of TV or electronic devices.

Only eat when you’re hungry

  • Temptation is everywhere and it’s easy to eat simply because something is there. Maybe there’s a treat at work, or a commercial made you want a certain food, but stop before you snack. You’ll be surprised by how often your mind is hungry, but your stomach is not. Let yourself feel the physical cues of hunger.

Eat what you enjoy

  • Depriving yourself of your favorites could set you for failure; you don’t have to label foods as good or bad. But when you choose foods that may be a bit more of a splurge, do so with moderation and let yourself really savor and enjoy what you eat. You can find healthy versions of your favorite foods or recipe inspiration on the Diabetes Food Hub.

Find a healthy diet 

  • If you’re looking for a better way to eat, the American Diabetes Association recommends eating foods that are lower in sodium and focus more on fruits, vegetables and less on animal proteins. Diets that fall into this category include the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH diet or a diet that is plant-based.

Don’t become a statistic of Type 2 Diabetes; take control of your eating and your health. Call Denise 870-845-4400 ext. 6935 for more information or to set up a consultation.


Posted in:  Health