The Woodward News

January 9, 2014

Diet is often key to dealing with diabetes

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Diet is key when it comes to controlling diabetes.

But for newly diagnosed diabetics, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to start making the necessary dietary changes.

That's why area OSU Extension Centers have teamed up to offer a free course on “Dining With Diabetes” over the next 3 weeks.

“There's a large number of people who are diagnosed every day with diabetes,” said Rhonda DeVor with the Woodward County OSU Extension Center. “And it can be easy for doctors to say, 'well, you're now diagnosed with diabetes,' but then send those people home and they don't know what to do next.”

Through the “Dining With Diabetes” course, DeVor said she hopes area diabetics will learn what they can do to have a healthy diet and control their disease.

“It's important what you choose for your diet and physical activity and knowing how those 2 work together to keep your blood sugars under control,” she said.

With that in mind, she said, “our goal for the course is for people to know what foods they can eat or what substitutions they can make in their diets.”

And they won't just be talking about healthy foods, participants will also get to taste some samples of these foods.

“They will be given snacks of various things at each meeting and at the end, everyone will be given a cookbook with recipes for all the things they'll sample throughout,” DeVor said.

In addition to food choices, DeVor said the programs will also cover other diet issues as well as tips for incorporating physical activity and exercise.

“We'll talk about all those important things to keeping diabetes under control,” she said.

Classes are set for Jan. 14, Jan. 21, and Jan. 28 beginning at 5:30 p.m. each Tuesday evening.  Each class will last about an hour.

The classes will be held at the fairgrounds in Shattuck, since the course is being offered in cooperation with the Ellis County OSU Extension Center. But it is open to residents of both Ellis and Woodward counties as well as others from the surrounding area.

“It's open to the public to anyone who wants to attend,” DeVor said.

And it is offered free of charge, but those who are attending are urged to sign-up for the course in advance. To register, simply contact either the Ellis County Extension Center at (580) 885-7775 or the Woodward County Extension Center at (580) 254-3391 before 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13.

“We have the prerequisite that they sign up with one of the 2 offices so that we have a good accounting of how many will be in attendance so nobody gets shortchanged on the food items and the handouts we'll be presenting in the classes,” DeVor said.

She said they definitely want to make sure there is enough food samples for everyone because the organizers want people to realize that a diabetic diet doesn't have to mean food with no flavor.

“A lot of times if you tell someone to use a sugar substitute or something like that, then they have it in their heads that they can't cook with that or it won't taste right. But if we can give them samples, then they might see that it's not so bad,” she said.