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November 18, 2009 > Diabetes: Learn How You Can Get the Upper Hand

Diabetes: Learn How You Can Get the Upper Hand

Diabetes Health Fair Features Physician Speakers, Dietitians, Vendors

Diabetes is a challenging disease, but with proper management and creativity, it doesn't have to be in the driver's seat.

To help community members take control of diabetes, on Saturday, Nov. 21, physician specialists, diabetes educators and dietitians from Washington Hospital will come together for a free Diabetes Health Fair to help educate community members about all aspects of diabetes.

The fair will feature physician speakers, including:
* Dr. Prasad Katta, a Washington Hospital medical staff endocrinologist, who will discuss keys to controlling diabetes
* Dr. Lucia Yumena, a Washington Hospital medical staff nephrologist, who will focus on keys to kidney health
* Dr. Ash Jain, a Washington Hospital medical staff cardiologist, who will emphasize the importance of controlling blood sugars in relation to heart health

The fair will also feature a variety of new product exhibits from vendors, including glucose meter companies, as well as screenings for blood sugar and blood pressure.

Making sound nutrition choices

The event's keynote speaker, Washington Hospital dietitian Lorie Roffelsen, R.D., will present: Keys to Healthy Eating: Eat This, Not That.

"I'm going to talk about how to take some traditional recipes and make them lower carb, lower sodium and just healthier in general," Roffelsen says. "People with diabetes don't have to eat different foods from their family and friends; there are other things that they can do. I've done a lot of talks on diabetes and wanted to go beyond the basics of diabetes management."

Some of the key nutrition topics Roffelsen will cover include:
* Adjusting portion size, which she says especially applies to desserts and starches at meals
* Modifying recipes by swapping ingredients to make the item lower in saturated fat or sodium
* What you can eat more of during a given meal
* Reinventing some classic dishes

"I want to show that you can take a fried chicken recipe and turn it into a crispy oven-baked version that is tasty, but much lower in saturated fat, carbohydrates and sodium," Roffelsen says. "Saturated fat, carbohydrates and sodium are the things we're trying to reduce in heart healthy and diabetic cooking to make it lighter overall."

A positive message

Roffelsen points out that the American Diabetes Association recognizes November as Diabetes Awareness Month.

"The theme this year is 'Stop Diabetes,' and I think one of the steps people can take is to learn about diabetes and the risk factors," she says. "Stopping diabetes means stopping the cycle of it. Diabetes runs in families, so there's a genetic component, but there is also a lifestyle component. Choosing a healthy lifestyle - including making the right food choices - is something that can reduce your risk."

Roffelsen says the message of the Diabetes Health Fair is an optimistic one and she wants attendees of the fair to walk away feeling motivated and enthusiastic.
"I'm hoping my talk ends up inspiring people not only to eat healthy but also to embrace food and not think they have to eat 'special foods' or avoid foods that have flavor and taste," she says. "I want the experience to be a positive one that gives them some good ideas. I'm going to say: 'There are so many options. You can try this, you can do this...' The goal is to have them leave with lots of ideas to try at home."

Live food demonstration

Roffelsen's talk will correspond to a live food demonstration presented by Washington Hospital dietitian Anna Mazzei, R.D., who will help illustrate that people with diabetes don't have to give up all the foods they love.

"I'm going to show how to make the most of your carbohydrates allowed at meals," Mazzei says.

Mazzei points out that she will be taking traditional favorites that many people with diabetes think they have to avoid and modify them to fit into a blood sugar friendly diet.

"I'm also trying to take into consideration convenience," she says. "Some people want to spend time in the kitchen, but it's important to keep it convenient. I also want people to feel open to trying different products that can help them expand their diet."

The Diabetes Health Fair at Washington Hospital will feature expert speakers, health screenings, product demonstrations from vendors and a live food exhibition with diabetes-friendly recipes. The fair will be held Saturday, Nov. 21, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

Due to strong interest, we cannot guarantee space at this time. Please call (800) 963-7070 to register and for more information.

General Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.

Cholesterol, Blood Sugar & A1C screenings will take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m.
Event Program (Speakers, Breakout Session, Food Demonstration): 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Important Note: You don't have to fast before the screenings.

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