COLUMN: Local dietitians provide advice for managing diabetes


A diagnosis of diabetes can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be, say dietitians, who have also suggested a healthy recipe to try.

The following article was submitted by Brittany McMullan and Jodi Robinson, Registered Dietitians at Zehrs in Orillia.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of diabetes risk factors and management and encourage members of the Orillia community to make healthy lifestyle changes.

In Canada, 11.5 million people are currently living with or are at risk for diabetes. Unfortunately, complications from diabetes have increased since the start of the pandemic. In fact, new data from Shoppers Drug Mart shows a 17% increase in the number of new patients filling prescriptions for diabetes by period compared to 2019 and 2021.

When left unmanaged, the excess blood sugar that causes diabetes can eventually cause problems and lead to serious health complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness. , limb amputation and depression. It can be overwhelming to think about it, but believe it or not, small lifestyle changes can have a big impact.

Small nutritional changes – You don’t need to drastically change your diet to have a positive impact on managing your diabetes. Smart nutritional choices, like the options below, can better control your blood sugar.

  1. At mealtimes, use the “balanced plate method” as a guide. Try to keep your plate full of ½ non-starchy vegetables, ¼ protein foods, and ¼ whole grain carbohydrates.
  2. Incorporate more whole foods into your diet instead of processed foods, which often contain higher amounts of sugar and sodium. A good way to do this is to prepare your meals at home, rather than dining out.
  3. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you should avoid sugar altogether! All foods can be part of a healthy diet. Just try to enjoy sweeter snacks in small doses.

Stay active – Exercise can seem daunting, but the good news is something as simple as taking a walk, or even dancing, can have a big impact on managing diabetes. According to Diabetes Canada, just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, five times a week, can slow or even prevent the progression of diabetes. Physical activity generally helps lower high blood sugar levels, thereby helping insulin to work better.

Maintaining blood sugar – Monitoring your blood sugar is an important part of managing your diabetes and preventing complications. It’s much easier to make lifestyle changes when you know if your blood sugar is too high or too low. If you need help, contact your local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist who can help you set up the test and show you how to use it.

A diagnosis of diabetes can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. As Orillia Local Dietitians at Zehrs, we’re here to support you and help you improve your overall well-being through personalized nutrition services. To discuss your unique needs, make an appointment at

Here’s a healthy recipe to try!

Indian salad of cauliflower and chickpeas with spices


  • 1 large cauliflower and cut into 1-inch florets (about 11 cups)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of garam massala
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups baby spinach, wrapped
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts

How to do

Arrange the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 ° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine cauliflower, onion and chickpeas in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, garam masala, turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetable mixture. Mix until well blended and divide between the baking sheets.

Bake for 35 minutes, inverting the baking sheets up and down halfway through cooking, or until the vegetables are golden and softened. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard and 4 teaspoons of water.

Place the roasted vegetables in a bowl. Add the spinach; mix to combine. Transfer to a dish; drizzle with yogurt dressing. Garnish with cilantro and pine nuts.


Leave A Reply