We were lucky enough to get in touch with diabetes educator and registered dietician Whitney Stuart, that's passionate about diabetes education. Learn how her journey with celiac disease shifted her perspective about healthcare and diabetes education. She also shared some of her best tips for starting a low-sugar diet and prepping some of our favorites with gluten-free ingredients.
What inspired you to become an RD?
Well, in the beginning, I thought I wanted to do OBGYN. After a diagnosis of celiac, I realized how involved I could be and how much of a difference I can make by serving patients one on one and I wanted more bedside manner. So, I changed my degree to pre-med and nutrition to be more focused on how I could serve others and dietary interventions.
What do you think is the most misunderstood part of a diabetic friendly diet?
The really interesting thing about a diabetic diet is that oftentimes we just look at low carb, and we would completely remove all the nutrients that we need in our diet. So, with my patients, we're still looking at a really nutrient rich diet full of vitamins and minerals and real food. We're just changing the way that we put those foods into our bodies, the proportion and looking at glycemic control. Overall, we don't have to do it with only processed foods or only packaged foods, we still get to utilize fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds just in a different way with a little bit more education.
What is your favorite low sugar nutrition “hack?”
I tell my patients first of all to avoid “lonely carbs”. This means if you want your normal fruit, or your normal snack or cracker that you usually eat, I just want you to cover it with a fat or protein. This slows down digestion absorption, slows the impact on your blood sugar and improves and glycemic control at that mealtime and helps with your hunger signals.
What is something every person starting a low sugar diet should know?
Something every person should know when they're starting to low sugar diet. One is that sugar is not the only thing that raises your blood sugar. When we look at sugar, we really want to look at carbohydrate because we see that starches, milk, fruit, fructose, and lactose. Those other things besides just sugar, cane sugar can also raise our blood sugar and companies are so strategic now about utilizing sneaky words other than sugar to convince us that it's not sugar, but it is.
What product on Tastermonial stands out to you as a game changer?
One of the products that really sticks out to me is the uplift foods, gut health cookies, y'all these tastes amazing. And they're also shameless plug made by a dietitian.
What is your favorite Gluten Free nutrition “hack?”
My favorite gluten free nutrition hack is to remember that just because you're eating gluten free doesn't mean that you have to eat something that says “gluten free”. Unbelievable. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. That sounds so simple, but fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, and eggs, all those things are naturally gluten free.
What advice would you give to someone beginning a Gluten Free diet?
My advice for someone just starting on a gluten free diet is very similar to the last question, I still want you to focus on real foods. Think about the addition of foods that you're adding to your diet that you can add to your diet and not focusing on the foods that you have to restrict and avoid we can really focus on an addition mindset to make sure that we're still getting lots of variety within our diet.
What is your favorite Gluten Free dish / dessert?
A favorite gluten free dish or dessert of mine, I'm a big fan of coconut milk ice cream, it is my favorite go to because I also have to avoid dairy. And the other one is gluten free gingersnaps. I have a really hard time finding these but when I do man, they are delicious.
What are some of your Gluten Free cooking or baking tips?
Some of my favorite gluten free cooking hacks is that do not think that you can replace wheat flour one to one with any kind of gluten free flour. You want to find a recipe and really a recipe developer that focuses on gluten free knows what they're doing and isn't just creating a random blog post that may not be true. I've run into this problem and I don't want you to have the same. So, some of my favorites online I always look for like paleo or celiac or someone who knows what they're doing. I like using a mix of almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour and making sure that the measurements are there and that I don't have to do any conversion. If I'm doing a conversion, it's probably not going to turn out.
If you want to know more about Whitney Stuart, find her at her instagram as @whitnessnutrition
Q&A with RDN and Diabetes Educator, Whitney Stuart was found first at Tastermonial.