|By Joe Torok|
Healthy appetites: Lite Delight
Standing in a small kitchen that resembled a set from a Food Network cooking program, Ruth Doughty stirred a pot of thick turkey chili last Tuesday night, as parmesan chive biscuits turned golden brown in the oven.
Doughty, an assistant with MSU Extension’s Nutrition Education Program for the last 10 years, was helping to lead a class for people living with type 2 diabetes held at the Extension’s office at the Ingham County Health Department on South Cedar Street in Lansing.
The "Lite Delight: Diabetes" class is designed to give instruction, recipes and samples for people living or caring for someone with type 2 diabetes. Millions of Americans live with the disease, which is often diagnosed in adulthood and characterized by abnormally high blood glucose levels.
While Doughty stirred the pot, dieti cian Carolyn Isenga explained the physiology of type 2 diabetes to a small group of students, contrasting bodily responses of someone with the disease with those of a healthy adult. "We’re not suggesting any individual meal plans or calorie levels," Isenga said, emphasizing the need for those with type 2 diabetes to stay in regular contact with their physician. "This is kind of a refresher course for people diagnosed at a hospital or by their doctors [who] haven’t had much information since."
At the beginning of class, Isenga explained how the blood of someone with type 2 diabetes becomes supersaturated with sugar from a poor diet and lack of exercise, negatively impacting blood vessels and circulation, especially the small capillary structures found in the eyes (vision loss is a common symptom of diabetes) and extremities of the hands and feet.
Four students listened attentively, occasionally consulting a folder of literature provided with the class. Isenga completed diagrams on flip chart paper, as beeps from a kitchen timer filled the air, along with the aroma of chili spices.
After an hour of instruction and questions, students sampled each of the four recipes prepared for the evening.
For information on future classes, contact Ingham County MSU Extension at (517) 887-4588 or cpkue@ingham. org.