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Portsmouth center offers meal plans to curb diabetes

By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent

July 09. 2018 10:53PM




Jessica LaFleur (Courtesy of Portsmouth Regional Hospital)

PORTSMOUTH — The director of bariatrics at New Hampshire Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Center in Portsmouth says diabetic patients can reduce their dependence on insulin with a proper meal plan.

“By controlling what you eat, you can control how much medicine you take,” said Jessica LaFleur.

LaFleur said staff at the weight loss center helps patients track what they are consuming and develop a plan that controls carbohydrates while replacing them with more whole grains and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.

“I have patients track what they’re eating because if you don’t see what you are eating, you don’t know what you are consuming,” LaFleur said.

LaFleur said it is important to go through the process with the help of a medical professional.

“When losing weight and changing eating habits, you don’t want your blood sugars to drop too much,” LaFleur said.

For those who need additional help, the hospital does offer a 12-week weight management program which includes protein shakes, bars and soup.

“This is an option for those who really struggle with all the options in the supermarkets and restaurants,” LaFleur said.

According to officials at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the state. More than 9 percent of the adult population has been diagnosed and just under 7 percent of New Hampshire adults have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

Nationally, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 30.3 million people have diabetes. It is estimated that 23.1 million are diagnosed, while the remaining 7.2 million are undiagnosed.


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