Nutritional Counseling for Diabetes Patients - What You Need to Know

chronic care clinical topics diabetes interviews Jan 31, 2023
This is an image of two women smiling in a light pink background with the text Nutritional Counseling For Diabetes Patients

Diabetes might be one of the most challenging chronic conditions to manage. It definitely requires a lot of partnership between provider and patient; you may find yourself spending more time with your diabetic patient than any other group of patients in your practice. It is a very dynamic condition that can vary a lot, both for the individual patient as well as among all the diabetic patients that you work with. This variation can make it very challenging for Nurse Practitioners, even seasoned ones.

One of the first things to address with diabetic patients is diet. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a very complex subject, and one that Nurse Practitioners often don’t learn a lot about in school. Add to that the fact that there is a ton of information available to patients about diet – some of which may be not so accurate – and it can be really easy to get really overwhelmed in the visit.

A simple solution would be to refer the patient to a Registered Dietitian, but many of us either don’t have access to one, or have long wait time before the patient can be seen – meanwhile, the patient needs quality advice about diet and nutrition now.

How To Use Nutrition As Part Of Overall Diabetes Management

We talked with Nurse Practitioner and Registered Dietitian, Meghan Kavanaugh, about her work with diabetic patients. The interview was such a hit that we brought her back again to answer all of your questions about the nutritional aspects of helping your patients with diabetes. This week, we get answers to your questions, and more, including:

  • Where to start with nutritional counseling for diabetic patients
  • How motivational interviewing can help with nutrition counseling
  • Realistic strategies that patients can start using as soon as they leave your visit
  • The importance of understanding the patient’s lifestyle in order to optimize their diabetes management

Diabetes can be a tough condition to manage; nutrition is at the foundation of good management, but not all patients have the same experience when it comes to food. Patients that travel, patients that have limited access to certain foods, patients who have religious reasons for eating or not eating certain foods, patients who simply have preferences for certain foods over others – all of these things must be kept in mind as we create strategies to help our patients manage their diet and their diabetes.

 (FYI: to slow down or speed up the audio, hit the gear symbol in the bottom right corner and change it to 0.5x (slower) or 1.5x (faster). Closed captions are also located at the bottom R  corner of the video.)  

Resources mentioned in this episode:

CME opportunity available for this video!

Here's how it works:

  1. Click on this CME link: 
  2. Answer 2 reflective “nudges” AKA questions about what you learned and how it applies to your practice
  3. Earn 1 hour of AMA PRA Category 1 CME credit! You can download your credits when you’re ready to use them (applicable for AANP, ANCC, and NCCPA certifications!) 

This is a 3-month pilot program to see if this is something that would serve our nurse practitioners and physician associates going forward!  To learn more about how you can access these CME opportunities, go to:

The CME experience for The Real World NP Podcast, Youtube Channel, and Blog posts is powered by CMEfy - a seamless way for busy clinician learners to discover Internet Point-of-Care Learning opportunities that reward AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).™ Learn more at 

If you liked this post, also check out: 

Accessibility Matters: Read The Full Transcript Here

About The Weekly Episodes

Real World NP publishes weekly relevant, concise weekly bite-sized clinical pearls & practice tips.

Each week, you'll get support and resources to help you save time and frustration and take the best care of their patients possible.

Be sure to hit subscribe so you don't miss an episode!


Most Recent

7 Best Nurse Practitioner Apps

May 16, 2023

Interview with a Pulmonologist

Feb 14, 2023

What To Do When You Have Bad News For Patients

Feb 07, 2023


Get the Ultimate Resource Guide for the New NP

Snag our favorite, time-saving, evidence-based resources to help you take the best care of your patients (while keeping your sanity).

PLUS you'll get weekly bite-sized videos and podcast episodes with relevant clinical tips.

🔒 We never spam you or sell your contact info. Unsub anytime.