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Purdue Extension Dining with Diabetes: Keeping health goals on track

The American Diabetes Association estimates that at least 1.7 million Hoosiers are living with prediabetes. To help with prevention and awareness, Purdue Extension hosts Dining with Diabetes programs throughout the year. The cooking program offers practical approaches to eating well for those with type 2 diabetes, their caregivers and those looking to make changes in their overall health.

Michele Nicely of Floyd County shares her recent experience after completing a Dining with Diabetes program.

Why did you decide to sign up for Purdue Extension’s Dining with Diabetes?

When I was told I had to be on cholesterol medication, that was a wake-up for me. I was previously diagnosed with pre-diabetes and followed my doctor’s recommendation to get my blood pressure down by taking high blood pressure medication and high cholesterol medication. Over a series of time, I made changes to my diet, like I used to put sugar in coffee and I stopped that. I took the course after my daughter encouraged me to attend with her. I wanted to see if I could keep my blood pressure down.

What did you learn?

I always knew how to read labels, but I’m now more in tune with what to look for like cholesterol and sugars. I also learned during the cooking demonstrations. The meals were tasty. I found I wasn’t giving up anything through the meals. For instance, I had started shying away from desserts, but then found I could have desserts that taste good that aren’t high in sugar and cholesterol.  

How does your life look different after taking the program?

I’m no longer on high blood pressure or cholesterol medication and I’m no longer pre-diabetic. Before I started the program, I had stopped eating certain foods and limited my sugar and salt intake. This produced results for my health. But, after I took the program, I found a way to eat well, feel comfortable and have the things I like.

What advice would you give to those considering taking Dining with Diabetes?

Listen, follow the recipes and ask questions. For me, I was 73, 74 now, - it was imperative that I look after my health. I would tell people to be aware of what they are eating and ask questions.


To find an upcoming program near you, contact your local Purdue Extension Health and Human Sciences educator. For more information about Purdue Extension’s Dining with Diabetes program, visit:

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