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Aug 26, 2008

Janesha O. Womack, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, FAMU College of Pharmacy has used the new Nutritional Concepts Meal Planning software and now knows exactly how to get glucose under control. She shares her experience with us. To read the feature on this product and get a free 30 day trial: Nutritional Concepts Meal Planning

Computer Planned Nutrition Software
Used and reviewed by
Janesha O. Womack, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Pharmacy

A well controlled diabetic is probably the healthiest person that you could ever meet!

Six weeks ago I would not have given a second thought to that statement, but now I know from first hand experience that this a overwhelmingly true statement. After living as a type 1 diabetic, checking blood sugars 6-7 times a day, dosing insulin, memorizing insulin to carb ratio, sensitivity factors, and trying to maintain my target glucose, oh yeah and figuring out how to work an insulin pump… , I know that a well controlled diabetic is indeed a healthy individual.

During this time, seeing that this condition requires a enormous amount of self discipline, organization and planning, I wondered what tools exist to help patients manage their diabetes.  And then I was given Nutritional Computing Concepts.

Nutritional Computing Concepts is a software that has been designed as a tool to aid in achieving appropriate nutritional balance in patients. In achieving this nutritional balance, this tool has the potential to create menus including breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as morning, afternoon, and evening snacks. The option to include snacks is an advantage to patients with diabetes. The idea of managing nutrition becomes an actual measurable part of the patient’s treatment plan. This program takes into account medical history as well as daily activity level and utilizes age, height, weight, and waist circumference and provides a nutritional assessment.

There are quiet a few functions that can be used to tailor nutritional plans to individual patient. Functions include Food Allergy and Menu Type.

The Food Allergy section contains 10 of the most common food allergies. These allergies may be selected so that products and/or recipes that contain the allergen causing ingredient may be excluded or tagged to alert the healthcare professional and the patient. Foods that are not contained on the Common Food Allergy list can be added as Prohibited Foods. For example, if a patient does not eat beef or pork, these items can be listed as a Prohibited Food and these will, be tagged in order to designate them as Prohibited Foods.

Care should be taken to ensure that menus created for a patient do not include Prohibited Foods or Common Food Allergies. It is the responsibility of the healthcare professional and the patient to ensure they do not ingest ingredients and/or items to which they are allergic or do not enjoy eating.

The Menu Type section contains 7 sections that may be selected to match the nutritional preferences of the patient. The Traditional menu type is suggested to get the most variety in menus, as it pulls from all the other menu types. The system is also equipped with Nutritional Goals that include the daily recommended amounts based on patient characteristics or that can be alter based on patient specific needs.

Upon menu creation, this program produces a well organized plan that lays out meals and snacks for up to 8 weeks. Also included with the menus are shopping lists with each individual item and the amount to purchase that would be needed for one week. Most individuals eat a combination of the same foods repeatedly, therefore it would be seem to be more helpful for the healthcare professional to have the patient make a list of the foods that they enjoy or have become accustomed to eating and use that to create menus. This way the patient would still be able to enjoy the foods they normally eat with changes in the amount or the frequency in which they eat.

So, what is the best way to determine if a tool is helpful? Try it out yourself, of course! And so, try it I did. I created a traditional menu for myself for the course of one week. I entered my information and continuing in my experience as a type 1 diabetic. As a result, the menu was very precise and detailed. How about that a ready-made grocery list!

Overall, this program is an excellent tool that could prove to be a beneficial part of a treatment plan. It is a known fact that most of us eat the same foods time after time after time. With this is mind, it would be most beneficial to patients to incorporate the foods the patients enjoys eating into the menu. Patients on insulin could also precalculate the amount of insulin needed to cover a particular meal in advance based on the carbs listed on the menu. This software helps with the day to day meal planning that is an important pathway on the journey to control.

For a free trial for our readers go to: http://www.ncconcepts.com/MenuCreationDemoDownload.htm

Courtesy of www.diabetesincontrol.com