A diabetes diagnosis is never anything to be happy about. But in celebrity chef Art Smith's case, his type 2 diagnosis looks like it could make a big difference for others.

"Taking Diabetes to Heart" is an educational program created by pharmaceutical company Merck and Smith to help people living with type 2 diabetes better manage the disease. Smith will be traveling the country sharing his favorite delicious diabetes-friendly recipes and tips for diabetes management.

“After his diagnosis, Smith worked with his health care provider to develop a personalized diabetes-management plan and learned simple ways to make some of his favorite dishes more diabetes-friendly," according to a press release from Merck. "By sticking to this plan, Smith lost more than 100 pounds and now has his diabetes under control.”

As Smith travels around the U.S. to help educate those with diabetes, he is also challenging restaurants to create new diabetes friendly menu items. He is working with select restaurants and food trucks to adjust their menu so that people with diabetes can still enjoy dining out without worrying so much about what the food will do to them later.

It is about time someone tried to get through to restaurants. People are not going to stop eating out any time soon. It is just part of our culture. And with the numbers of diabetes diagnoses rising in the U.S. it just makes sense that restaurants would start offering more “diabetes friendly” options on their menus.

Many who are newly diagnosed are terrified to go out to eat because it can be so difficult to catch on to carb counting and making the right food choices. If a few of the healthier options on a menu were labeled diabetes friendly, it would make eating out a much more enjoyable experience for many. So bravo to Chef Art Smith for getting the ball rolling to start making small changes that will make a big difference.