Controlling Blood Glucose Levels Through Diet and Exercise

Case study ( 10099 views as of May 23, 2024 )

Debbie is a 64-year-old grandmother and has been pre-diabetic for almost 10 years. Her fasting blood sugars range from 5.6 - 6.8 and her post-meal blood sugars remain in the healthy range. Debbie’s haemoglobin A1C is stable at 6%. Her blood pressure is in the normal-to-low range and her cholesterol levels are slightly high. She takes no medication at this time and her goal is to always manage her health through diet and exercise alone.

At her recent check-up with her family doctor Debbie was informed that although her weight had not increased her waist circumference had. This signifies a greater health risk, as it tends to suggest an accumulation of intra-abdominal visceral fat. She too has noticed that although her weight remains stable there has been an upwards shift of fat that seems to be accumulating between the belly button and rib area, making her very uncomfortable.

Debbie has tried numerous diets over the years to keep her weight as low as possible and has incorporated many tips provided by a dietitian that she saw in the past. She walks a few times a week and also takes at least two Zumba classes.

Debbie feels she has exhausted all options for getting rid of the abdominal fat from a diet perspective. She is tired of thinking about good foods vs. bad foods and what she should do every time she goes to eat something.

Debbie's family doctor has suggested she re-visit the idea of a dietitian consultation for some metabolism-boosting suggestions. The physician has also suggested an appointment with a personal trainer to help strengthen and build muscle, which could further boost metabolism and promote fat loss. Doing yoga or pilates may also help increase her metabolism and contribute to overall strength and fitness.


Conversation based on: Controlling Blood Glucose Levels Through Diet and Exercise

Controlling Blood Glucose Levels Through Diet and Exercise

  • Dark chocolate: dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which can help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals and UV radiation, ultimately promoting a more youthful complexion. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants that nourish your skin from the inside out. The monounsaturated fats and avocados help keep your skin hydrated and supple, while the antioxidants combat oxidative stress and inflammation, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Olive oil: rich and monounsaturated fats and antioxidants like vitamin E. Olive oil helps protect your skin from damage, improve elasticity and promote a youthful glow for kimchi. They are packed with probiotics and antioxidants that support gut health and promote overall well being. A healthy gut is essential for optimal nutrient absorption and digestion which can contribute to radiant skin and a youthful appearance. Carrots: carrots are rich in beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin. Beta carotene helps protect your skin from sun damage, reduce inflammation and promote collagen production resulting in firmer, smoother skin with fewer wrinkles.
  • Types of Simple Sugars: Definition: Simple sugars are described as the most basic forms of sugar. Composition: They can be either monosaccharides (one sugar molecule) or disaccharides (two sugar molecules). Absorption: These sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream. Insulin Response: Trigger: The rise in blood sugar levels triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas. Function of Insulin: Insulin facilitates the movement of sugar from the bloodstream into cells, where it is used as energy. Quick Energy Source: Advantage: Foods containing simple sugars provide a quick source of energy since they can be rapidly absorbed and utilized by the body. Examples of Simple Sugars: Monosaccharides: Single sugar molecules. Example: Glucose is a common monosaccharide found in various foods. Disaccharides: Combinations of two sugar molecules. Example: Sucrose, which is composed of glucose and fructose, commonly found in table sugar. The text sets the stage for understanding the physiological response to simple sugars, emphasizing their role as a readily available energy source. The mention of specific examples like glucose and sucrose provides concrete examples of simple sugars found in everyday foods.
  • Sugars Overview: Definition: Simple sugars are sometimes referred to as simple carbohydrates. Natural Sources: Found in plants we eat, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Role: Sugars, including carbohydrates, serve as the primary and easily accessible source of energy for the body. Macronutrients: Definition: Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are the three main macronutrients. Functions: Carbohydrates: Primary source of energy. Fats: Contribute to fatty acids and aid in the absorption of certain vitamins. Proteins: Play a role in building muscle, tissues, and organs, as well as regulating hormones. Simple Sugars vs. Complex Carbohydrates: Distinction: The distinction between simple and complex carbohydrates is often discussed in the context of diet and nutrition. Complex Carbohydrates: Typically found in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, and take longer to digest, providing sustained energy. Simple Sugars: Found in fruits, vegetables, and other natural sources but are quicker to digest, leading to rapid energy spikes. Are Simple Sugars Bad? Debated Topic: The text hints at the ongoing debate regarding the health implications of consuming simple sugars. Diet Trends: References the prevalence of diet trends such as low-carb and keto diets, which often involve restrictions on sugar intake.
  • Soluble Fiber: Function: Slows down digestion, leading to a gradual absorption of glucose, which helps manage blood sugar levels. It also binds with fatty acids, aiding in the removal of LDL (bad) cholesterol from the body. Examples: Pectins, gums, mucilage, and some hemicelluloses. Sources: Oats, barley, fruits (especially apples and citrus fruits), vegetables, legumes, and seeds. Insoluble Fiber: Function: Adds bulk to the stool, helps prevent constipation, and facilitates the movement of waste through the intestines. Examples: Cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Sources: Whole grains, wheat bran, nuts, seeds, and the skins of fruits and vegetables. Both types of fiber play essential roles in maintaining digestive health, and it's generally recommended to include a variety of fiber-rich foods in one's diet to reap the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fibers. It's worth noting that different foods may contain a combination of both soluble and insoluble fibers. For instance, fruits like apples contain both soluble (pectin) and insoluble (cellulose) fibers. Additionally, a well-balanced intake of both types of fiber is crucial for overall digestive health and the prevention of various health issues.
  • However, not all carbohydrates conform to this precise stoichiometric definition (e.g., uronic acids, deoxy-sugars such as fucose), nor are all chemicals that do conform to this definition automatically classified as carbohydrates (e.g. formaldehyde and acetic acid).
  • Diabetes : The Health Benefits of Bell Peppers Known as capsicum in some parts of the world, bell peppers are most commonly found in red, yellow, orange or green varieties. The difference in colours are a result of the different antioxidant compounds that are rich in each, which have the capacity to reflect different types of light and thus explain their colouration. Orange peppers, for example, are high in a compound known as beta-carotene – the Vitamin A precursor which also found in rich supply in carrots.
  • Blood testing done by a person with diabetes with a blood glucose meter/monitor to determine how much glucose is in the blood. SMBG helps people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals make decisions about their medications, diet and exercise in order to achieve good blood glucose control.
  • Blood testing done by a person with diabetes with a blood glucose meter/monitor to determine how much glucose is in the blood. SMBG helps people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals make decisions about their medications, diet and exercise in order to achieve good blood glucose control.
  • Would be helpful to talk to a registered Dietitian who specializes in Diabetes.
  • The former term for type 2 diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes usually occurs in people over 40, this term is no longer used because the disease is being increasingly diagnosed in younger people, even adolescents and children.
  • Health Benefits of Eating Oatmeal Every Day Do you remember eating a steaming hot bowl of oatmeal most mornings before heading off to school? While many of us do, not enough of us continue to eat this ultra-healthy food as adults. It’s time to revisit this childhood staple and see it as the fantastic food it really is! Oats are a gluten-free whole grain and provide essential vitamins, fibre, minerals and antioxidants. Why eat oatmeal regularly? Well, it can: 1. Protect your heart. Oatmeal is rich in lignans, a plant chemical that can be protective against cardiovascular diseases. You can also find lignans in foods like broccoli, pumpkin seeds and berries. 2. Support your digestion. Oatmeal makes you feel fuller, so your body has ample time to digest. It also helps reduce the temptation to overeat or snack between meals. 3. Aid in weight loss. Oatmeal has a compound called beta-glucan, which increases cholecystokinin – a hormone that can reduce your appetite. 4. Support type 2 diabetes management. Because oatmeal has a low glycemic index, sugar is released more slowly into your bloodstream. This results in better glycemic controls, insulin levels and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes. 5. Provide energy. As a protein-rich carbohydrate, oatmeal is an ideal source of calories to keep you fuelled. It’s a low glycemic food, which makes your body more effective at burning fat. 6. Lower blood pressure. Oatmeal is a triple threat against high blood pressure: it contains calcium and potassium and is a soluble fibre. Increasing your intake of oatmeal may be associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. 7. Prevent constipation. Oatmeal is very high in fibre, which helps keep you regular. Studies have shown that eating oats can prevent or relieve constipation. You don’t have to eat plain, hot oatmeal every day at breakfast for amazing health benefits. Use your imagination and get creative with your oatmeal recipes by adding: • Kale • Avocado • Eggs • Berries • Toasted coconut • Nuts and seeds • Seaweed • Fruit • Corn • Greek yogurt • Spices There are too many health benefits of oatmeal to cover in one article! To learn more, talk to your local nutritionist, dietitian or physician.
  • Women seem more likely to gain weight through the middle as they get older. Is this due to hormonal changes ?
    • I think hormonal changes post-menopause would partly be responsible, along with a general decrease in physical activity that can be associated with abdominal weight gain. The natural decrease in metabolism that older adults experience would also be a contributing factor.
    • That's interesting. I wonder if any studies have been done to determine why women gain weight after menopause, why they should eat fewer calories when nothing else has changed besides hormone levels.
    • I believe there is a correlation between menopause and caloric needs in women. I heard once that women needed 500 fewer calories once they were menopausal I'd be curious to hear a dietitian or physician weigh in on this...
  • @KMichael: Diet, exercise and lifestyle can help to control pre-diabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • If a person is pre-diabetic, are they ever able to improve their health to the point where they are no longer at risk of diabetes ?
    • It can happen. Lifestyle efforts are so crucial in the pre-diabetic stage to try and improve the health measurements which are putting you in the pre-diabetic state. Exercise and dietary measures can improve blood pressure, blood sugars, cholesterol, waist size - all which contribute to a person's risk for diabetes.
  • Thank you Dr. Goldenberg. The change in season to spring is a great time to boost your metabolism with exercise. Many people underestimate the value of simply walking, daily. Try a step counter or wrist band to monitor your goals and improve blood glucose levels.
    • If you have been doing the same exercises all the time your body can become used to them and they aren't as effective. Debbie should try switching out her Zumba class for something else. Weight training for women is very popular right now
  • I always hear mixed things about coconut oil too. I would love to know what you find out.
    • I recently learned that they make coconut oil caplets. They are supposed to offer benefits similar to omega 3.
    • I think cooking with coconut oil is supposed to be healthier than regular oil because it's a nut derived fat. But it's also high in calories
  • @Joy There are many, many foods that can help boost your metabolism. Cardiovascular and weight bearing exercise is extremely helpful as well.
    • What types of foods do you recommend to start with ?
    • Lisa is right in suggesting exercise to help with boosting your metabolism. Getting your system working more efficiently through exercise and watching your food intake crucial to controlling blood glucose levels and seeing a qualified nutritionist like Lisa is a great place to start.
  • What can I do to boost my metabolism? Are there foods I should be eating? Exercises I should be doing?
  • Does cooking with coconut oil help with this ? It was recently suggested by a friend and I was wondering what the benefits are ? I have a medical appointment later this month and will ask, however just curious.
  • @T.Brown, that is a great idea (walking meetings). So are sit/stand desks where you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
    • A sit / stand desk is one that can be raised or lowered so that you may sit at a standard office chair or stand while working
    • What is a sit/stand desk?
    • @lisa, I agree! What a great way to incorporate exercise into ones working day. Other health professionals should take this on too. Nutritionists could do walking follow up sessions!
  • I recently read about the idea of "walking meetings" for people who are at a desk job all day. It's hard to get much exercise throughout the day, but if you walked and talked with colleagues that would definitely help.
    • That is a great idea. And great ideas sometimes come while walking too!
    • I have never heard of these, but what a fantastic idea!
    • My colleagues frequently do "walk and talks". Although they usually end up with a cookie at the end of the meeting
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