One Bite and Step at a Time

The diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes can be overwhelming. A diabetic person has an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, dying early, kidney failure, neuropathy and loss of vision. These are just a few of the complications that can occur if a diabetic does not control his blood glucose levels. Previously, the medical recommendations were to remove foods that contain high amounts of sugar which lead to the diabetic not being able to adhere to his treatment recommendations.

Currently the recommendations are to eat in moderation, “small portion sizes of the standard American diet” which usually include fried foods, white bread, soda, juice, etc. If a diabetic continues to eat unhealthy and not exercise, he will have to take increas his diabetic medication.

A majority of people that eat processed foods and eat out are unaware that the foods they eat are loaded with sugar, salt and unhealthy fats which trigger their taste buds to eat more of these types of foods. Diabetics are missing the fundamental key to their success, which is how to prepare meals to avoid high dysregulated glucose spikes and to eliminate refined sugars.

Whereas, the thought of eating “healthy foods” repels many diabetics because of the lack of taste they think the “healthy food” would have. Healthy food does not have to taste bad. The key to savory food is using spices, herbs and citrus fruits. You will be surprised that these small changes in your meals will make your taste buds go wild. Keep in mind that it can take three weeks for the taste buds to adjust to different flavors.

I highly recommend diabetic patients take a class about how to read food labels, prepare healthy meals, and learn how to identify the healthy forms of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As a rule of thumb a diabetic should have a healthy protein or fat with their carbohydrate. If you are ready and looking for someone to walk you through these steps and get your hands in the kitchen then consider signing up for our RESTART Nutrition Class. Remember food can be a medicine or a poison, it depends on which one you choose. .

Now let’s get ready to move! Cardiovascular exercise helps increase mitochondrial density, insulin sensitivity, oxidative enzymes, compliance and reactivity of blood vessels, lung function, immune function, and cardiac output. Don’t forget that strength training can improve muscle mass, strength, mental health, bone mineral density, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, lipid profiles, glycemic control and cardiovascular health.

So get the dumb bells out and start squatting. It’s recommended that you exercise 30-45 minutes a day and it does not need to be all at once. The good news is that you will benefit from 10 minutes of exercise three times a day or 15 minutes twice a day.

Set realistic goals for yourself – at home or in the gym. Start walking a quarter to half a mile and then slowly increase your distance. When using hand weights, try starting out with 1 set of 10 repetitions of a major muscle exercise (buttocks, thighs, arms and chest). Your goal is to be able to do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions of each major muscle group.

Remember, small changes can lead to long term drastic outcomes it just takes a bite and a step at a time.

1 Colberg, S. R. (2016, November). Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association.

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