Managing High Blood Sugar With Diet and Exercise

In today’s world the last word we would use to describe living a healthy life would be “easy”. While we’ve made incredible strides in the fields of public health, surgery, medication, and infectious disease, we now find ourselves in a new and very dire conundrum.
Our society is a place where the chances are quite good that science can save your life but remarkably at the same time we’re surrounded by a system that promotes just the opposite. Over the last hundred years the industrial food industry has made us slaves to taste buds that are conditioned to crave toxic food. Once someone gets sick as a result they’re subjugated to medical system that’s primary focus is to treat the disease caused by this process rather than exposing the cause.

Heart disease and cancer are the top two killers of today but diabetes has become the emerging plague that projects the grimmest picture of our future, and sadly it is mostly preventable. According to the CDC 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes, 21.0 million are diagnosed and roughly 8.1 million people (27.8% of people with diabetes) go undiagnosed. These numbers have been on the rise for decades and the CDC believes that around 45 to 50 million U.S. residents could have diabetes by 2050.

Prediabetes Dangers

Diagnosable diabetes may be the actual disease that is crippling America but it’s merely the end result of a simmering problem that spends years as prediabetes – blood glucose levels of 100-125 mg/dl after an overnight or eight-hour fast. Those that are diagnosed prediabetes (80 million people) are at a 50% higher risk of heart disease and stroke than someone who does not have prediabetes. This is eye opening in and of itself but we now know based on recent research that there is an even greater insight into what our future holds, brace yourself.

In a study James B. LaValle R.Ph. CCN identified “46,578 members of Kaiser Permanente Northwest who had fasting plasma glucose levels less than 100 mg/dL between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2000, and who did not previously have diabetes or impaired fasting glucose.

After assigning subjects to 1 of 4 categories (<85, 85-89, 90-94, or 95-99 mg/dL), they followed them until they developed diabetes, died, or left the health plan, or until April 30, 2007. By [using] his regression analysis to estimate the risk of incident diabetes, adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, blood pressure, lipids, smoking, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension”.

The result of findings: every glucose rise of 1 point above 84 represented a 6% increase risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This is staggering new research can now give people that sobering reality check of where they’re most likely headed based on what previously has been viewed as normative findings .
To dodge this onslaught of “sugar disease” or to make powerful strides in the management of harmful blood sugar levels we’re all going to have to take a serious look at our lives. Much like just about every aspect of life we can’t just do what everyone else is doing and expect to somehow get different results.

Breakaway health requires breakaway thinking and the doctors at Progressive Medical Center have committed their lives to educating patients how to manage and understand their health to the highest degree.

Exercising the Sugar Away

So wherever you fit into the spectrum of blood sugar balance the question you need to be asking is “what are the very best strategies available for diabetes prevention or management today?” By far the greatest starting point and priority is diet and exercise.

In a recent study of people with diabetes, a six-month moderate-intensity exercise program (3.5 and 6 hours a week) led to marked health improvements with decreases in fat in the abdomen, liver and around the heart, all of which are associated with an increased risk of heart disease . This is critical because heart disease is the number one cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes.

Research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that “one session of moderate exercise can improve the way your body regulates glucose and reduces the spikes in blood sugar that occur after a meal” . This can be commonly misconstrued as a simple walk in the park with your dog or working in the yard, believe me after over 15 years of counseling people plenty still think this will suffice.
Simply put activity is beneficial but not the equivalent of a workout. A workout contains goals and definable boundaries over a specific amount of time with a set schedule.

To get the benefits of blood sugar stability it is important to work your way up to higher intensity interval training for 3 days a week (if you are obese you must start with low intensity). High intensity interval training is a technique that uses short bursts of intense activity (elliptical, bicycle, jogging in place, and many more) followed by a longer period of recovery and the cycle is then repeated 8-10 times.

This can significantly improve insulin sensitivity and overall wellbeing as your body will naturally sleep and recover better as a result of this training. For further information I recommend following Dr. Joseph Mercola on www.mercola.com for additional videos and research on “interval training”.

Eating for Healthy Blood Sugar

As I mentioned we live in a system that works against us and the conflict of interest couldn’t be greater. The last thing our body needs is what I’d call “low hanging food”, or essentially whatever is most readily available to the masses. Simply put those that plan their meals and snacks are those that will succeed.

The vast majority of people will wait until they’re hungry and elect for whatever is closest, most convenient, and satisfies their taste buds. This low hanging food is almost always lacking in nutrition and is a poor balance macro-nutrients (fats, carbs, and proteins) and depleted of micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals), with sugars and simple carbohydrates as the primary source of calories. It’s time to strategize with healthy available foods in your community and stock up on snacks for those times you need them.

Balance is the Key

Here at Progressive Medical Center, we focus on more than just controlling your diet. Through our Comprehensive Diagnostic Testing, we are able to assess the metabolic damage that has occurred and work to help you restore balance while also providing dietician support for your individual needs.
The catalyst of what Progressive Medical Center focuses on is a severe limitation or temporary elimination of sugar and grains in your diet, especially fructose which is far more detrimental to your health than any other type of sugar. An optimum diet for steady blood sugar maintenance consists of being well hydrated and a broad spectrum of high quality fats, proteins, and smaller portions of complex carbohydrates.
High quality fat: Oils such as olive, coconut, and avocado, and super foods like nuts, seeds (flax and chia), grass fed eggs, cheese, and butter, fish oils, and avocadoes.High quality proteins: Eggs, grass-fed beef, bison, and whey, elk, venison, pastured chicken, cold water fish (herring, salmon, mackerel and sardines)
High quality complex carbs: Most limited category is the starches – Sweet potatoes, Quinoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat and Brown Rice.
Vegetables – green leafy veggies and dark colored varieties like beets, tomatoes (technically a fruit but in cooking considered a veggies) cabbage, and peppers.
Fruits (simple carbs) – small portions of low glycemic varieties such as berries, strawberries, papaya, watermelon, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, cantaloupes, and honeydew melons.
Completely eliminate sugar containing beverages as this is the biggest source of insulin stimulating activity in the majority of people’s lives. When we combine sugar and caffeine together the cocktail even worsens. Stimulants cause the liver to release stored sugar and with the influx of both contained in your morning “Frappuccino” and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

This diet can be a struggle for many people because they are literally addicted to carbs and sugars. If you’re energy levels struggle and you feel like avoiding sugar is impossible, eventually you have to come to the end of your rope and realization that you’re trading a short period of energy, satisfaction and pleasure for a lifetime of frustration and declining health.

When it comes to just about anything in our culture a clear and sober perspective is required to navigate your way to through the pitfalls. If you’re committed to taking responsibility of your own health then keeping your blood sugar within optimum limits is a terrific place to start your mission.
A low sugar/grain nutrient dense diet combined with a challenging exercise program is a foundation you can build on that will positively impact every category of your health. Take time to start planning what this will look like in your daily routine and make that basic decision to go for it!

What’s the Next Step?

If you are having trouble with high blood sugar levels, we encourage you to visit Progressive Medical Center for Diagnostic testing today. We have locations in Atlanta, Austin & San Antonio to meet your medical needs using an integrative, natural approach to wellness. Contact us here to schedule your appointment!

Resources:
i Normal Fasting Glucose and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis Volume 121 ISSUE 6 Page 519-524 (June 2008)The American Journal of Medicine

ii Radiology June 25, 2013 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23801768

iii Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Feb;44(2):225-31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21716152

iv https://www.progressivemedicalcenter.com/victory-over-diabetes/