Chris – The Organic Diabetic – The Organic Diabetic™ Nutrition You Can Feel Good About! Tue, 16 Oct 2018 16:04:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chris – The Organic Diabetic – The Organic Diabetic™ 32 32 82996848 Electrolytes And How They Help With High Blood Sugars Thu, 02 Aug 2018 12:52:14 +0000 What Are Electrolytes? Electrolytes And DiabetesEver wonder why when we are severely dehydrated as diabetics or when we are dealing with an extreme high blood sugar our medical team tells us to make sure we replenish our electrolytes? I mean, what is an electrolyte anyway, what are the symptoms of low electrolytes and how can they help us as diabetics or if your just out mowing the lawn? Diabetic or not, they are extremely important when it comes to our overall health so lets take a closer look!

When dissolved in fluid, salts tend to break apart into their component ions, creating an electrically-conductive solution. For example, table salt (NaCl) dissolved in water dissociates into its component positive ion of sodium (Na+) and negative ion of chloride (Cl-). Any fluid that conducts electricity, such as this new saltwater solution, is known as an electrolyte solution: the salt ions of which it’s composed are then commonly referred to as electrolytes. So that leads us to the next question…

What Are Electrolytes?

There are several common electrolytes found in the body, each serving a specific and important role, but most are in some part responsible for maintaining the balance of fluids between the intracellular (inside the cell) and extracellular (outside the cell) environments. This balance is critically important for things like hydration, nerve impulses, muscle function, and pH levels.

With the correct body water balance, the electrolytes separate into positive and negative ions. When the body loses water or becomes dehydrated an electrolyte imbalance starts to occur. During heavy exercise, sodium and potassium electrolytes in particular are lost through sweating.  To ensure constant electrolyte concentrations in the body, fluids must be regularly consumed.

To avoid an electrolyte imbalance which can cause lethargy and muscle twitching, athletes consume electrolyte solution drinks to make sure the electrolyte balance is maintained during and after exercise – this contributes to achieving optimum performance

You should drink frequently during strenuous physical activity. Thirst usually does not kick in until well after you have reached a state of dehydration, so consume plenty of fluid whether you feel like it or not. About 6 to 8 ounces every 15 minutes is sufficient. Help replace electrolytes by consuming a beverage that contains 0.7 milligrams of salt per quart of fluid. Consuming fruit slices, such as bananas, strawberries and oranges can help restore lost potassium, but obviously we still need to be careful here and a small bolus may be needed after exercise due to the sugar content in fruit. 

7 Major Electrolytes & Their Function:

Let’s take a look:

  1. Sodium (Na+)
  2. Chloride (Cl-)
  3. Potassium (K+)
  4. Magnesium (Mg++)
  5. Calcium (Ca++)
  6. Phosphate (HPO4–)
  7. Bicarbonate (HCO3-)

So what do each of these to?

Sodium (NA+) is the major positive ion in fluid outside of cells (extracellular) and when combined with chloride the resulting substance is table salt. Some functions of sodium include the regulation of the total amount of water in the body and the transmission of sodium into and out of individual’s cells, which plays a role in critical body functions. Many processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in generation of these electrical signals. Too much or too little sodium can cause cells to malfunction and extremes in the blood sodium levels.

Potassium (K+) is the major positive ion found inside of cells. Some of the functions of K+ are the regulation of heartbeat and muscle function. The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. Any seriously abnormal increase or decrease in K+ can profoundly affect the nervous system and increase change of irregular heartbeats.

Calcium (Ca++) is needed to build and maintain bones. It also plays a role in nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction.

Magnesium (Mg++) is an essential mineral that is involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Mg supports heart and nerve function. Mg is essential in the formation of bones and teeth and in converting blood sugar into energy.

Chloride (Cl-) is the major anion (negatively charged ion). CI- is found in the fluid outside of the cells and in the blood. The balance of chloride ion (CI-) is closely regulated by the body. Seawater has almost the same concentration of chloride ion as human body fluids. CI- plays a role in helping the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.

Bicarbonate (HCO3-) is an ion that acts as a buffer to maintain the normal levels of acidity (pH) in blood and other fluids in the body. Bicarbonate levels are measured to monitor the acidity of the blood and body fluids. The acidity is affected by foods or medications that we ingest and the function of the kidneys and lungs.

Phosphate (HPO4-) helps control the acidity level (pH) of the blood. Phosphate also causes calcium to be deposited in bones.

How To Replace Electrolytes For Diabetics:

Electrolyte imbalance in diabetes is primarily a result of elevated blood glucose. With hyperglycemia, the body tries to rid itself of the excess blood glucose by increasing urinary output. Increased urination produces water and electrolyte loss, which then upsets the body’s balance of electrolytes. The balance is especially disturbed between sodium and potassium. Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance include headache, fatigue, muscle pain and irritability, according to the Mayo Clinic. As cells become more starved of glucose for their energy needs, the body tries to compensate by providing another energy source. That source comes from fatty acids, which are less efficient energy producing chemicals. Fatty acid metabolism can lead to a buildup of a byproduct called ketones, which can upset the acid and base relationship of the body. That acid/base upset may result in a condition known as ketoacidosis, which can be severe and even life threatening.

Most people receive the electrolytes they need through food alone. However if you are in a hot climate and sweating due to temperature or if you are exercising then you run a higher What Are Electrolytes? Electrolytes And Diabetesrisk factor for becoming dehydrated. Electrolytes may then need to be replaced.

Over the years sports drinks have lured many people in because they promise to provide electrolytes. In reality, some sports drinks do provide electrolytes, but most don’t provide nearly the amount needed.  Plus they are usually loaded with sugar as well as artificial sweeteners and dyes (aka sucralose and aspartame) so make sure you read the back of the label.

There are foods high in electrolytes and they are actually the best sources. Outside of food, there are a couple of fantastic supplements that also work great, such as my ultra greens.  You can check them out right here.

Water, although it hydrates, does not contain electrolytes (unless you were to add a pinch of salt or sugar). The best way to get electrolytes into your diet is to eat fruits and vegetables (especially potatoes, beans, citrus fruits, and bananas.)

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Ketoacidosis In Diabetics, Know The Warning Signs. Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:42:52 +0000 Ketoacidosis In Diabetics, Know The Warning Signs.As a type 1 diabetic I am quite familiar (unfortunately) with the signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis.  Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from lack of insulin associated with high blood levels and your body starts to produce high levels of blood acids called ketones.  Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with significant disturbances of the body’s chemistry, which resolve with proper therapy.

This usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, but DKA can develop in any person with diabetes.  Since type 1 diabetes typically starts before the age of 25, diabetic ketoacidosis is most common for this age group, but it may occur at any age with both males and females are equally affected. So is DKA something that we should be worried about? Lets take a closer look!

What Causes Ketoacidosis ?

So what’s the deal when our results come back showing ketones in urine? Circumstances arise for people with type 1 diabetes when the individual does not have enough insulin, a hormone the body uses to break down sugar (glucose) in the blood for energy. When glucose is not available to feed our cells due to high blood sugars, fat is broken down and used as fuel vs glucose and this is particularly not a good thing.  As fats are broken down, acids called ketones build up in the blood and urine.  In high levels, ketones are extremely poisonous.  This condition is known as ketoacidosis.

Blood glucose levels rise (usually higher than 300 mg/dL) because the liver makes glucose to try to combat the problem.  However, the cells cannot pull in that glucose without insulin.

DKA is often the first sign of type 1 diabetes in people who do not yet have other symptoms.  It can also occur in someone who has already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Infection, injury, a serious illness, missing doses of insulin, or surgery can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis in people with type 1 diabetes.

Although not common, people with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but it is rare and typically triggered by a severe illness.

What Are The Warning Signs Of DKA?

DKA usually develops slowly. But when vomiting occurs, this life-threatening condition can develop in a few hours. Early symptoms per the American Diabetes Association include the following:

  • Thirst or a very dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • High blood glucose (blood sugar) levels
  • High levels of ketones in the urine

Then, other symptoms appear:

  • Constantly feeling tired
  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
    (Vomiting can be caused by many illnesses, not just ketoacidosis. If vomiting continues for more than 2 hours, contact your health care provider.)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fruity odor on breath
  • A hard time paying attention, or confusion

Any of these symptoms should immediately be discussed with your doctor and they will let you know the next course of action, including treatment options or better yet, a trip to the ER may be in order especially if you can flush them from your system.  Speaking of treatment options, what can you expect?  Lets take a closer look.

Treatment Options Ketoacidosis:

If you do suspect ketoacidosis in any way, it’s paramount  you get to an urgent care center or emergency room at once or follow the instructions provided by your medical team. This condition can be very dangerous if left untreated. Depending on the severity of the problem and the outcome of various tests, individuals spilling ketones might be admitted to the hospital.

Treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis generally follows a three pronged approach. This combination approach gets to the root of the problem and begins to treat it promptly, before additional damage can occur.

Typically the treatment protocol is as follows:

  1. Replacing fluids – After battling a bout of DKA a couple of weeks ago, fluid replacement is an important part of any treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis as it helps flush ketones from you system.  If you or a loved one has DKA, they will typically receive fluids, either orally or intravenously (most common) until proper hydration levels are achieved.  Dehydration is a very dangerous thing for diabetics, and you should make it appoint to always stay properly hydrated, particularly if your sick and vomiting as your risk of diabetic ketoacidosis can increase dramatically. Proper hydration also helps flush ketones from your system. As for step 2?
  2. Electrolyte replacementElectrolytes are important for normal bodily functions to begin with even if your notKetoacidosis In Diabetics, Know The Warning Signs. dealing with DKA, but replenishing electrolyte levels are particularly important for those dealing with DKA.  Electrolyte replacement is a key part of the treatment plan as they will help keep you hydrated as well as replace any vital nutrients that were lost. For those dealing with a case of diabetic ketoacidosis, your doctor will typically administer (intravenously) electrolytes until proper balance is restored. As for step 3?
  3. Insulin therapy – since inadequate insulin levels play such a critical role in diabetic ketoacidosis, insulin therapy is a key component of treatment.  Those battling a bout of DKA will receive insulin therapy to restore blood sugar levels to a normal levels and insulin is generally administered how you would normally handle any high blood sugar. If you or your loved one is newly diagnosed, your medical team with discuss with you the proper treatment plan and come up with a game plan in order to stabilize your numbers and avoid this situation all together.

After dealing with DKA and you are no longer spilling ketones, the focus shifts to determining what factors triggered the attack (sickness like the flu, bad infusion set, not enough basal insulin, etc).  

For me it was the flu that decided to rampage my house a couple of weeks ago, but your doctor will work with you and adjust your insulin therapy plan (if needed) in order to keep your blood sugar levels under control and help prevent further complications from this very common condition.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is nothing to take lightly, so contact your doctor ASAP if you notice that you are spilling ketones.  Most times, DKA can be closely monitored right from your home with frequent updates to your doctor but in severe circumstances where you are vomiting and can not keep down fluids or experiencing any of the warning signs listed above, a trip to the emergency room is definitely a better and safer option.

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Micronutrients vs Macronutrients, How Can They Effect Your Blood Sugar? Mon, 25 Jun 2018 16:11:21 +0000 Micronutrients vs Macronutrients, How Can They Effect Your Blood Sugar?So check this out, your body has the amazing ability to take the foods you eat and literally turn them into you.  Pretty cool don’t you think! Whether you eat an apple, a steak or a kale salad, your body is able to break that food down into its chemical parts and reassemble those parts into your cells and the energy you use all day. This is flat out awesome considering outside the plant and animal kingdom, nothing else can do that!

Here is the deal though, your body is only as amazing as the material it has to work with, like a fine tuned machine, the quality of the food you put into your amazing body has a huge impact on your overall health.  An apple is not just an apple, nor is a steak just a steak.  As stated above, your body is able to break those foods down into their chemical parts, like macronutrients and micronutrients.  So what makes these nutrients so important, lets take a closer look!

What Are Macronutrients:

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Derived from the prefix makro (Greek), which means big or large, used because macronutrients are required in large amounts. There are three broad classes of macro-nutrients which make up your primary food sources know as proteins,carbohydrates and fats.

The main function of macronutrients is to provide energy, counted as calories. While each of the macronutrients provides calories, the amount provided by each varies. Carbohydrates provides four calories per gram (I think we are all pretty well versed here),proteins;also four, while fats provides nine calories per gram.

Macronutrients also have specific roles in maintaining the body and contribute to the taste, texture and appearance of foods, which helps to make the diet more varied and enjoyable.

Macronutrients broken down:

  • Carbohydrates – are required for energy. As diabetics we all have varying opinions on carbohydrates and the amounts that we like to ingest , but glucose, which is a monosaccharide, is the most essential source of energy in the body. The brain works entirely on glucose alone. When an immediate source of energy is required, glucose is converted into glycogen which is stored in the liver. When energy is needed it is converted into glucose again and used to release energy. Carbohydrates provide 4 calories of energy per gram.
  • Fats – have the highest caloric content. This means they provide the largest amount of energy when burnt. When measured by a calorimeter, fats provide about 9 calories per gram, making them twice as energy-rich than protein and carbohydrates. Extra fat is stored in adipose tissue and is burnt when the body has run out of carbohydrates. Fat is also needed to take up fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Proteins–  are the third and last source of energy. They are the last to be used of all macronutrients. In cases of extreme starvation, the muscles in the body, that are made up of proteins, are used to provide energy. This is called muscle wasting. Proteins also provide 4 calories per gram.

Health Benefits Of Micronutrients:

Micronutrients are nutrients required by humans in small quantities to orchestrate a whole range of physiological functions; functions from bone growth to brain function.  The are extremely important to get into our diets as we are unable to produce them on our own.

Micronutrients are what are commonly referred to as vitamins and minerals and include such things such as fluoride, selenium, sodium, iodine, copper and zinc. They also include vitamins such as vitamin C, A, D, E and K, as well as the B-complex vitamins (great for energy).

Micronutrients are vital to the proper functioning of all of your body’s systems. Sodium, for example is responsible for maintaining the proper fluid balance in your body and it helps fluids pass through cell walls and helps regulate appropriate pH levels in your blood.

Examples of how micronutrients promote your overall health:Micronutrients vs Macronutrients, How Can They Effect Your Blood Sugar?

  • Manganese promotes bone formation and energy production, and helps your body metabolize the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium has so many amazing benefits for the human body, most importantly, it helps your heart maintain its normal rhythm not to mention it helps your body convert your blood sugar into energy and it is necessary for the metabolization of the micronutrients calcium and vitamin C.
  • Iron helps your body produce red blood cells and lymphocytes.
  • Iodine helps your thyroid gland develop and function. It helps your body to metabolize fats, and promotes energy production and growth.
  • Chloride helps regulate water and electrolytes within your cells, as well as helping to maintain appropriate cellular pH.

Focusing on eating healthfully-raised animals like grass-fed cows and free range chickens will ensure that the meat you feed your family was ethically raised. Not only will it have fewer antibiotics and hormones, it ensures that you and your family are building your bodies with the best possible nutrition.  As for the USDA macronutrient recommendations, click here, and you will also be able to find a list of micronutrients here.

Calculating Macronutirents 

When it comes to calculating macronutrients and getting the proper amount into your diet here is formula that contains a 20, 35, 45 split for fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Here’s how you calculate macros: use the target number of calories, and plug it into these formulas. Let’s say your target is 1,400 calories/day — this is how that number looks plugged into the equations.

  • (.20) x 1,400 = 280 kcal / 9 (since there are 9 calories in every gram fat) = 31 grams of fat per day
  • (.35) x 1,400 = 490 kcal / 4 (4 calories per gram of protein) = about 123 grams of protein per day
  • (.45) x 1,400 = 630 kcal / 4 (4 calories per gram of carbohydrates) = about 158 grams of carbohydrates per day

Example total macro targets for the day: 31 grams of fat, 123 grams of protein, 158 grams of carbohydrates. That’s a low fat, very high protein diet.  Or if your looking for an easier way, here is an easy calculator that you can use based on your age, gender and weight.

If this article on macro and micronutrients was helpful, please leave a comment right below my bio or hit the share button to share with your friends 😀

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The Health Benefits Of Probiotics For Diabetics Tue, 06 Mar 2018 17:00:28 +0000 The Health Benefits Of Probiotics For Diabetics

Ok, so there I was researching some information the other day for a particular blog post, and I came across an article pertaining to probiotics.  The fact that I’m not great at multi-tasking, I was immediately side tracked and became submerged in the world of probiotics an all their amazing health benefits.  So what are these little gems all about?  How do we go about getting them in our diet?  What about other alternatives to increasing the amount that we get?  Lets take a closer look! 


Well, first off, what are probiotics? Probiotics are microorganisms—such as bacteria, viruses and yeasts—that can be seen only under a microscope and that are often referred to as “healthy” or “good” bacteria.  According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and defined by the World Health Organization, probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.   The benefits of incorporating probiotics into one’s diet have been widely speculated, as little evidence exists to support the long-term health benefits.  Despite the lack of formal evidence, the probiotic trend has swept the health and diet industries for their potential cleansing benefits, immune boosting powers and nutritional value.

Benefits Of Probiotics:

Probiotics are believed to protect us in two ways.  The first is the role is how probiotics play in our digestive tract. We know that our digestive tract needs a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria, so what gets in the way of this?  It looks like our lifestyle is both the problem and the solution.  Foods high in probiotics (Kombucha, Kefir, pickles, tempeh, just to name a few)  are an amazing way to start getting more into your system, but poor food choices, emotional stress, lack of sleep, antibiotic overuse, other drugs, and environmental influences can all shift the balance in favor of the bad bacteria.

When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products.  On the flip side, it takes in the things that our body needs (nutrients from food and water) and absorbs and helps deliver them to the cells where they are needed.

The idea is not to kill off all of the bad bacteria.  Our body does have a need for the bad ones and the good ones.  The problem is when the balance is shifted to have more bad than good.  An imbalance has been associated with diarrhea, urinary tract infections, muscle pain, and fatigue.

The other way that probiotics help is the impact that they have on our immune system.  Some believe that this role is the most important.  Our immune system is our protection against germs.  When it doesn’t function properly, we can suffer from allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders (for example, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis), and infections (for example, infectious diarrhea, Helicobacter pylori, skin infections, and vaginal infections).  By maintaining the correct balance from birth, the hope would be to prevent these ailments.  Our immune system can benefit anytime that balanced is restored, so it’s never too late.

 Probiotics, Urinary Health & Obesity:

Research has shown that probiotics make a nice compliment to antibiotics among people who suffer from urinary tract infections.

What’s more, there’s emerging evidence that regular probiotics can help prevent bad bacteria from invading the urinary tract by maintaining a population of healthy bacteria on the tract’s adherence sites.

Infections of the urinary tract are extremely common, especially in women. Most infections disappear with antibiotics, but about 30 to 40 percent might return, according to literature from the University of Maryland Medical Center.

It should also be noted that In 2006, Stanford University researchers found that obese people had different gut bacteria than normal-weighted people, a first indication that gut flora plays a role in overall weight.

Some preliminary research shows that probiotics can help obese people who have received weight loss surgery to The Health Benefits Of Probiotics For Diabetics maintain weight loss. And in a study of postpartum women who were trying to lose abdominal fat, the addition of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium capsules helped reduce waist circumference.

Side effects are rare, and most healthy adults can safely add foods that contain probiotics to their diet.  If you’re considering taking supplements, in particular probiotics, make sure to check with your doctor to be sure that they’re right for you, but its important to remember probiotics help support healthy digestion by maintaining the health of the intestinal lining, ward off the growth of potentially harmful bacteria and also produce enzymes to support the continued breakdown of foods as it travels through your gut. And while many claim to have the best probiotics on the market, I only trust this one.  

Not only are you getting a healthy dose of probiotics, you are receiving superior wholefood, organic, non-gmo nutrition.

If this article on probiotics was helpful, please leave a comment right below my bio or hit the share button to share with your friends 😀

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The Glycemic Load And How It Helps Manage Your Blood Sugars. Mon, 26 Feb 2018 17:07:51 +0000 What Is The Glycemic Load?Ok, so I was researching some information the other day when it came to certain foods and I came across a term that was unfamiliar to me.  As diabetics we are so use to hearing about the glycemic index (that’s all that was preached to me upon my T1D diagnoses 11 years ago) and why we need to make sure our foods are on the lower end of this scale to make sure our blood sugars remain more stable and do not skyrocket, but as I was researching these particular foods, I came across something I’ve haven’t really heard much about…the glycemic load

What is this glycemic load?  Is it the same as the glycemic index?  Will it have a direct impact on my blood sugars?All great questions so lets take a closer look! 

Difference Between Glycemic Index And Load?

Just to quickly review,  the glycemic index  is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and are categorized into 3 categories.  

The categories are as follows:

Low = GI value 55 or less

Medium = GI value of 56 – 69 inclusive

High = GI 70 or more

Lower glycemic index foods, unlike high GI, will not cause your blood glucose levels to spike and crash, meaning you get sustained energy from the foods you eat.   So now that we’ve reviewed that tid bit of info, how does the glycemic load compare?

How About The Glycemic Load?

The glycemic load of food is a number (just like the glycemic index) that estimates how much the food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it. One unit of the glycemic load approximates the effect of consuming one gram of glucose, but the difference is that the glycemic load accounts for how much carbohydrate is in a particular food and how much each gram of that particular carbohydrate will raise ones blood glucose levels (now you can see my peaked curiosity).

Foods with a low glycemic load keep blood sugar levels much more consistent, meaning that you avoid experiencing those quick spikes and dramatic lows that we can become accustomed to. The reason being is that you are accounting for that particular carbohydrate with it comes to bolusing for your meals.

By watching the glycemic load of the foods you ingest you can dramatically impact your overall health in many ways.  A diet focused on foods  with a low glycemic load can:

  • Make it easier to lose weight and avoid the dreaded diet plateau
  • Avoid the roller coaster effect and maintain stable blood sugar levels (yes, please!)
  • Help you burn more calories
  • Help with insulin resistance 
  • Lower your risk for heart disease

How Do I Calculate The Glycemic Load?

Ok, so this is probably the most important question.  The glycemic load (GL) is a measure of both the quality (the GI value) and quantity (grams per serving) of a carbohydrate in a particular food. A food’s glycemic load is determined by multiplying its glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate the food contains in each serving, then dividing that by 100.  Confused a bit, lets take a look at this example of an apple.

So the Glycemic Load = GI x Carbohydrate (g) content per portion ÷ 100.

Using a small apple as an example: GI value = 38.  Carbohydrate per serving = 15g

GL = 38 (glycemic index) x 15 (grams of carb)

So the glycemic load of a typical apple is 6.  Great, now your probably asking yourself, what do you do with this information?

Well, similar to the glycemic index, the glycemic load of a food can be classified as low, medium, or high reflecting on how quickly they will raise your blood sugars:

  • Low: 10 or less
  • Medium: 11 – 19
  • High: 20 or more

For optimal health, it is recommended to keep your daily glycemic load under 100. However, the simplest way to use the GL is to choose foods with the lowest GI within a food group or category and to be mindful of your serving sizes.

How About The Glycemic Load Food List?

Even though its tough to compile an entire list of all the foods, below is a short sample of what can be considered in the ranges of high, medium and low.

Foods with a low glycemic load of 10 or less:

  • Kidney, garbanzo, pinto, soy, and black beans
  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, like carrots, green peas, apples, grapefruit, and watermelon
  • Cereals made with 100 percent bran
  • Lentils
  • Cashews and peanuts
  • Whole-grain breads like barley, pumpernickel, and whole wheat
  • Whole-wheat tortillas
  • Tomato juice

Foods with a medium glycemic load of 11 to 19: What Is The Glycemic Load And Can It Help Your Blood Sugars?

  • Whole-wheat pasta and some breads
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice cakes
  • Barley and bulgur
  • Fruit juices without extra sugar
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potato
  • Graham crackers

Foods with a high glycemic load of 20 or more:

  • High-sugar beverages
  • Candy
  • Sweetened fruit juices
  • Couscous
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • French fries and baked potatoes
  • Low-fiber cereals (high in added sugar)
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Pizza
  • Raisins and dates

I hope this information at least helps produce less spikes in your diets.  Again, its always a good idea to speak to your doctor/nutritionist when it comes to any dietary modifications, but I found this information fascinating and wanted to share and I will certainly be implementing it into my eating regimen.

If this article on the glycemic load was helpful, please leave a comment below or hit the share button to share with your family and friends 😀

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Health Benefits & Side Effects Of Kombucha! Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:30:41 +0000 Health Benefits & Side Effects Of Kombucha!I was chatting with a friend the other day, and she had asked me if I was a fan on Kombucha.  Honestly, I think its absolutely fantastic! Kombucha tea is made from the fermentation of a mixture of sweetened tea and SCOBY, which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It is known to be effective in reducing the risks of certain health problems and promoting overall health so lets take a closer look!

Kombucha And Energy:

Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process.  It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body.

Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time.

Kombucha And Weight Loss:

Since Kombucha is high in acetic acid, there is reason to believe that Kombucha can improve ones metabolism and limit fat accumulation.  Though more studies need to be done, it makes sense that Kombucha tea supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid and polyphenols which have in other studies been proven to increase weight loss.  You can take a look at that study right here

Kombucha And Diabetes:

As we are all familiar with, metabolic problems and kidney dysfunction are frequent side effects of diabetes. Good news, the antioxidants created by kombucha fermentation may help support liver and kidney function as it’s a fantastic detox for the body. Shown to suppress glucose levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels in animal trials, researchers have indicated kombucha may be a good health support option for those with diabetes.

A comparative study involving black tea and kombucha has revealed that kombucha has better inhibiting properties as compared to the black tea and aids in preventing elevated blood glucose levels.

Per the study:

Kombucha tea has a healing action on the pancreas of the diabetic individuals and helps in guarding their liver and kidney functions by reducing the concentration of urea and other unfavorable activities occurring in the plasma membrane.

Definitely an interesting study that I will be following up on but in the meantime, I will be sticking to my Humalog as a type 1, LOL.

On the other side of the coin though, take a peek at the side effects listed below, especially as some relate to the effects on blood sugars.

Kombucha And Your Immune System:

Kombucha is rich in numerous antioxidants which strengthens the immune defense and boosts the energy levels of the body. The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of kombucha help in fighting various bacterial and viral infections. A study conducted on kombucha tea has validated the fact that oral administration of this drink may help in recovering from the compromised immune system thereby, helps in improving the protection mechanism of the body.

Side Effects Of Kombucha:

Per WebMD Kombucha tea, especially batches made at home where it’s hard to maintain a germ-free environment, can become contaminated with fungus (Aspergillus) and bacteria (including anthrax). In Iran, 20 people got anthrax infections from taking kombucha tea. This tea is likely unsafe in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS, who are more likely to get infections, as well as when it is prepared in a lead-glazed ceramic pot.  Lead poisoning has also been reported following ingestion of kombucha tea.  Several other notable side effects are listed below:

  • Diabetes: Kombucha tea might affect blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have type 2 diabetes and drink kombucha tea.  We all know this can be a slippery slope, but I’ve never had an issue when drinking it as a type 1.
  • Diarrhea: Kombucha tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in kombucha tea, especiallyHealth Benefits & Side Effects Of Kombucha! when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Kombucha tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in kombucha tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.
  • Surgery: Since kombucha tea seems to affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using kombucha tea at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  • Weak immune system: Don’t use kombucha tea if you have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or other causes. Kombucha tea can support the growth of bacteria and fungus that can cause serious infections.

Make Your Own Kombucha:

For kombucha making purposes, the one thing that you will need is that lovely SCOBY that I mentioned above that houses the cultures used for brewing. The best place to get a SCOBY? See if you can contact another brewer, they multiply during brewing, so most regular brewers have plenty to spare. If you don’t know of a brewer, ask around, but if you can’t get one from an acquaintance, you should certainly be able to find one online for purchase.

A couple of other things that you will need?

  1. filtered water
  2. Apple cider vinegar
  3. Tea
  4. Granulated sugar
  5.  Fresh fruit or juice (optional)

As for the brewing process, check out the video listed above, its absolutely fantastic and lays out all the steps nicely. For me, I’m a visual learner and this make the entire process quite easy, enjoy! 

Lastly, Kombucha has gained popularity in the US recently and is now available in many stores if you don’t plan on making your own. There are several really good brands and if you choose to buy it, just look for an organic variety without a large amount of sugar.

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Diabetic Eye Health, How Lutein Can Help! Mon, 05 Feb 2018 16:29:29 +0000 Diabetes, Lutein And Eye HealthAs a type 1 diabetic I certainly know the importance of eye health and the importance of making sure you get those all important yearly eye exams. As diabetics we face a host of different complication buy none no greater than our eyes.

When I was first diagnosed, my endocrinologist mentioned the importance of eye health and that I may want to look into eye supplement (Lutein) to make it appoint to stay on top of those yearly eye exams, especially if I started running into any issues.  Honestly not know much about lutein or ever really hearing about it, I decided to check it out to see what it’s all about, so lets take a closer look!


 What Is Lutein?

Lutein belongs to the carotenoid family, a group of vitamin A-related compounds that may be able to reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and eye degeneration, reports the International Carotenoid Society.  You can get lutein from certain foods (my first recommendation) as well as from dietary supplements found in the pharmacy.

Lutein is a pigment found in large amounts in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, corn, tomatoes and spinach. Acting as an antioxidant, lutein helps counteract the damage caused by free radicals, keeping cells healthy and protecting against illness and disease.

The Role Lutein Plays:

Lutein is present throughout the body, particularly in the eyes.  It is found in the lens of the eye as well as in the retina, especially in the macula.  It plays a significant role in visual sharpness and accuracy.  Lutein is considered as an antioxidant, that protects the cells against the damage caused by naturally occurring chemicals such as free radicals, from the sun’s UV rays.  Free radicals can impair the immune system, resulting in various infectious and degenerative diseases.  Damage to the sensitive tissue of the macula, that is present in the center of the retina, that can lead to loss of vision, is known as macular degeneration.  Free radical damage is one of the main causes of this condition and lutein proves to be effective against it.  Here is a fantastic study, done by the NIH in regards to the role of lutein in eye related diseases.  You can read that by clicking here 

Lutein acts as a natural eye shade, and protects the retina from being directly exposed to the harmful light coming from the sun.  It increases the density of the macular pigment, that is, the layer of protective tissue that is present over the macula.  This pigment strengthens the eye’s vital structures and reinforces its protective capability.  

Lutein helps in filtering the harmful blue light and the UV light and thus protects against macular degeneration caused by free radicals.  Lutein is also important for protection against cataracts, which commonly occurs with age.  The condition is characterized by clouding of the natural lens, causing blurred or decreased vision. Lutein helps to strengthen the cells of the lens, and improve vision.

Eye floaters are bits of debris, within the vitreous humor, which is the clear and transparent material that fills the eyeball.  Eye floaters can be accompanied by flashes of light and restriction in the visual field.  Lutein is a powerful antioxidant, and along with zeaxanthin (another carotenoid) serves as a great way to fight against eye floaters.

So how much lutein to take?  Well that is definitely something that you will want to discuss with your Endocrinologist, and more importantly, your eye doctor.  

Lutein is plentiful in various foods, that we will discuss below or you may want to discuss taking lutein capsules supplements with your doctor.  I prefer to go the food route, so lets take a look at our various options! 

Foods High In Lutein:


Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and collard greens have a high lutein content, containing anywhere from 15 to 47 percent of lutein, according to a 1998 study carried out by researchers in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at University of Texas Medical Branch.  Corn has the highest content, at 60 percent.  Other vegetables containing a significant amount of lutein include zucchini, squash and orange pepper.  Certain fruits like kiwi and grapes also contain lutein.

Enriched Eggs:

Lutein-enriched eggs have about 2 mg of lutein per extra large egg.  While the quantity of lutein is a lot smaller than most lutein-containing vegetables, a study published in the August 2004 issue of “The Journal of Nutrition” found that a greater percentage of lutein is absorbed from eggs than from vegetables.  You can find these enriched eggs in health food stores and farmer’s markets.

Other Sources Of Lutein:

All varieties of cooked summer and winter squash, peas, yellow corn, beet greens, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, romaine and iceberg lettuce, asparagus and carrots are good food sources of lutein as well as zeaxanthin and contain between 1 to 4 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin per serving. Carrot juice and vegetables such as leeks,Diabetes, Lutein And Eye Health snap beans, canned mixed vegetables, artichokes, okra, sauerkraut and sweet green pepper, by contrast, only provide 0.5 to 1 milligram of lutein and zeaxanthin per serving, so these are all options that provide fantastic sources of Lutein, not to mention other great health benefits.


As for supplements, if you just can’t get enough lutein from what you are eating, another great way to incorporate lutein is in the form of supplements.  Lutein supplements usually come in soft-gel form.  The recommended dose is between 10 mg and 20 mg daily, but again, this is something that needs to be discussed with your doctor.  Some multi-vitamins have started adding lutein to their formula.  Concentrated lutein supplements are considered safe for the most part, so make it appoint to talk to your doctor about all of the associated side effects with taking any sort of lutein supplement.

If this article on lutein was helpful, please leave a comment below or hit the share button to share with your family and friends 😀

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What Is A Diabetic Seizure, Warning Signs And Symptoms: Thu, 01 Feb 2018 17:00:03 +0000 What Is A Diabetic Seizure?As diabetics we should all be very familiar with hypoglycemia but for those who are not, what is hypoglycemia and how can it effect us?

Hypoglycemia is the clinical syndrome that results from low blood sugar. The symptoms of hypoglycemia can vary from person to person, as can the severity as I’ve personally dealt with in the past when my severe low was accompanied with a seizure.

This was the first time this as ever happened to me since being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic over 11 years ago now.  While I don’t remember the seizure itself, lets just say we made it a memorable experience for the community as it happened at my sons fall soccer tournament.  So what is a hypoglycemic seizure and what are the warning signs of having a seizure?  Lets take a closer look!

What Is A Hypoglycemic Seizure:

So what causes a seizure? A hypoglycemic seizure may be triggered by injecting too much insulin, or failing to eat soon enough after using a fast acting insulin (exactly what happened to me); excessive use of alcohol, skipping meals,or exercising vigorously without adjusting insulin dosages or eating properly.

A seizure may also be triggered by oral diabetes medications that cause the pancreas to produce more insulin. Whatever the cause of the seizure, it needs to be treated as a medical emergency. To identify the onset of ahypoglycemic seizure,look for the following warning signs of seizures and symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Feeling faint or too sleepy
  • Shakiness
  • Feeling cold or clammy
  • Hallucinations
  • Unexplained emotional behaviors
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Unaware of surroundings
  • Changes in vision
  • Loss of ability to speak clearly
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Muscle weakness
  • Anxiety 

So what happens during a seizure?

If a diabetic seizure is untreated you may become unconscious, fall and have convulsions (this is exactly what happened to me) that cause muscles to contract involuntarily, making the body move and jerk out of control; this can be mild or severe. Diabetics may also appear to be in a trance and unable to respond, with eyes blinking rapidly or staring into space, and eventually unconsciousness.

Treatment Options:

The best treatment is prevention. Check blood sugar levels often and eat a proper diet. Immediate attention is needed if you do have a seizure and become unconscious. It is important to wear a medical ID bracelet specifying diabetes so that responders can provide appropriate care.

The usual course of treatment is an injection of glucagon to quickly bring blood sugar levels back to normal. A diabetic seizure can be life threatening if not treated quickly.  

Glucagon was administered to me on Saturday afternoon and while I had no reconciliation of it other than coming to my senses in the back of an ambulance, I experienced all of the side effects especially with feeling nauseous once I made it to the emergency room.

Preparing And Giving Glucagon:

  1. Remove the flip-off seal from the vial (bottle) of glucagon.
  2. Remove the needle protector from the syringe and inject the entire contents of the syringe into the vial of glucagon.
  3. Remove the syringe. Shake the vial gently until the glucagon dissolves and the solution becomes clear.
  4. Using the same syringe, withdraw all of the solution from the vial.
  5. For children 6 years of age and older, inject all of the solution (1.0 mL), just as you would inject What Is A Diabetic Seizure?insulin. Children under 6 may require only half the mixed does (0.5 mL), as recommended by the doctor or diabetes nurse. 

After the glucagon has been injected, check the person’s blood glucose and watch carefully. After administration, they should wake up within 5 to 20 minutes. If not, take her to the closest hospital emergency department.

If you are ever experiencing a severe low, please, I can not stress enough just how important it is to seek out help. Fortunately for me, my wife was readily available to assist me.  I also happened to be standing next to a paramedic, so once he saw the symptoms and saw that I was a type 1 diabetic, he immediately sprung into action.  

Even though I don’t know this gentleman personally, and did not get to personally thank him, I will be forever grateful for him and all that he did for me on that day, including the administration of glucagon.  So to my wife, the off duty paramedic, and to everyone in the community where I live who helped us out on that Saturday, thank you for everything!  Words can not express how grateful I am to each and everyone of you.

If this article on a diabetic seizure was helpful, please leave a comment below or hit the share button to share with your family and friends 😀

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Health Benefits Of The Paleo Diet For Diabetics Mon, 29 Jan 2018 17:00:01 +0000 Health Benefits Of The Paleo DietSo what does eating paleo mean, what is the definition of paleo? I have several friends that keep throwing out the words paleo diet and swearing by it, especially when it comes to helping stabilize their blood sugars. Honestly I’m not a huge fan of “diets” in general but after doing a little research on paleo, I can certainly understand why they are so giddy over living paleo!

The Paleo diet is certainly not a new idea. Coming to popular attention with the publication of a book on the subject by Walter Voegtlin in 1975, its central concept is to mimic the diet of humans that lived 25 to 50 thousand years ago, during the Paleolithic Age. Voegtlin claimed distinct benefits are associated with what he claims was the high protein and low carbohydrate die of the ancients. His plan is occasionally called the caveman diet, the Stone Age diet and the hunter-gatherer diet. Proponents of the Paleo diet continue to practice it, and it has been somewhat validated by the emergence of other similar low-carb diets.

Health Benefits Of The Paleo Diet:

For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is enough. Improved blood lipids, weight loss and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any particular form of eating, aka “a diet”. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.

With a very simple shift the paleo diet not only removes the foods that are at odds with our health (grains, legumes, and dairy) but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and brings us back to the way our ancestors ate…eating unprocessed foods like meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts as well as seeds.

Paleo Diet For Diabetics:

There are a number of studies investigating the effects of Paleo diets on type 1 and type 2 diabetics and results are impressive. A study published in July 2009 in “Cardiovascular Diabetology” compared the Paleo diet to the Mediterranean diet in subjects with type 2 diabetes over a period of three months. The researchers found that the Paleo diet reduced fasting blood sugar levels, hemoglobin A1C, plasma insulin levels and insulin resistance significantly compared to the Mediterranean diet, indicating potential benefits of the Paleo diet for people with type 2 diabetes.  Here are 5 more studies and how they help stabilize blood sugars, feel free to check them out.

Pro’s Of The Diet:

Right off the start you can see how well this diet is going to control blood sugar levels. In a world where many of us experience roller coaster-like blood sugar fluctuations, this aspect alone proves to be an extremely beneficial aspect of the set-up.

As most of us know, the more stabilized our blood sugar levels are, the less likely you’re going to be to experience food cravings, to battle ongoing fatigue, and to be at the potential risk of developing diabetes down the road.

Since the paleo diet is also chalk full of healthy fats from all the seeds and nuts that are being consumed while also being low in saturated fat due to the restriction of dairy and high fat meat sources, this is also going to work to improve your cholesterol profile and help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

When using the paleo diet you shouldn’t find you have any issue getting enough protein in either, which is something that’s critical for both the fat loss and muscle building process as you’ll be including lean meat sources with each meal. By choosing to incorporate a wide spectrum of fruits and vegetables in your menu, you’re also going to help to keep calorie intake on the lower side, so this will be beneficial from a fat loss point of view.

If you are someone who happens to actively looking to build muscle and thus require that higher calorie surplus, you can simply add larger doses of nuts and seeds into the plan to help boost your calorie and healthy fat intake up higher.


Since the paleo diet has you moving away from all forms of processed and refined carbohydrates, most individuals will find this naturally lowers their calorie intake as well as less food choices are available. Without ten different flavors of chips to choose from or eight different types of cereals lining your pantry, you’re going to have a much easier time sticking with your meal plan and getting the results you’re looking for.

Con’s Of The Paleo Diet:

So what are the drawbacks to the Paleo Diet, if any?

The biggest issue that you may run into that can easily be overcome with proper planning is the fact that if you are a very active individual doing high volume workout sessions, you may find it harder to get in the complex carbohydrates that you need. While you’ll definitely get in carbohydrates from the fruits and vegetables you consume, you’ll be hard pressed to get in hundreds of calories worth without walking around feeling bloated all day long.

Thing is, the body can only handle so much fiber at once and if you’re aiming for a calorie intake of 4000+ per day, with 2000 calories coming from carbohydrates, you may begin to struggle. Since high intensity exercise can only utilize glucose as a fuel source (as fat will not support this intensity of activity), therein lies the potential issue that must be dealt with.  A paleo food list can be found here.

The way to get around this problem is to focus on eating the highest carbohydrate-richHealth Benefits Of The Paleo Diet fruits available including bananas, cherries, and pineapples. At over 100 calories per cup or large fruit, this will add up quickly not to mention you will have to be careful as it will certainly effect your numbers.

Additionally, some athletes will choose to also include the most wholesome grains such as brown rice and steel-cut oats, so that’s another consideration. While eating these will move away from the diet being a true, authentic paleo diet, if you keep the carbohydrates limited to just these highly natural sources, you’ll still receive the same benefits that the approach has to offer while getting in those necessary carbohydrates for energy and muscle glycogen restoration purposes.

The second limitation that you may run into with this approach is that those who choose to use a vegetarian lifestyle will find it very difficult to get in the necessary protein they need to meet their needs. Since most vegetarian protein sources such as quinoa, soy, lentils, chickpeas, and all other legumes are restricted on the plan, there aren’t many options left.

Those who are vegetarian who do want to pursue this diet may want to consider adding a protein powder to their diet to help meet their protein intake and then follow the plan as outlined within the foods they are okay eating. 

The Paleo plan may require some fine tuning in order to be a desirable bodybuilding diet. Overall it provides the essential nutrients for optimum health, but dietary considerations are only part of a bodybuilding regime. Increasing your muscle mass also requires regular physical activity that includes a weight training program. Like with any other diet you are considering, consult with your doctor before starting.

If this article on the paleo diet was helpful, keep please leave a comment right below my bio or hit the share button to share with your friends 😀

Also, if your looking to get that added protein to begin a paleo lifestyle, then you need to add this to your arsenal.

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Blood Glucose Control and Exercise, Get Moving! Wed, 24 Jan 2018 16:59:24 +0000 Blood Glucose Control and Exercise, Get Moving!Most of you already know that I love to exercise.  My day starts out at 4am, early yes, but its the only time that I get to myself during the day.  As a stay at home dad of 4, I consider this a small sacrifice for my sanity as well as to benefit my bottom line as a type 1 diabetic, my health!  

What makes exercise so important?  Well I think we all know the answer to that question as there are so many benefits including better control of our overall blood sugars.  There is a list of exercises you can do, but lets take a closer look at how you can exercise safely for better control!

Diabetes And Exercise:

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, diabetes and exercise should go hand in hand, at least when it comes to the management aspect of the disease. Not only can exercise can help you improve your blood sugar control, boost your overall fitness, it can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, provide more stable blood sugar readings, and help lower blood pressure ~ all risk factors that we face.

While exercise is great for us and the benefits are well documented, as diabetics it also poses some unique challenges. To exercise safely, it’s crucial to track your blood sugar before, during and after physical activity. You’ll learn how your body responds to exercise, which can help you prevent potentially dangerous blood sugar fluctuations.

Exercise And High Blood Sugars?

This was one of the biggest hurdles for me when I was first diagnosed.  My numbers would skyrocket after a workout or even during a gym session.  The issue is that exercise triggers the body to release stress hormones, like adrenaline. Adrenaline tells the liver to release glucose, or cortisol which makes you more resistant to insulin, and since strenuous activity triggers an increase in these stress hormones,  chances are (even temporarily) your blood sugars are often increased.

That being said different exercises affect us differently and we also know that we’re all very unique, and lets face it, type 1 diabetes effects everyone differently and no situations are ever the same. Our blood sugar response to exercise will also depend on our level of physical fitness and personal exertion. Generally speaking, 30-40 minutes of high intensity interval training will bring different results than an hour of running, doing the stair climber or even walking the dog so it will be important to closely monitor your blood sugars during exercise and see how these activity levels effect you.

Exercise And Low Blood Sugars:

I know, kind of defeats the purpose right?  Thing is, exercise can also have a negative impact on our blood sugars in terms of a low blood sugar. It’s always important to be prepared in the event of an emergency.  In the bag I carry with me to the gym, I have a bunch of different goodies that I carry in the event of a low blood sugar. Better to be safe than sorry.  Things you should carry? 

You should always have some source of sugar within arms reach.

  • Keep a sugar packet, sugar cube, or a glucose tablet in your pocket for an emergency. I personally carry around a couple of honest kids organic juice packets and raw honey as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. I also have my glucagon kit readily available in my bag.
  • Bring a sandwich or similar snack (granola bar or protein bar). The effects of a sugar packet on your blood sugar may last only a few minutes, especially if you are really in the zone during an intense workout.

It is often hard to guess the amount of a snack you will need for a particular activity, but if you exercise within an hour after a meal (not something I recommend as you will probably have active insulin on board) you may not need an extra snack especially if the meal you ate is higher in protein and fat.

Also, if your just starting out and you are not physically fit, your blood sugar may drop more quickly than someone who is more advanced and has been working out for several years so it is vitally important to consistently test.  Yes it can be embarrassing and inconvenient but its important to see how your body is responding.

It is also very useful to check your blood sugar to figure out what snack works best for you and more importantly, see how they effect your numbers. If your blood sugar is low (for example, below 100 mg/dL, or 5.5 mmol/L), you may need a larger snack than when your blood sugar is high. The type of snack may depend on the length of the activity.

Good examples:

  • Snacks such as almond milk or organic juice are used for short-term (30 to 60 minutes) activities because they contain carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed. Almond or regular milk is better than juice because it has protein and while it will raiseBlood Glucose Control and Exercise, Get Moving! your blood sugar levels, it can do so without a huge spike. 
  • Also, snacks that include protein and fat along with carbohydrate are good for long-term activities as they will provide you with sustained energy without negatively impacting your blood sugars with quick spikes.

Extra water is also important, particularly during hot weather or exercise sessions where you really work up a good sweat. A general rule is to drink 8 ounces of fluid for every 30 minutes of vigorous activity but if your really sweating and losing water you may need to up that amount. Electrolytes are a fantastic option of doing so and you can read up more about them right here

There’s no question that managing blood glucose during exercise can be a challenge, but it can be done, and done so in a fun and safe manner.  I highly encourage everyone to exercise, even if its only 20 minutes a day. If your just starting out, have a chat with your doctor  and set up a game plan. The benefits of exercise help with weight control, decreased risk of heart disease, improved mood, more stable blood sugar readings and so much more, so get out there and go have some fun even if you exercise at home!

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