Does Cinnamon Help Lower Blood Sugar?

 Does Cinnamon Help Lower Blood Sugar?

Question:

I am interested in lowering my blood sugar. Does taking cinnamon help?

– Marc W.

Answer:

Just taking a supplement of an herb or spice is not a recommended treatment for lowering blood sugar.

In 2013, the American Diabetes Association indicated a lack of evidence to support the use of cinnamon for the treatment of diabetes.1 An article in Medical News Today noted that research is mixed yet suggests “cinnamon may help fight some symptoms of diabetes.2” The Diabetes Council indicates that the evidence to support the use of cinnamon to lower blood sugar levels is currently not strong.3

Overall, cinnamon may be a useful adjunct therapy tool for some people but is not a replacement for traditional diabetes treatments. Consult with your healthcare provider before trying any unprescribed diabetes remedies.

Sources:

  1. “American Diabetes Association Releases New Nutritional Guidelines” 9, 2013.   http://www.diabetes.org/newsroom/press-releases/2013/american-diabetes-association-releases-nutritional-guidelines.html Accessed Oct. 15, 2018.
  2. Zawn Villines “Cinnamon, Blood Sugar and Diabetes” Medical News Today, April 28, 2017. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317207.php Accessed Oct. 15, 2018.
  3. The Diabetes Council Team “Fact from Fiction: Is Cinnamon Good for Diabetes?” Oct. 13, 2018. https://www.thediabetescouncil.com/fact-from-fiction-is-cinnamon-good-for-diabetes/ Accessed Oct. 15, 2018.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Trot Off the Turkey Challenge

Trot Off the Turkey Challenge

LA Fitness invites you to trot off the turkey with us this season!  

Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to give thanks to all that is good in our lives – including giving thanks to our bodies. Before sitting down with friends and family, try challenging yourself to this 2-week pre-Thanksgiving dinner workout! 

But first, a fun fact.  

Did you know the average number of calories that a person consumes at Thanksgiving dinner is a whopping 4,500!?1 That’s a whole lot more than the daily recommended amount (over double for some!), and that’s just one meal.  

But fear not, let yourself splurge for the holiday by burning off the 4,500 calories in the next 15 days leading up to the big event.  

The Turkey Trot Challenge is designed to increase in difficulty as we get nearer the holiday, but make sure you go at your own pace and never push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Remember, this should be fun!  

Share your journey with us using the hashtags #LAFitness #TurkeyTrotChallenge. 

Starting Point: 4,500 calories to burn. 

DAY 1 – Starting off slow 

  • Running (5 mph) 
  • Time: 30 minutes 

Calories Burned: 240 

Calories Remaining: 4,260  

DAY 2 

  • Walking (3 mph) 
  • Time: 60 minutes 

Calories Burned: 247 

Calories Remaining: 4,013 

DAY 3 – Time to up the training! 

  • Elliptical Trainer  
  • Time: 60 minutes 

Calories Burned: 645 

Calories Remaining: 3,368 

DAY 4  

  • Jogging 
  • Time: 45 minutes 

Calories Burned: 298 

Calories Remaining: 3,070 

DAY 5  

  • Running (6 mph) 
  • Time: 45 minutes 

Calories Burned: 427 

Calories Remaining: 2,643 

DAY 6 – We’re in the home stretch! 

Workout #1 

  • Elliptical Trainer  
  • Time: 60 minutes 

AND 

Workout #2 

  • “Power” Walking (4 mph) 
  • Time: 60 minutes 

Total Calories Burned: 937 

Calories Remaining: 1,706 

DAY 7  

Workout #1 

  • Running (7 mph) 
  • Time: 30 minutes 

AND 

Workout #2 

  • Hiking  
  • Time: 60 minutes 

Calories Burned: 832 

Calories Remaining: 874 

DAY 8 – One day out from Turkey Day (The cool down.) 

  • Walking (3 mph) 
  • Time: 60 minutes 

Calories Burned: 247 

Calories Remaining: 627 

DAY 9 – GOOBLE GOOBLE DAY (Thanksgiving!) 

  • Elliptical Trainer 
  • Time: 60 minutes 

Calories Burned: 645 

Calories Remaining: -18 

Yay! 18 extra calories burned!  

A Special Message from the Writer: 

In the spirit of the holiday season, I would like to take this time to thank all of our Living Healthy readers and subscribers. Each of you is such an inspiration to our community. I hope this holiday season brings you an abundance of love and gratitude and a desire to keep working towards all your health and fitness goals!  

Now it’s time for the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Thanksgiving dinner!  

Disclaimer: Calories burned are approximate and based off a weight category of 125lbs. In order to calculate calories burned using your own weight, click here 

 Separately, a healthy balanced exercise program should consist of a mixture of both strength training and cardio. Do not use this as an exercise training program. This challenge is simply designed to be a fun addition to your normal workout routine.  


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 Increasing Body Weight for Bulking

 Increasing Body Weight for Bulking

Question:

My name is Kenton and I am 20 years old. I little bit of background: I swam for the University of the Pacific for 2 years but decided to take some time off from school to work and train. With Pacific I was training about 20 hours a week and I weighed 143 pounds at my heaviest. I have been weight training 4-5 times a week since January but currently weigh 140 lbs. My goal is to weigh around 155 pounds. Any advice would be amazing.

– Kenton Q.

Answer:

I understand your weight goal is beyond your previous heaviest mark. That may take some doing! Further nutrition will only augment the weight training you are able to put towards that goal unless you want pure fat gain. (I’ll assume not.) As it’s not clear what your previous or current diet habits are, I can only offer general advice to put on lean mass.

First – increase nutrient density. Get the most out of every bite with high calorie and nutrient-packed choices. That means that dilute, air or water-filled choices take a back seat to heavier, and rich options. For example, eat oats or granola instead of puffed rice and choose ground meat patties over most fish fillets, except higher fat salmon, herring, mackerel or sardines. Tortillas can replace bread. Snack on dried fruits instead of melon. Fill half your plate with starchy vegetables like peas, corn, carrots and winter squash instead of watery vegetables such as onion, peppers, zucchini, and celery. Even higher sugar or fatty beverages like juices and whole milk help more than water for weight gain.

Second — eat a lot, eat often. Consuming more sheer volume boosts calories and usually offsets healthier (lower calorie) choices. When volume is limited, eating quickly before you feel full or splitting a meal in half to eat an hour or two later can mean getting in more bulk. When you think you’re done eating, push yourself to finish a couple more bites. Wait until after you eat to drink your beverage (and make sure it has calories, too.)

Third – time it right. Fuel your muscles properly pre- and post-workout to capitalize on the surge of hormones driving anabolism. The nutrition window to boost protein synthesis is considered about 30 minutes before and after weight training. Easy to digest lean proteins and low-fiber carbohydrates are the prime choices. Examples are egg whites, poultry breast, bagels, and pretzels. This is also when faster digesting liquid supplements have a leg up on solid food.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Member Spotlight | Meet Female Stuntwoman and Mom, Danielle G. – Part 1

Member Spotlight | Meet Female Stuntwoman and Mom, Danielle G. – Part 1

Meet Danielle G., a stuntwoman and mama-bear who wasn’t always the strong superwoman she is today. In college, Danielle weighed well over 200 lbs., wore size 18 pants, and felt uncomfortable in her own skin. Wanting to make a change, she started training at a local gym but a move to a new area brought with it limited access to the gym she was attending. As a result, her training started to slack, there was a decrease in motivation and subsequently, she began regaining the weight she had lost. A friend and mentor of Danielle introduced her to LA Fitness and encouraged her to continue with her training. Danielle credits the wide range of LA Fitness gym locations for making it possible for her to continue training again. With training once again underway, Danielle set a goal for herself to compete in her first ever NPC (National Physique Committee) Figure Competition. When the big day finally arrived, she recalls being in the best shape of her life.

“With the open environment, friendly gym goers (some of which I call friends now), I continued to see improvements in myself and was planning on competing again, but then I was given the blessings of being a mom (well, stunt mom).”

Danielle G.

LA Fitness Member

Even once pregnant, that didn’t stop Danielle from continuing her training at LA Fitness. She combines weightlifting and cardio and pulls ideas from the LA Fitness Living Healthy blog on nutrition to help her better balance her diet at the same time. Many of Danielle’s friends at her home gym are impressed with her continued dedication. She plans to stay a healthy mom and to continue her training to become a better and stronger stuntwoman. She is a firm believer that if there is a will there is a way. While she is now a mom, she believes that it is possible to find a balance between family and yourself. Danielle hopes to one day get back on stage for her second NPC figure competition.

“Don’t let excuses get in the way of what you want. Whether single or a mom, make sure to take time to take care of your health because if there is no you then the family will suffer.”

Danielle G.

LA Fitness Member

Typical Gym Routine

My typical gym routine is basically working to separate muscle groups (i.e., legs and arms, biceps and back, etc.) for about an hour, followed with 30-45 min of cardio, and some days strict cardio only. Always mixing it up to keep the body aware.


Nutrition –

In the very beginning (college days), I would eat whatever was in front of me. Originally obtaining my degree in medicine meant a lot of stress dealing with early to late night classes, lab time and exams. So, I did a lot of emotional/stress eating, such as eating fried foods, high carbs, sugars, you name it. When I was prepping for my competition and my career as a stuntwoman, I was on a stricter diet. I was on a high protein low carb diet eating about 1,675 calories per day and drinking a gallon of water per day as well. I focused primarily on making sure I was meeting my macro count per day. Eventually, I was seeing about 0.5-1 lb. of weight loss per week. Occasionally there were times I plateaued, but with encouragement, the weight continued to drop. I had to keep reminding myself it took me time to get to being overweight, so it’s going to take time to get it off.


Changing Lifestyle –

In all honesty, I wasn’t happy with who I was with the amount of weight I was carrying. I didn’t feel attractive at all. And in complete honesty, it took one guy, when I was in college, who was the first to tell me he loved me. That made me think: how could he love me when I didn’t love myself?! Talk about a wakeup call. I gave myself a hard look at myself, being over 200lbs and asthmatic where the outside world literally was my enemy. I knew I had to make a change. So that initially started me on my journey to redevelop myself into the person I wanted to be. I focused on finding a balance between school and going to the gym with diet, and slowly started to see the changes that I didn’t think could happen for me.


Setbacks –

I don’t care if you are an average person or the fittest person in the world – there are always setbacks. And it’s really just finding that push/dedication to overcome it and not make bland excuses. For me, it wasn’t just being overweight; being asthmatic also was a huge setback for me. How did I overcome it? I just listened more to my body and the orders of my doctor. I figured by doing that, it would mean a faster way for me to get back into the gym and continue training.


Active Lifestyle & Career –

Fitness plays a huge role for me as a stuntwoman. You must not be just mentally strong, but physically strong and flexible as well. If I was going into my career being overweight as I was, that would have made it difficult, if not impossible. The physical aspects of the job are so demanding that being overweight will not just tire you out faster, but it would also be so much harder on the joints, increasing chances of injury. So, striving to be not skinny but fit is imperative. Fitness is also important especially for stuntwomen in the fact that the clothes and pads we have to wear on set are sometimes minimal compared to our male counterparts. So the added weight, in addition to pads and clothes when you are doubling for the actress can be a big thing.

👉 Subscribe to Living Healthy and keep an eye out for Part 2 of Danielle’s fitness journey, coming soon!


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 A Question on Protein Powders

 A Question on Protein Powders

Question:

I have been taking the protein powder below for 4-5 years. I was listening to something on the LA Fitness TV that said it is important to select the correct protein powder. I have a protein shake in the morning. I am about 107 lbs. I am working on lowering my cholesterol. Is there a protein powder I should be taking that will be better for me? https://www.vitacost.com/sunwarrior-warrior-blend-plant-based-organic-protein-vanilla

– Varsha P.

Answer:

Compared to consuming whole animal food protein sources, vegan protein sources are better for lowering harmful blood lipids. When it comes to protein drinks, there may be less of a difference because supplements are generally very low in fat, often under 2 grams per 20 grams of protein. While dairy-based supplements may have some dietary cholesterol, either may contain insignificant saturated fat, which is the primary component that’s known to elevate cholesterol levels. Protein powders are a poor source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols which are food compounds known to help reduce cholesterol levels.

If you’re limited to the vegan protein powder category, you may not want to stick with one specific supplement for life. As each source offers a different mix of essential amino acids, it’s best to cycle your proteins to get the full range of building blocks your cells require. Of course, you can do that with the whole food protein sources in your diet by getting a variety of legumes, beans, nuts, seeds and vegetables. Doing so will enable you to consume adequate fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and plan sterols needed for blood cholesterol reduction.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Recommended Reading - Q+A

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