Health Advice For Pre-Diabetics | Q+A

Health Advice For Pre-Diabetics | Q+A

Question:

Hi, I am an LA Fitness Member for more than 10 years. I have a question regarding my health. Just recently I was diagnosed with prediabetes. I do not know how to control my sugar level. What do you think should I eat, how much sugar should I eat everyday, how do I know if I’m having enough sugar in my body? Your feedback would save my life because I am really losing a lot of weight. Thank you.

– Jo

Answer:

Thanks for reaching out, Jo. It’s great that you’re addressing your prediabetes (aka. impaired glucose tolerance) right away.

Though your diagnosis reflects higher than normal blood sugar, it will take balancing ALL your food to manage it. Here’s why: foods have a combination of macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat, protein) that all impact blood sugar. Unless they have certain bonds which make them fibers, carbohydrate molecules directly break down into sugar through digestion. So even a sugar-free baked potato will raise blood sugar. The presence of protein and fat in the stomach will somewhat slow the digestion of carbohydrate at the same meal, thus reducing the rate of absorption and subsequent blood sugar rise. Adding sour cream and cheese to the potato will have a desirable blunting effect.

A meal of pasta and marinara is carbohydrate-rich and therefore a blood sugar booster. Reducing portions and adding a couple of meatballs or Parmesan cheese and fibrous broccoli makes for a more balanced meal that is likely to have a milder effect on blood sugar. That’s not to say that if you just load up on fat it will counteract sugar (sorry, ice cream). I’d stick with starches, fruit and fluid milk for the healthiest carbohydrates and avoid refined sugars. There is no minimum need for sugar, only for carbohydrates, and it’s recommended your daily intake is at least 130 grams.

Your take-home message is to avoid added sugars, balance your meals (complex carbohydrate/protein/fat) and increase activity to lower your blood sugar levels.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

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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.

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What Can I Do to Gain Weight Fast? | Q+A

What Can I Do to Gain Weight Fast? | Q+A

Question:

What can I do to gain weight fast? I am trying to gain at least 10 pounds in a month or two and I need any advice on what to eat to gain weight.

– Rosalinda V.

Answer:

Your best bets for maximum healthy calories are nuts, avocado, cheese, oils, and pesto, followed by ground beef, tortillas, pudding, au gratin or scalloped potatoes, bisque soups and chowders. Choose dense produce such as winter squash, peas, carrots, corn and bananas, and rich cereals like granola and muesli. To maximize calories, add 1 Tbsp. powdered milk or juice concentrate to each Cup of fluid milk or juice, respectively.  Fried foods and any bakery goods saturated with butter, cream or sauce certainly have more calories per bite than their plain counterparts. Whole-fat dairy foods contain nearly double the calories than the fat-free versions. And, of course, if you are able, simply increase the volume of what you already eat.

– 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.

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Building Ab Muscles | Q+A

Building Ab Muscles | Q+A

Question:

Hi! I am asking about approximate caloric intake. I am a 5’4″ female and weigh about 115, active with workouts (4-5 times per week, 45-minute workouts. Cardio + strength + abs training). My goal is to build muscles, especially the abs. I normally do not eat too much. What is your recommendation according to the information above?

– Victoria

Answer:

Your current estimated energy needs are in the range of 1800-2000, depending on your age. Those numbers are from equations. Your personal body chemistry is unique so your actual calorie requirement may be different. Normally I’d say increase calories to build muscle, but for abs it’s usually a matter of definition and toning. Since you say you don’t eat too much, packing on calories isn’t a good idea. Focus on those workouts and supporting them with adequate nutrition. See our articles Fuel your Workouts to Maximize Your Results and Eat Like This to Help Maximize your Recovery and Results for more on eating right for your exercise bouts.

– 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.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

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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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Gastroparesis & Diet | Q+A

Gastroparesis & Diet | Q+A

Question:

I have gastroparesis*. What should I eat for breakfast before I go to the gym to work out?

– Judy P.

*Gastroparesis is a disease of the muscles of the stomach or the nerves controlling the muscles that causes the muscles to stop working.

Answer:

You’ll want to eat sooner and give yourself time to digest. Depending on your individual symptoms:

With impaired stomach emptying, liquids are preferable before a workout. Perhaps a protein shake or a smoothie made with fruit and yogurt.

With impaired gut motility, low-volume easily-digested matter is best. Try natural applesauce, plain pretzels or a bowl of puffed rice.

Be sure to have a carbohydrate electrolyte beverage (traditional sports drink) on hand during workouts lasting over an hour.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

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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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Maintaining Weight | Q+A

Maintaining Weight | Q+A

Question:

How many calories should I consume to maintain a weight of 148 pounds? I am a female, 59 years old, medium frame.

– Linda H.

Answer:

Your estimated energy needs are in the range of 1800-2000 Calories for weight maintenance, depending on your height and physical activity level. Keep in mind these estimates are based on calculations from decades-old equations. Your actual caloric requirement may vary from these due to your personal physiology/body chemistry.

A sample 1800 calorie diet:

Meal: 1 cup melon, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon oil, 1 cup bran cereal, 1 cup 2% milk
Snack: 1 string cheese, 1 orange

Meal: 1 cup coleslaw, 3 ounces pulled pork (no sauce), small ear corn on the cob, 1 cup 2% milk
Snack: ¼ C hummus, celery and carrots

Meal: 1 cup green beans, 3 ounces tilapia, 1 spoon tartar sauce, 2/3 cup brown rice, 1 cup 2% milk

– Debbie J., MS, RD

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

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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