Managing Diabetes with Meals, Meds, and Motion

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Managing and balancing blood sugar is essential to living a healthy life with diabetes. In fact, research shows that even moderately good glucose control can reduce the risk of blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, and possibly even dementia in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Fortunately, we have tools to get glucose under control, including medications, movement, and meals, plus great technology that makes it easier to track glucose numbers, patterns and trends.

In our latest episode of YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, we take a look at the role food plays in staying healthy with diabetes, while making a delicious meal that includes the nutrients we need for good glucose control.

Recipe: Quinoa with Ginger, Citrus, and Fresh Herbs

Scientific studies show that meals, medications, and motion are also effective tools for preventing type 2 diabetes.  For example, the U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a clinical trial conducted at 27 sites across the U.S. from 1996 to 2001.  Over 3,000 adults participated, and were randomly selected to be part of one of three study groups: a diet and exercise group, a group that took metformin (a common medication used to improve blood sugar control), or a placebo group.

Interestingly, individuals who took metformin had good results, but not as significant as the group that improved their diet and increased exercise.  Adults in the metformin group reduced their transition from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes by 31%, while the diet and exercise group reduced type 2 diabetes by a whopping 58%.

Ten years after the study ended, participants in the DPP diet and exercise group continued to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 49%, compared to the metformin group at 18%.  Surprisingly, fifteen years after the study ended, both groups continued to reduce onset of the disease.

Diet, exercise and medications are essential for the treatment and prevention of diabetes.  You can learn more about diabetes, pre-diabetes, and the latest technology for tracking glucose patterns and trends from the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. Give them a call at 928-771-5794 for information on classes and individual consultations, as well as the Adult Fitness Program at YRMC’s Pendleton Centers in Prescott and Prescott Valley.

Also, be sure to check out our diabetes-friendly recipes and videos at All of our recipes feature whole, nutrient-packed ingredients that are easy to find and affordable.  Remember to follow me on Facebook as well, at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, where I post photos, videos, and recipes of the meals I make at home, plus links to my favorite food and gardening destinations on the web.