10 How’s and Why’s on Defeating Diabetes as told by holistic Nutritionist-Dietitian Julianne Stefani Malong, RND, ACE-CPT - Nuthera® Meal Plans

10 How’s and Why’s on Defeating Diabetes

Do you know anyone who is afflicted with diabetes? We are 100% sure that you do! 

by Julianne Stefani Malong, RND, ACE-CPT

You wouldn’t want to have it as it gradually impairs the function of your body’s organ systems – from your skin to your kidneys, and from your brain to your reproductive system.

The good news is, it is absolutely preventable, with disease awareness, lifestyle change, self-discipline, and proper support. 

So here are 10 important how’s and why’s to keep in mind for prevention and management of diabetes: 

 #1. How prevalent is diabetes?

According to the World Health Organization, the worldwide prevalence of diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to a staggering 422 million in 2014. In 2016, it was named the seventh leading cause of death with half of all deaths linked to high blood glucose occurring before the age of 70 years. 

This resonates with the 8th National Nutrition Survey of the Philippines wherein 13.4% of the total population are diagnosed with impaired fasting glucose, with the condition found most prevalent in the age group 60-69 years old (22.6%). 

#2. How does diabetes develop?

Diabetes has 2 types. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

The more prevalent Type 2 diabetes is developed over time due to the combination of genetic and lifestyle factors that cause the receptors of insulin to lose their sensitivity so that even if insulin is available, glucose is still unable to enter the cell. 

Note that although genetics play a part in disease development, your lifestyle determines if the genes are turned on! Your weight, body fat, inactivity are the top 3 factors that predispose you to having diabetes. 

#3. How are affected people diagnosed as a diabetic?

The observable symptoms of diabetes known as the 3 P’s include polyuria or frequent urination, polydipsia or frequent thirst, and polyphagia or frequent hunger pangs. 

From a clinic visit, patients are considered diabetic if they get the following numbers from diagnostic tests: 

  • a random venous plasma glucose concentration ≥ 11.1 mmol/l or  
  • a fasting plasma glucose concentration ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (whole blood ≥ 6.1 mmol/l) or  
  • two-hour plasma glucose concentration ≥ 11.1 mmol/l two hours after 75g anhydrous glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). 

#4. How does diabetes alter your metabolism?

When we eat, the carbohydrates in our food are broken down into single glucose units that enter our bloodstream after digestion. In healthy individuals, the hormone insulin is well-regulated to allow glucose to enter the cells, for storage or for powering millions of chemical reactions that keep us thriving. 

With diabetes, there is faulty metabolism of glucose in the body, due to the lack of insulin or lack of sensitivity to it.  Due to this insulin resistance, the vicious cycle of increasing blood glucose that stimulates more insulin production continues, resulting to a domino effect of adverse health outcomes. 

#5. How does exercise affect insulin and blood glucose metabolism?

Physical activity has a significant positive effect on insulin sensitivity. Depending on intensity, a single bout of exercise can increase insulin sensitivity for at least 16 hours up to 48 hours post exercise in healthy and non-insulin dependent diabetics. 

Any type of physical activity, when done consistently, has the potential to make your insulin work better. Aerobic activities aim to burn more calories and glucose, but resistance training builds muscle that allows you to burn even more. 

The bonus is that a weight loss of 5-7% already has a huge impact on diabetes outcomes, hence continuing until you get to back to a normal weight can potentially reverse the condition, especially in prediabetic individuals. 

#6. How does a controlled diet help you overcome diabetes?

Since diabetes is focused on carbohydrates and insulin, it is vital to know that different carbs affect your metabolism differently. For carbs, this is measured by the glycemic index or that measure how specific carbs increase your blood glucose levels. 

Persons with diabetes are encouraged to consume more low glycemic carbs which are unprocessed or slightly processed, fiber-rich whole foods that come from leafy greens, nuts, legumes, rootcrops and whole grains. These carbs make you feel full and slow gastric emptying which means calories are slowly introduced to the blood stream. 

On the other hand, high glycemic, highly processed, sweetened goods such as breads, sweets, pastries, and sugary drinks are discouraged as they are very easily digested and absorbed. These cause abrupt spikes in blood glucose levels and stimulates the production of more insulin. 

#7. How can the NUTHERA Rx Diabetes Meal Plan help people with this condition?

Figuring out what to cook for dinner can be a hassle, especially if you’re trying to manage your blood sugar and keep diabetes under control. Indeed, counting carbs can often be a full-time job, and can be stressful to busy individuals and pregnant women with gestational diabetes. 

nuTHERAS Diabetes Meal Plan focus on high-fiber ingredients and meals with lowered sugar and sodium to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar. All of the meals served under Nuthera® Diabetic-friendly Meal Plan are under 700 calories and have at least 15 g of protein. Less than 10 percent of each meal’s calories are from added sugar, and each meal contains between 20 to 100 g of carbohydrates per serving. Saturated fat consists of less than 10 percent of total calories, and meals contain no more than 700 mg of sodium. 

#8. Why is your Diabetic-friendly Meal Plan fixed with 3 meals and 2 snacks per day? 

People with diabetes should eat 4-5 small meals during the day instead of three or less larger meals.

Everyone needs to eat about every four to six hours during the day to keep energy levels up but people with type 2 diabetes usually have better blood glucose control if their meals and carbohydrates are spaced evenly throughout the day. 

The purpose of this is to regulate the insulin production of your beta cells and manage the total insulin in your blood stream as a vital step to improving insulin receptor sensitivity. 

#9. How does your Nuthera Diabetic-friendly Meal Plan compare with maintenance medicines for diabetes management?

Medical nutrition therapy is meant to complement and not replace or be compared to the medical intervention provided by doctors in the form of maintenance medicines and other medical procedures.

Nuthera®  is meant to care for you, the patient, outside the hospital setting to foster discipline and increased awareness for a healthier way of life.  

We highly value working with allied health professionals hence though significant improvement with medical prognosis is expected within 3 months of the Diabetic-friendly Meal Plan by Nuthera®, you must still consult with your physician regarding any adjustment with your medications, as well as future steps for managing your condition. 

#10. How will the NUTHERA Rx Diabetes Meal Plan impact your quality of life in the long run? 

People with diabetes are more likely to develop multiple risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and cancer; The risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.  

For diabetes, a healthy diet may just be the best medicine. In fact, a diabetes diet can go beyond helping you achieve blood sugar control. As it provides properly controlled portions of whole foods rich in fiber and antioxidants, it can greatly lower your risk for serious health conditions and can potentially prevent the development of further health complications. 

Final Thoughts

If there’s one thing that’s trending but you should miss out on, it’s diabetes. It affects the innermost workings of your body processes and if that’s not serious enough, it is also a gateway disease to more lethal health conditions. The good news is, nothing can beat a 360-degree lifestyle change as the most effective way to prevent and manage of diabetes.  

Let us help you and your loved ones kickstart a journey towards better health outcomes with Diabetic-friendly Meal Plan by Nuthera®. 


Julianne Stefani Malong, RND, ACE-CPT

Julianne is a nutritionist-dietitian and a holistic lifestyle coach specializing in behavior coaching for weight management. She helps people turn complex fitness facts into simple life hacks for sustainable long-term change.

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