New study suggests Diabetics should lift weights before cardio

Reuters Health) – People with diabetes may have better blood sugar control during workouts if they lift weights before doing cardio exercise, according to a new study by Canadian researchers.

It’s important to define the best way for people with type 1 diabetes to exercise so that blood sugar doesn’t drop too low, yet they can still reap all the benefits of aerobic exercise, Dr. Ronald Sigal, an endocrinologist at the University of Calgary in Canada and lead author of the study told Reuters Health.

Those with type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the body does not produce its own insulin, a hormone needed to convert food into fuel, risk low blood sugar during exercise. Blood sugar that drops too low can lead to poor coordination, unconsciousness or even coma.

About five percent of all Americans with diabetes, or roughly 1.3 million people, have type 1, which is often diagnosed in childhood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Twelve fit people with type 1 diabetes, who already ran and lifted weights at least three times per week, participated in the new study. The 10 men and two women averaged 32 years old.

They met researchers at the laboratory for two experimental exercise sessions, which were held at least five days apart.

At one session, participants did 45 minutes of treadmill running followed by 45 minutes of weight lifting. They switched the order for the other session.

Each workout started at five o’clock in the evening to simulate a common time of day people might exercise after work, said Sigal.

Researchers measured blood sugar levels before, during and after exercise for each participant.

In people with type 1 diabetes, target blood sugar levels can range from about 4 to 10 millimoles per liter of blood (mmol/L).

Researchers interrupted participants before blood sugar became too low for safety reasons — if it fell below 4.5 mmol/L, participants stopped and ate a snack.

When participants did aerobic exercise first, blood sugar dropped closer to that threshold and remained lower for the duration of the workout than when they lifted weights first and ran second.

Lifting weights first was also associated with less severe drops in blood sugar hours after exercise, and post-exercise drops that did occur tended to last a shorter period of time.

The current study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, echoes previous research showing that aerobic exercise causes a more rapid decrease in blood sugar than weightlifting.

“Your muscles utilize sugar very quickly in aerobic exercise,” Dr. Vivian Fonseca, chief of endocrinology at Tulane University Medical School told Reuters Health. He was not involved in the current work.

The study was small, and the researchers acknowledge that other factors, which they did not measure, could be at work, rather than the exercise order. For example, they did not account for levels of a number of hormones that could also lead to changes in blood glucose during exercise.

Nor did they have control over participants’ food and activity choices prior to exercise –the authors wanted the study to reflect real-life conditions faced by people with type 1 diabetes.

Because study participants were young, active people with type 1 diabetes, it’s not clear whether the findings would apply to less fit people with type 1 diabetes or people with type 2 diabetes.

“While the study findings are very intriguing, they may have limited practical value until more studies are done,” said Fonseca.

Still, the authors conclude, those people with type 1 diabetes who tend to develop low blood sugar during exercise “should consider performing their resistance exercise first.”

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, online February 28, 2012.


Is the Paleo Diet for You? Eating like your ancestors for better blood sugar today.

Is the Paleo Diet for You?
Eating like your ancestors for better blood sugar today.


By Jack Challem

Google “Paleo diet” and you get almost 10 million results. People find the concept compelling — eating the way human beings did when they had no choice — but can the eating habits of your ancient ancestors really help you lose weight and manage your blood sugar today?

Paleo Diet FossilThe Paleo diet refers to what Paleolithic (or Stone Age) people were eating roughly 10,000 to 50,000 years ago. In those days, people hunted for meat, sometimes fished, and gathered a lot ofvegetables. They did not eat any grains, processed fats, or sugars (other than occasional honey, which was difficult and painful to obtain). In other words, no one stuffed themselves on breads, pastas, pizzas, muffins, bagels, soft drinks, fries, or desserts. Knightia (Herring) – Fossilized Fish from the Eocene Age
Green River Formation, Kemmerer, Wyoming

But you don’t really have to live like a caveman (or cavewoman) to get some of the benefits of this ancient diet.

Paleo eating gained medical respectability in 1985 with an article by S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., in the New England Journal of Medicine. He wrote that many modern health problems, including obesity and diabetes, resulted from a mismatch between our ancient genes (which haven’t changed) and our modern indulgence in convenience and fast foods.

Dietary Changes

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., a professor at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Dietand The Paleo Answer, points out that ancient peoples were free of the “diseases of civilization,” such as diabetes and heart disease. Like Eaton, Cordain has based much of his research on anthropological surveys of 229 pre-technology hunter-gatherer societies and 50 modern-day hunter-gatherer societies, such as African bushmen.

Of course, ancient eating habits varied by geography and season. So did the ratio of animal-to-plant foods, with some societies consuming a higher proportion of animal foods and others more plant foods. One interesting fact is that none of the societies were completelyvegetarian.

Our ancestors’ diets began changing around 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture and the introduction of grains and grain products, including flour, bread, tortillas, sugar, andalcohol. Because human teeth cannot effectively chew raw grains, the seeds had to be pulverized (i.e., processed, refined) before consumption. Such processing increases theglycemic effect of grains and also makes them easy to overindulge in, thus boosting our risk of heart disease.

Paleo Foods Foods to Limit or Avoid
Natural, lean meats (beef, poultry, pork) Dairy foods (butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.)
Eggs Grains (barley, corn, oats, rice, wheat, etc.)
Unsalted nuts and seeds Legumes (all beans, soybean products, lentils, etc.)
Non-starchy vegetables Starchy vegetables (potatoes)
Fish Salty foods (processed meats, condiments, etc.)
Shellfish Sweets
 Organ meats (beef, lamb, pork, and chicken livers, tongues, marrow, and sweetbreads) Sugary soft drinks
 Game meat (alligator, elk, caribou, goose, etc.) High sugar fruits, dried fruit, all fruit juices
 Fatty meats (bacon, lamb chops, chicken thighs, wings, and legs, etc.)


Fast Food As Addictive As Heroin, Study Confirms

Fast Food As Addictive As Heroin, Study Confirms

Posted on Mar 30th 2010 12:00PM by Amber Greviskes

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss
Scientist have previously proven links between drug addiction and fast-food addiction, but now there is a growing body of research that is finding out how junk food is hard wiring our brains for cravings.

The latest study, published March 28 in “Nature Neuroscience,” likened the affects of high-fat, high-calorie fast food to those of cocaine or heroin, in animals at least.

The researchers showed that the pleasure-center in rats brains were overstimulated from the fast food similar to an addict’s cocaine binge. Eventually, the pleasure centers became so overloaded that rats needed more and more food to feel normal, according to Paul H. Kenny, an associate professor of molecular therapeutics at the Scripps Research Institute.

Throughout the study, Kenny and his co-author studied three groups of lab rats for 40 days. The first group ate healthy food. The second ate a limited amount of junk food. The third group, however, was allowed to gorge on high-fat, high-calorie foods and becameobese.

The startling side effect? The brains of the obese rats changed.
“The body adapts remarkably well to change — and that’s the problem,” Kenny said in a press release. “When the animal overstimulates its brain pleasure centers with highly palatable food, the systems adapt by decreasing their activity. However, now the animal requires constant stimulation from palatable food to avoid entering a persistent state of negative reward”.

During the study, the rats lost complete control over the ability to regulate whether they were hungry, often eating despite electric shocks. When the obese rats were put on a healthy diet, they refused to eat, starving themselves for two weeks.

In another study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City showed that feeding rats a diet high in saturated fatcalories and sugar — which is the typical make-up for a fast-food menu item — lowered the rats ability to respond to leptin, a hormone that helps regulate eating behavior by controlling how full one feels. As rats grew fatter, the amount of leptin in their bodies increased signaling that they were dangerously close to starvation. They continued to overeat and gain weight.

Those who yo-yo diet face similar problems that those going through withdrawal do, Boston University researchers proved last year. According to Pietro Cottone, an assistant professor in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders at BU, dieters seek out foods to avoid the negative feelings that they experience if they are deprived of their favorite comfort foods.

“These findings confirm what we and many others have suspected,” Kenny said, “that over-consumption of highly pleasurable food triggers addiction-like neuroadaptive responses in brain reward circuitries, driving the development of compulsive eating. Common mechanisms may therefore underlie obesity and drug addiction.”


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