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  • Writer's pictureStacie Haaga

Diabetes: Prevention over Prescription

Here’s a startling fact: more than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 80% don't know they have it.

That means many of us are unwittingly walking around in a pre-diabetic state. And if it’s not actively addressed through lifestyle changes, those with pre-diabetes will end up with diabetes.

The good news is that even if it’s in your family history, it is preventable and reversible without a prescription!

The Role of Blood Sugar in the Body

Carbs (or sugar) are the primary source of fuel but when the body runs out of it, it turns to use fat as energy. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.

As blood sugar levels rise, insulin is released to prompt cells to absorb blood sugar for two purposes: immediate energy or storage. The sugar is then processed to ensure it's shuttled to cells throughout the body, including brain, liver, muscle, adipose (fat) tissue and other cells for energy. The blood sugar level then drops to the level it was before anything was eaten in about 1-2 hours – unless sugar in the blood is not properly processed.

Poor blood sugar processing could be due to too little of the hormone insulin being secreted or as a result of resistance to the insulin. When this happens, the blood sugar stays elevated for a longer period of time and the sugar is not used for energy which leads to fatigue and damage to the arteries and the brain. Eventually the excess glucose in the bloodstream is converted to fat for storage leading to overweight and obesity.

The consequences of letting the blood sugar go unchecked and unused are nerve damage, poor eye sight, insomnia, and increased risk of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease and dementia.

And if you’re experiencing frequent headaches, increased third, brain fog, sugar cravings, anxiety, and frequent trips to the bathroom at night, there’s a good chance you have poor blood glucose control.

The consequences of letting the blood sugar go unchecked and unused are nerve damage, poor eye sight, insomnia, and increased risk of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease and dementia.

How to Manage Blood Sugar through Diet and Lifestyle

There are many variables when it comes to managing blood sugar including the food quality and quantity you consume (and when you consume it), your activity level, stress, medications, body composition, alcohol and water consumption, and your health history.

These variables influence how much the blood sugar increases and how receptive the cells are to insulin. Insulin resistance is what happens when the body has an impaired response to insulin, resulting in elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

Your muscles, fat, and liver can’t respond appropriately to the insulin and are unable to easily absorb glucose from your blood. Extremely low carb diets, inflammation, excess body fat/decreased muscle mass, age, and poor quality nutrition all contribute to insulin resistance but insulin sensitivity can be improved with changes to lifestyle.

So what are some things you can do to better manage blood sugar?

Here are my favorite strategies for increasing insulin sensitivity and improving blood sugar management:

  • Choose whole foods 80-90% of the time - skip processed, packaged foods with added sugars;

  • Never eat a naked carb - eat protein, fat and fiber with carbs to decrease insulin response;

  • Exercise and/or walk 10 minutes after eating;

  • Practice 12-16 hour fasting or time-restricted eating;

  • Apple cider vinegar before meals;

  • Strength training to increase muscle mass;

  • Drink water throughout the day - stay hydrated (and limit alcohol);

  • Carb cycling nutrition schedule;

  • Optimize your sleep to get 7-9 hours each night.

Choosing one or more of these preventative strategies will ultimately help you to avoid a prescription, not to mention you will have more energy, sleep better and think more clearly when you have tighter control over your blood glucose.


Whether you need to lose weight or not, my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program is a great way to learn more and put these habits into practice! You have access to meal guides, daily workouts, weekly trainings and daily accountability with me as your coach. Read here for more details.

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