Sunday, October 23, 2011

Question of the Week: Low Carb or Not Low Carb?

The following question was submitted by one of my readers for discussion for this week's blog post, "I was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  I would like to know, should I avoid carbs all together or is there a minimum you must eat?"

Carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation within the past few years with the popularity of the Atkins and South Beach Diet Fads.   In reality, carbohydrates are the body preferred fuel source and can be a source of many vitamins,minerals,and fiber, so it is not a good idea to avoid all of them. 

There are "good carb choices" and "bad carb choices".  Choose the "healthy" carbohydrates, or in other words, "nutrient dense" choices such as those found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and skim/low fat dairy foods.  The carbs that should be limited or avoided are those in snack foods or baked goods (i.e. cookies, cakes) or candies.   Additionally, even "good choices" need to be eaten in moderation.   An appropriate range of carbohydrates in our diets is between 40-65% of total calories/daily.  Someone who eats 2000 calories daily should eat between 800 - 1300 of those calories from carbohydrates.  The brain needs an average of 130g (520kcals) of carbohydrates daily to function optimally.   

If you were just diagnosed with Diabetes, I would strongly suggest contacting a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Question of the Week: Getting Enough Exercise During the Winter Months


The following question was submitted for this week's blog post, "I have pre-diabetes and have been doing a pretty good job of exercising outdoors during the spring and summer months.  Now that the weather is starting to cool down, I am trying to determine what I can do for physical activity in the colder months.  Suggestions?"

There are plenty of ways to get your exercise in despite the change of seasons as we approach the colder months:

1.  Hit the Mall!  Many malls open early for those who like to get some exercise. Contact the Concierge or Service desk to get details.  Best to walk during early hours before it gets busy or an hour before closing are idea (weekdays and not right around the holidays.

2.  Join a Gym!  Many places offer month to month memberships if you ask (they will be happy to get some business than no business).  Take advantage of the classes they offer.

3.  Check out your local YMCA/YWCA.  Many have gyms and indoor pools that you can utilize for a fee.

4.  Take up an outdoor cold weather sport:  skiing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and ice skating are fun ways to get exercise.

5.  Try Yoga!  Many yoga places advertise using websites such as  and and offer great packages for discounted prices.

6.  Turn your home into a gym. Invest in a piece of exercise equipment and take advantage of the convenience.  For example, I bought a nice treadmill (one that folds up conveniently for space saving) and have it situated by a television so I can workout as I catch up on my shows!

7.  Many local Community Schools offer all types of indoor sports (such as volleyball) and exercise courses for a minimal enrollment fee.