NUTRITION NEWS

How Small Dietary Changes May Lower Blood Sugar


A new pilot study shows that drinking a Glucerna Hunger Smart® Shake as a breakfast and snack replacement daily may be beneficial for glucose levels in people managing type 2 diabetes.

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes and another 1 in 5 people don’t know they have the chronic condition. As the rate of diabetes continues to rise, it’s more important than ever to adopt healthy habits and strategies to manage diabetes. Keeping your glucose in check is of the utmost importance when you're managing type 2 diabetes. Often, ensuring your glucose levels stay within a healthy range requires a multifaced approach of a healthy eating plan and exercise along with potential medication.

Managing diabetes doesn't have to feel like work, though. In fact, even slight behavior and eating plan changes may have a significant impact on your glucose management. And according to a new pilot study, diabetes specific nutrition as part of a balanced diet shows promise to help improve glucose management.

How Diabetes-Specific Nutrition Shakes May Help

Pilot data from Abbott and published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care illustrates the important role diabetes-specific nutrition and continuous glucose monitoring can play on glycemic response management of people with type 2 diabetes.

The study found that when participants with type 2 diabetes replaced their typical breakfast and an afternoon or evening snack with a diabetes-specific meal replacement, they experienced a lower glucose level after breakfast.

The real-world study also demonstrates how continuous glucose monitoring with Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre® Pro can help physicians conveniently monitor glucose trends and patterns to make more informed treatment decisions for people with diabetes.

The small randomized controlled trial looked at the impact of two daily servings of Glucerna Hunger Smart® shake, a diabetes-specific nutritional formula, on participants' glucose levels. Eighty-one adults with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the study and followed a two-week intervention. In the baseline phase (days one through six), participants continued to follow their regular eating pattern. During the intervention phase (days seven through 14), participants were randomly divided into one of three groups:

  • Group A: Control group with no dietary intervention.
  • Group B: Participants drank one Glucerna Hunger Smart shake as a breakfast meal replacement and a second shake as a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Group C: Participants drank one Glucerna Hunger Smart shake as a breakfast meal replacement and a second shake as a snack before bedtime.

In assessing the glucose levels of participants throughout the study, researchers found that drinking a Glucerna Hunger Smart shake twice daily was associated with a 47% reduction in post-meal peak glucose after breakfast, as compared without/before Glucerna Hunger Smart[TS1] .

What Does This Mean for Those Managing Type 2 Diabetes?

Abbott’s Glucerna brand is one of the most clinically studied diabetes specific formulas with more than 50 clinical studies spanning 30 years.* 

This research shows that although diabetes is a complex disease, one tool that  may make it easier to manage is with the help of a meal or snack replacement such as Glucerna Hunger Smart shakes.

Scientifically formulated with CarbSteady®, a unique blend of slow-release carbohydrates to help minimize glucose spikes and 15 grams of protein to help satisfy hunger, Glucerna Hunger Smart shakes can serve as a meal or snack. It also packs zinc, vitamins A, C, D and E to support immune health, as well as 6 grams of fiber in 180 calories, and nutrients to help support immune health.

While incorporating this nutrition shake to your everyday routine, as part of a balanced eating plan, may help you manage your blood sugar levels, there are a few other ways you can keep your health on the right track.

1. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Incorporating fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks is an easy way to add nutrition to your eating plan and cut calories without sacrificing taste. Try these easy swaps/additions:

  • Add chopped apples sprinkled with cinnamon to steel cut oatmeal
  • Replace pasta noodles with squash noodles, or sliced zucchini for lasagna noodles
  • Incorporate cauliflower “rice” instead of rice in dishes
  • Add frozen vegetables to meals before cooking
  • Puree spinach along with berries or other fruits into a smoothie

2. Exercise Regularly

The exercise recommendation for adults is at least 30 minutes per day for five days each week. Building an exercise regimen doesn't have to be complicated or elaborate. Start small with adjustments to your daily routine, such as:

  • Taking the stairs instead of riding the escalator or elevator
  • Walking your dog for an extra 15 minutes each day
  • Doing sit ups, squats or arm exercises while watching your favorite TV show
  • Using part of your lunch break for a short walk
  • Signing up for a workout class with a friend

3. Chat With a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

If you feel like you need more assistance managing your glucose, consider taking advantage of the Glucerna Ask a Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) chat. This free service allows you to easily get answers to questions about living with diabetes and promoting good glucose control.

It's also worthwhile to sit down with your doctor to discuss how you can optimize your nutrition for better glucose management. With their help, you can land on a routine that sets you up for optimal long-term health, either through lifestyle shifts, dietary changes or other actions tailored to your unique health status.

*Designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes compared to high-glycemic carbohydrates.

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