Physical activity has the most significant benefits immediately after the main meals, mainly if they are rich in carbohydrates. it may become your next fun thing to do!
Flavors and Knowledge



Buongiorno amici:

I am a type 2 diabetic, and the condition can seriously create challenges as a chef. Fortunately, I have changed my lifestyle so much through the years that managing the conditions is not a significant issue. For example, one of my rituals is walking but not running on hard surfaces. I did enough running as a pro soccer player in my youth, usually between 12 to 15 miles per game, and my knees have had enough.

But there is comforting news since it takes very little to improve metabolic compensation in people with diabetes. Although this time, the solution is not ‘zero kilometers.’ On the contrary. Several studies show that taking a 10-minute walk after meals can significantly reduce blood sugar. Current diabetes management guidelines advise people with type 2 diabetes to walk at least 30 minutes daily. But it is a general suggestion without indicating a preferential time. Take a walk immediately after eating to increase the beneficial effects of physical activity on reducing blood sugar.

A study at the New Zealand University of Otago enrolled 41 volunteers with type 2 diabetes equipped with devices capable of detecting blood sugar every 5 minutes and accelerometers to measure their physical activity. The instruction shared with the two groups of patients was to walk half an hour a day, at any time, or to walk for 10 minutes after each main meal.

In subjects who took a walk after meals, post-prandial blood glucose levels were, on average, reduced by 12% more than in those who walked for half an hour a day at various times throughout the day. “Most of this gain – explains Andrew Reynolds, first author of the study – came from the 22% reduction in blood glucose obtained by walking after dinner, the most carbohydrate-rich meal of the day and often followed by the most sedentary time of day of all.”

The result is significant because post-prandial blood glucose is one of the main targets in managing type 2 diabetes, given its correlation with microvascular complications. “Post-prandial physical activity – says Jim Mann, another of the authors – could prevent patients from increasing insulin units or undergoing additional insulin injections to reduce glycemic levels at main meals.” In addition, a significant gain since increasing the insulin dosage can be associated with weight gain, which is certainly not desirable in type 2 diabetes.

The current guidelines on diabetes management in the chapter’ physical activity should be updated, specifying that the moment in which physical activity has the most significant benefits is immediately after the main meals, mainly if they are rich in carbohydrates. The more you exercise, the greater the metabolic compensation you can get. In short, 30 minutes a day would be the minimum wage. However, not all schedules are similar but let’s find the best scenario for all of us.

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Some facts on diabetes

Diabetes refers to the body’s inability to create or effectively use its insulin supply. For example, in type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, while in type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond well enough to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates your blood sugar and helps store blood sugar for future use.

Over 10% of the U.S. population reports diabetes as a diagnosed health issue. That’s about 34 million people.

Of the 1.5 million new cases diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018, nearly 6,000 cases involved children ages 10-19.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., with over a quarter-million death certificates listing it as an underlying or contributing factor in all deaths in 2017.

It costs over $300 billion annually to diagnose and treat diabetes in the U.S.

While Type 1 diabetics (those who produce no insulin) must have daily insulin injected or pumped into their bodies, those with Type 2 diabetes (those who don’t respond well to insulin or don’t produce naturally enough) can often control their blood sugar with a combination of diet, weight loss, medication, and exercise.

People with diabetes who exercise regularly also exercise better weight management, sleep better, and show a more substantial commitment to healthier eating and managing their disease through regular testing, doctor visits, and medication management. {1}

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