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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

May 1, 2023

With Beth Thayer, Director of Henry Ford Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention


When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness such as Type 2 Diabetes, some lifestyle changes may be in order. But the good news is that by adopting healthy habits and with careful blood sugar monitoring, you will not only feel better but you could avoid the potential for long-term complications. One of the biggest complications associated with diabetes is the increased risk of cardiovascular disease which could result in heart attacks, stroke, or even sudden death. Obesity is a contributing factor to developing cardiovascular disease because the additional weight puts an increased toll on the body's ability to function safely and efficiently. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and clogged arteries are just a few of the metabolic changes associated with excessive weight gain. In addition, when you’re morbidly obese, kidney disease, nerve damage, and vision problems may develop. That’s why it’s important for anyone diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes to carefully monitor their blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight. If you want to learn proven tips on how to successfully manage Type 2 diabetes with a healthy diet and increased physical activity, you’ll want to listen to my interview with Beth Thayer, the Director of the Henry Ford Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Why is maintaining a healthy weight so important for people living 

with Type 2 diabetes?

  • Beth shares some foods to incorporate into your diet that can help stabilize blood sugar.

  • What role does diet play for someone diagnosed with diabetes?

  • What is insulin resistance, and how does it make it harder for a person to lose weight?

  • Are there foods we should eliminate to balance our blood sugar?

  • Are all breads bad? Do we really need to cut out carbs?

  • What is the plate method and how does it help us balance our meals?

  • Beth walks us through a wonderful, satisfying, and healthy look at what a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner can look like.

  • What if someone wants to go gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan? How can they make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need?

  • Ideas for meal planning when one child has been diagnosed with diabetes and his or her siblings don’t have diabetes?

  • What suggestions do you have for healthy snacks and desserts for

people with diabetes?

  • Why is it so important for people with diabetes to incorporate daily activity or exercise into their routine?

  • What is “pre-diabetes”?

  • What is recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with this condition?


Today’s Takeaway:

Losing weight may be one of the best and most important ways to protect our health and guard against developing Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many other long-term health complications. While it would be great if we could simply lose weight at the drop of a hat to look our best and be the healthiest we can be, the truth is that there are no easy shortcuts.


While it’s not a quick fix, the best way to lose weight continues to be watching what we eat, exercising portion control, and getting plenty of activity each day. The ideal meal plan should incorporate foods that are nutritious and protein-rich along with plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables. The sign of a great weight loss plan is one that helps you learn new eating habits and change your lifestyle in ways that you’ll want to continue so you can keep the weight off. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, increased physical activity may be the key to losing weight and keeping it off. Regular exercise not only helps you lose body fat, but it can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Best of all, research has shown that regular physical activity can help you control your diabetes better by reducing the amount of sugar (glucose) in your bloodstream and decreasing insulin resistance. Remember that every day is a gift and the gift we get from losing excess weight and optimizing our health is truly the gift of a lifetime — a lifetime that can be spent loving ourselves and enjoying how we look and feel. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway”.



  • “In some cases, weight loss is actually enough to restore blood sugar levels to normal. So even if it doesn’t get your blood sugar completely back to normal, it might lower your need for insulin therapy, or other medications that control your diabetes.” — Beth [4:34]

  • “No, don’t eliminate carbohydrates. You need carbohydrates for energy, your brain needs it to function. And then we need the nutrients that carbohydrate foods like whole grains, fruits and dairy, and even vegetables can provide.” — Beth [9:09]

  • “So when we’re looking at someone who has diabetes, it’s not only the right foods, that’s a key piece. But it’s also looking at the amount that you’re eating of these foods, and how you note that food throughout the day.” — Beth [11:07]

  • “Don’t, don’t be shy with those vegetables!” — Beth [15:20]

  • “So instead of stigmatizing the child or anyone who has diabetes, adjusting the meal plan for that person who has diabetes, for the whole family is going to be really important.” — Beth [21:32]

  • “Physical activity is so important for all of us. But with someone who has diabetes, it’s especially important.” — Beth [23:06]


Brought to You By:

Gardner White Furniture


Mentioned in This Episode:

Henry Ford Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 

Henry Ford Blog

Diabetes Helpline 313-874-7495