Site Glossary




A1C blood test
A blood test that indicates an average of your overall blood glucose levels over the past 120 days.

Aerobic exercise
Activity that increases your heart rate and makes you breath faster.

Amputation
Removing of a limb or part of a limb . People with diabetes are at increased risk of amputation. This is because they often have nerve damage in the legs and feet (diabetic neuropathy). If they do not notice cuts or blisters, the minor wounds can become infected. If they are not treated, it can lead to gangrene. This may require that the affected area be amputated.

Blood glucose
Blood glucose is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood.

Blood lipids
Blood lipids are lipids (fats) in the blood. Examples of blood lipids are fatty acids and cholesterol.

Blood pressure
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of your blood against the blood vessel walls. The target for people with diabetes is less than 130/80mm Hg. The top number (130) in this target is the pressure when your heart contracts and pushes blood out (systolic pressure). The bottom number (80) is the pressure when the heart rests between beats (diastolic pressure).

Carbohydrate
Carbohydrate is one of the three main nutrients found in food. Starches, fruit, milk products, and some vegetables have carbohydrates. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy. Your body breaks them down into a sugar called glucose.

Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat substance that is naturally present in your blood and cells. There are two main types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL.

LDL (low-density lipoprotein): often called ‘bad’ cholesterol because higher levels of LDL can increase the risk of heart disease.

HDL (high-density lipoprotein): often called ‘good’ cholesterol because higher levels of HDL can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Fibre
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by the body. There are two kinds of fibre, insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fibre acts like a sponge. As food goes through the gut, it absorbs water, helping to move feces out and relieve constipation. Wheat bran and whole grains have lots of insoluble fibre. So do the skins of many fruits and vegetables. Seeds are also rich sources of insoluble fibre. The more the food has been refined or processed by milling, peeling, boiling or extracting, the less fibre it contains. Eat more unrefined foods to obtain insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre breaks down as it passes though the digestive tract, forming a gel. This gel 'traps' some substances related to high cholesterol. Soluble fibre may lessen heart disease risks by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Soluble fibre includes pectin used in making jelly and gums such as guar gum. It is found in oats, peas, beans, lentils, some seeds, brown rice, barley, oats, fruits

Glucose
Glucose is a building block of carbohydrate, one of the three main nutrients found in food. Through digestion, foods containing carbohydrate are broken down into glucose. Glucose is the main form of energy used by the body cells.

Insoluble fibre
Insoluble fibre acts like a sponge. As food goes through the gut, it absorbs water, helping to move feces out and relieve constipation. Wheat bran and whole grains have lots of insoluble fibre. So do the skins of many fruits and vegetables. Seeds are also rich sources of insoluble fibre. The more the food has been refined or processed by milling, peeling, boiling or extracting, the less fibre it contains. Eat more unrefined foods to obtain insoluble fibre.

Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas to control the amount of glucose in the blood. In people who have diabetes, the pancreas does not make any or enough insulin, or is unable to effectively use the insulin it makes. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, potentially leading to health problems such as blindness, heart disease, kidney problems, amputation, nerve damage and erectile dysfunction.

Moderate aerobic activity
Moderate aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. You should be able to talk, but not sing. Examples include walking quickly, skating, and bike riding.

Neuropathy
Nerve damage. With diabetes, nerve damage can occur in the hands and feet. It can cause numbness, weakness, and pain in the hands and feet.

Pancreas
The pancreas is an organ that is part of the digestive system. It makes enzymes to break down foods as well as insulin, a hormone that controls the amount of glucose in blood. In people who have diabetes, the pancreas does not make any or enough insulin, or is unable to effectively use the insulin it makes.

Resistance exercise
This form of exercise builds muscles. Examples include lifting weights, sit-ups, and push-ups.

Saturated Fat
Most saturated fats are solid at room temperature, like butter and the skin on chicken. These fats are high in cholesterol.

Soluble Fibre
Soluable fibre reaks down as it passes though the digestive tract, forming a gel. This gel traps ‘bad’ cholesterol and keeps it out of the blood stream. This may lessen heart disease risks. Soluble fibre includes pectin used in making jelly and gums such as guar gum. It is found in oats, peas, beans, lentils, some seeds, brown rice, barley, oats, fruits (such as apples), some green vegetables (such as broccoli), and potatoes.

Sugar alcohols
Sugar alcohol is a type of carbohydrate that has a chemical structure that resembles to both sugar and alcohol. Common sugar alcohols are sorbitol, lacitol and xylitol. Our body does not absorb or use sugar alcohols well, so not much is converted to carbohydrate. Up to 10 grams per day of sugar alcohols are considered safe.

Trans Fat
Trans fat is a type of fat that is made when a liquid vegetable oil is changed into a solid form of fat. It is often used in processed foods because it can improve the taste and texture of foods, as well as keep foods stay fresh longer. However, trans fat is not a needed fat in the diet. It is found to increase the risk of heart diseases because it raises the LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers the HDL (good) cholesterol.

Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a form of fat in your blood that the body makes from sugar, alcohol, and some foods. Triglycerides can harden and narrow the arteries when there are too many of them in the blood. When you have high blood pressure or diabetes, your risk for having higher levels of triglycerides is also higher. This can increase your risk for developing heart disease.

Vigorous aerobic activity
Vigorous aerobic activity makes your heart rate increase quite a bit. You won’t be able to say more than a few words without needing to catch your breath. Examples include running, basketball, soccer, and cross-country skiing.