La Center nutritionist works to keep others healthy through her business
Sebastien Rubino / [email protected]
La Center resident Karen Kennedy, who is a certified nutritionist, aims to help people with sleep issues, diabetes and joint pain through her business, Real Food Matters.
Although GPs excel at what they do, Kennedy focuses her nutritional expertise on how diets impact a person’s health.
“I often get referrals from other vendors in the area for people who just have a few issues,” Kennedy said. “A lot of times doctors work in one area and maybe their patients need a little more attention or time to deal with chronic health issues.”
She said she handles referrals individually, but she also runs group classes and programs like “Hack Your Blood Sugar,” which teaches people how to improve their metabolic health by controlling their blood sugar.
“I find that most people here eat a lot of foods that raise their blood sugar, so I teach them to keep their metabolism healthy and lower their blood sugar because most of the chronic diseases we have today are linked to dysregulation. blood sugar, which can also be pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes,” she said.
In the program, Kennedy said she gives people a glucose monitor so they can measure their levels 24/7 and regulate them more easily.
Kennedy specializes in treating metabolic syndrome, which she said many people don’t know about.
“Like anything called a syndrome, it’s a collection of symptoms that describes the metabolic situation,” she said. “Under that umbrella, it could be just another name for pre-diabetes. What metabolic syndrome has at its core is dysregulated blood sugar. When people eat in such a way that they have blood sugar high, they don’t have diabetes yet, but they have high levels of insulin.Insulin is the hormone that our body uses to store glucose, but when it gets too high, insulin causes us to to store fat around our belly.
Kennedy said fat from high insulin levels can cause visceral adipose tissue, which causes more inflammation, pain, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. She also said it can cause erectile dysfunction in men and polycystic ovary syndrome in women.
“It’s a bunch of these symptoms that all have the same cause and that’s dysregulated blood sugar,” Kennedy said.
She said glucose monitors are affordable. They used to be just for people with diabetes, but now can also be used as a tool to “peek under the hood and see exactly how food is affecting you”.
“If you and I sat down to lunch together and ate the same food, we’d probably react a little differently depending on our lifestyle, our genetics, and what we ate for breakfast,” she said. “It’s good not to just take someone’s word for it. It’s good to see how food affects you and to make your own choices about what you’ll eat and do.
Although metabolic syndrome can often lead to diabetes, Kennedy said that’s not always the case. It can, however, lead to other problems like heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. She said the syndrome is reversible by keeping a person’s blood sugar under control.
“Some people decide to go on an extreme keto diet, which isn’t really necessary. It’s about how you can regulate your blood sugar, which always involves cutting out sugar, refined carbs, and lots of snack foods. Kennedy explained, “It also involves getting enough protein, focusing on getting healthy protein and good veggies.”
She also noted that instead of getting carbs from bread, muffins, and dried fruit, people should look for whole-food sources like sweet or regular potatoes, brown rice, quinoa or refried beans.
Although she operates out of La Center, Kennedy serves clients across the country since she is able to work remotely.
More information about his company can be found online at realfood-matters.net.