Managing diabetes can be less painful, thanks to this technology

Mar 12 2020, 12:42 pm

It’s 2020, and diabetes continues to be a massive health concern in Canada, with more than three million people living with the chronic disease.

As a complex illness, diabetes can impact many aspects of your life. It requires you to make regular and ongoing decisions about your self-management (more than 95% of which is done by the patient), and this includes the crucial monitoring of glucose levels.

Here’s the thing: many individuals with diabetes don’t have their glucose levels at their personalized targets. But more frequent testing can help them to reach their goals by providing them with the information they need to make empowered choices.

Technology advancements, effective treatments, and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, are key to managing life with diabetes.

Alvin Leung/Richard Lam

In line with this, Michelin-starred restaurant owner Alvin Leung worked with diabetes care leader, Abbott. His goal is to develop recipes that breathe new life into meal times — something that’s crucial for those managing their diabetes and involves simple ingredient substitutions, such as steel-cut oats and whole wheat flour in homemade cheesecake crusts. (Leung’s Lighter-than-Air Cheesecake recipe is included below!)

Although renowned chef Leung has a rock star image, he’s also professionally trained as an engineer. And he, too, lives with diabetes. But there’s a new technology which allows him to easily self-manage his disease amid his fast-paced lifestyle — Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system.

Alvin Leung/Richard Lam

The device lets you say goodbye to finger pricking* by scanning a sensor applied to the back of your upper arm to get your glucose level data in real-time. You can identify trends with a directional arrow that tells you where your glucose is heading and review eight hours of glucose history.

Like a chef needing proper ingredients, flash glucose monitoring is a welcome tool for anyone living with diabetes. Keeping glucose levels in a healthy range can be challenging and being able to check your glucose level at any given time can be a very important tool for people living with diabetes.

With the FreeStyle Libre system, Canadians living with type 1 and 2 diabetes can now learn how foods affect their glucose levels see trends and predict lows and highs. This allows them to make healthy lifestyle interventions. Find out more about this diabetes self-management technology on the official FreeStyle Libre website.

Lighter-than-Air Cheesecake

Lighter-than-Air Cheesecake/Tobias Wang


  • 8 oz low fat cream cheese
  • 8 oz fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 packets) sugar substitute
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 gelatin sheets (dissolved in orange juice)
  • Put all the filling ingredients in a blender to liquify. Strain and pour content into a siphon (whipped cream charger) charged with two canisters of gas.

Crust crumble

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup margarine at room temperature cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots finely chopped
  • To make crust crumble, preheat oven to 375°F. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add margarine and work into dry mixture with your fingertips until pea-sized lumps form. Add oats and dried apricots and mix them with your fingertips into clumps. Chill for 30 minutes.

Transfer crumble mixture to a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake for 8 minutes. Using a spatula, stir and toss crumble. Rotate tray and continue to bake for another 8 minutes, until the colour of the crumble is a dark golden brown. Let cool.

  • 4 oz sugar-free jam
  • 4 oz sliced strawberries or any other fruit
  • 4 mason jars

To finish the cheesecake, line each mason jar with the oat crumble. Siphon one layer of cream cheese. Add a layer of jam and some fruit. Top with a second layer of cream cheese. Finish with a final layer of jam, fruit and oat crumble. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Lighter-than-Air Cheesecake/Tobias Wang

*A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported by the system or when symptoms do not match the system readings.

The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system and LibreLink app (“App”), when used with the FreeStyle Libre sensor, is indicated for measuring interstitial fluid glucose levels in adults aged 18 years and older with diabetes mellitus. If you are using the FreeStyle LibreLink app, you must also have access to a blood glucose monitoring system as the app does not provide one. Always read and follow the label/insert for detailed instructions and indication of use.

Disclaimer: This article was paid for by Abbott Diabetes Care, a manufacturer of diabetes care products in Canada.

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