Pre-diabetic? 7 Strategies To Get Healthy

Measuring tape wrapped around scale

Just los­ing 10% of body weight can help sta­bi­lize blood sug­ar lev­els

Dia­betes is on the rise in Amer­i­ca. The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) pre­dicts that one in three Amer­i­cans will have dia­betes by 2050! Type 2 dia­betes is the most com­mon form.  It means your body does not make enough insulin or cells ignore the insulin it does pro­duce.

Once you have dia­betes it can cause a vari­ety of oth­er health issues such as heart, kid­ney, eyes, nerves and many oth­er issues.  In addi­tion, med­ical expens­es for peo­ple with dia­betes are two times high­er than those of peo­ple who do not have dia­betes.

Type II dia­betes does not strike overnight,  it can take up to 10 years before pre-dia­betes devel­ops into full-blown dia­betes.

What is pre-dia­betes?

Pre-dia­betes is when a per­sons blood sug­ar is high­er than nor­mal but not high enough to be con­sid­ered dia­betes.  Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Dia­betes Asso­ci­a­tion, pre-dia­betes is a fast­ing blood sug­ar lev­el (FPG) of

>/= 100 mg/dl and 126mg/dl. Dia­betes is con­sid­ered >/=126mg/dl. Recent stud­ies show that peo­ple with pre-dia­betes are at high­er risk of heart dis­ease than peo­ple who have nor­mal blood sug­ar lev­els.  Cur­rent­ly, 79 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are pre-dia­bet­ic and many don’t know they are.

If you don’t know your blood sug­ar lev­els, the first thing you should do is make an appoint­ment with your doc­tor.   Knowl­edge is pow­er.  Type 2 dia­betes is pri­mar­i­ly a lifestyle dis­ease,  while your genes may put you at risk, your dai­ly activ­i­ties can tip the scale one way or anoth­er.

 

Here is what you can do to tip the scale in your favor:

1. Lose weight. If you are over­weight or obese, just los­ing 5–10% of your body weight can get your blood sug­ar lev­els sta­bi­lized. If you weigh 150 lbs, that’s los­ing 8–15 lbs.

2. Move more. Just exer­cis­ing 30 min­utes a day has been found to help reg­u­late blood sug­ar lev­els.

3. Eat more fiber. Fiber fills you up and keeps your blood sug­ar sta­ble. Try oat­meal, brown rice, whole wheat bread with at least 3 g fiber per serv­ing, fresh fruits and veg­gies. Aim for about 25–30g fiber a day.

4. Choose good fats.   Good fats are mono and polyun­sat­u­rat­ed fats, bad fats are trans fats. Canola oil, nuts, seeds helps pre­vent dia­betes, while trans fats found in pack­aged and fried foods do the oppo­site.

5. Eat more plants and less meat. Choose beans, legumes, and tofu instead of ham, bologna and steak, they trig­ger dia­betes in peo­ple who have a genet­ic risk for dia­betes.

6. Drink more water and avoid sug­ary drinks. Sug­ary drinks cause weight gain, increase blood sug­ar lev­els and have been asso­ci­at­ed with inflam­ma­tion, high triglyc­erides and decreased good cho­les­terol (HDL) lev­els.

7. Lift weights to increase your mus­cle mass. A recent study showed that for every 10% increase in mus­cle mass there was a reduc­tion in insulin resis­tance of 11%.

 

 

A video from the Nation­al Dia­betes Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram on someone’s per­son­al strug­gles with los­ing weight and pre­vent­ing dia­betes.  Click below.

Pre­vent­ing Type II Dia­betes: Main­tain a Healthy Weight


Ref­er­ences:

  1. Malik VS, Pop­kin BM, Bray GA, DesprAs JP, Hu FB.  Sug­ar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages, obe­si­ty, type 2 dia­betes mel­li­tus, and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease risk.  Cir­cu­la­tion. 2010;  121:1356–64.
  2. Schulze MB, Man­son JE, Lud­wig DS, et al.  Sug­ar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages, weight gain, and inci­dence of type 2 dia­betes in young and mid­dle-aged women.  JAMA.  2004;  292:927–34.
  3. Srikan­than et al.  Rel­a­tive Mus­cle Mass is Inverse­ly Asso­ci­at­ed with Insulin Resis­tance and Pre­di­a­betes.  Find­ings from the third Nation­al Health and Nutri­tion Exam­i­na­tion Sur­vey. The Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Endocrinol­o­gy & Metab­o­lism July 21, 2011 jc.2011–0435


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