The Impact of Diet and Nutrition
An Opportunity in Disguise
Let’s not sugar coat it. Being told you have “Pre Diabetes” can be a wake up call. But having pre diabetes doesn’t definitely mean you will develop diabetes. Pre diabetes can be an opportunity to turn things around and live a healthier lifestyle and delay or prevent diabetes.
What is Pre Diabetes?
Pre diabetes is when you blood sugar or blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Blood glucose is your body’s energy and comes from foods such as sweet foods, cakes and candy but also comes from other carbohydrate foods such as fruit, pasta, bread and milk that turn into sugar in the stomach. Most Pre Diabetes is linked to a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced in your body that is responsible for moving glucose from your blood into your body’s cells to be used for energy. When you have insulin resistance you body produces insulin but doesn’t use it effectively, allowing sugar to build up in your blood. Most people don’t know they have insulin resistance until it turns into Type 2 Diabetes.
Who is at risk for Pre Diabetes?
Being over weight, over 45 years old, having a strong family history of diabetes or having a history of Gestational Diabetes puts you at greater risk for Pre Diabetes.
How is Pre Diabetes Diagnosed?
See your doctor and discuss your concerns. Pre Diabetes is found with a blood test that might include A Fasting Blood Glucose, A Glucose Tolerance Test or a Test known as an A1c that measures you estimated average glucose over the past 3 months.
Remember the Good News!
Pre Diabetes DOES NOT always turn into Diabetes. Here are a few steps you can take to stay healthy, and lower your risk of Pre Diabetes and Diabetes.
Move More. Brisk walking, taking stairs instead of elevators and simply limiting sedentary time all help.
Lose A Few Pounds. Losing as little as 7% of your body weight (that’s 15Lb if you weight 200lbs) significantly lowers your risk.
Choose More Veggies. Make sure you plate contains lots of green vegetables at each meal.
Drink more water. Do NOT drink sugar.
Chose whole grains. Instead of processed grains ie wheat bread instead of white, brown rice instead of white rice. Whole grains turn to sugar more slowly giving your body more time to respond with the right amount of insulin.
Don’t Eat Dessert for Breakfast. It sets your day up on a sugar high that won’t help you be successful the rest of the day.
Lastly….remember you won’t do it perfectly everyday. Set some tiny goals to begin with. Try eating one more vegetable a day or taking 100 extra steps. Remember… It is always much easier to add something than focusing on eliminating something.
Also, try anchoring new habits to something you are already doing ie add vegetable with evening meal first or taking extra steps right after your morning coffee or after you brush your teeth. We always have professional Dietitians and Diabetes Educators to assist if you need even more help. Good Luck on your journey to get healthier. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes and share them with us and others.