I took a quiz from the American Diabetes Association and low and behold -- I'm at risk for prediabetes and diabetes!
All my life I've prided myself on eating well, staying relatively active and keeping my weight within an ideal range despite living in a wheelchair for the past 50 years (as a result of a car accident). Not me?!?!
In this post I'll talk about what is prediabetes, what are the risk factors, the labs and what to do about it.
WHAT IS PREDIABETES?
Prediabetes means the blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes.
If you have prediabetes, you are very likely to progress to type 2 diabetes.
A way to prevent this -- make lifestyle changes that increase physical activity and promote better eating, resulting in even a very small amount of weight loss.
WHAT PUTS ANY OF US AT RISK?
There are 2 kinds of risks -- ones we can change -- like our weight and physical activity. And ones that exist in our worlds that we can't change, such as family history, increasing age and gender.
If you score higher than 5, you are at increased risk.
Make changes in beverage and food choices to lower carbohydrate intake.
Step up physical activity.
Visit your healthcare provider.
Request labs -- a fasting blood sugar and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) lab tests.
You can start to make changes even before visiting your healthcare provider. The evidence points to an increase in physical activity, like walking, on a consistent weekly basis (150 minutes/week) and nutrition to lower risk!
Here is where to improve nutrition:
Stop drinking sugar beverages.
These include sugar-sweetened iced tea, regular soda, sports/fitness drinks, vitamin/mineral energy drinks, milkshakes, coffee drinks like lattes and any other beverage sweetened with sugar, honey, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Best to avoid alcohol.
Drink, instead, sugar free liquids, preferably water. Try sparkling water (seltzer, club soda), plain coffee, black/green/white and herbal teas.
Diet soda and other diet drinks contain sugar substitutes that you may have reservations about, but try varieties that are sweetened with natural stevia.
2. Limit sweets/desserts, snack foods and added sugars.
Try fresh fruits, or small servings of the real, full fat sweets with great mouth feel and flavor. Eat slowly and savor to keep portions small.
Put away sugar and other sweeteners like brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, even agave, as these all have carbs and its so easy to go overboard.
Try using a natural, plant-based sugar sub like stevia for a sweet taste if needed.
Keep the "goodies" packed away in the cupboard or pantry, out of sight, out of mind.