Before we dive into the solution we want to address the problem and help educate everyone on diabetes & prediabetes.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) diabetes affects over 108 million people worldwide and claims the lives of over 1.6m people every single year with over 2.2m deaths attributed to High Glucose (a leading cause of diabetes).
A sobering statistic, indeed, and chances are you know someone that has type 2 diabetes.
KEY DIABETES FACTS
Now, let's talk about prediabetes and what it might mean for you and how you can not only manage it, but reverse it completely before it turns into the deadly Type 2 diabetes.
What Is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition that affects over 86 million Americans of all ages, races, shapes & sizes. It truly is an epidemic. While usually found in obese adults with poor diets, it is by no means confined to this demographic. Childhood obesity is on the rise, millions of American's on SNAP are forced to eat high carb, high sugar foods because they're cheap.
There are so many factors that contribute to prediabetes that you simply can't blame one thing. And sadly, left unmanaged, prediabetes can escalate into Type 2 diabetes without the proper precautions. If you're concerned about developing diabetes, please see a physician who is licensed to administer testing. As an alternative, you can also take a blood glucose test at home, which measures hba1c levels to help determine your risk.
Who Is At Risk For Developing Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes?
Yes. Eating junk food for every meal and sitting around all day is seriously not healthy, but I think we all knew that. However, even if you're an active person that eats healthy meals it isn't necessarily going to prevent you from developing prediabetes, and eventually Type 2 diabetes if the disease runs in your family.
The bottom line? No one is immune from prediabetes!
How Is Prediabetes Diagnosed?
Did You Know? Over 30% of all people that have prediabetes have absolutely no clue they have it! How scary is that? You could have prediabetes and not even know it!
This is how prediabetes is officially diagnosed.
What Are Prediabetes Symptoms?
The truly sad part is that prediabetes can be asymptomatic, meaning, there often aren't symptoms of diabetes to watch out for, which is why it's incredibly important to screen for the condition and stop it in its tracks.
Now that you know how bad prediabetes can be, let's add a silver lining.
So, for those of you with prediabetes, it's not too late! You can help prevent Type 2 diabetes without expensive medication just using a couple simple methods and sticking with it (that's the key sticking with it, there are no magic pills and potions here, folks!)
You might be thinking "Hey, I don't eat a lot of sugar!" Well, you might be surprised at just how much sugar you're actually eating in your diet. It doesn't necessarily have to have visible sugar (think: cupcakes) to be a sugary food. Nope, carbs convert to sugar just the same!
The list of carb-heavy foods is enormous and quite shocking.
Did You Know? The average American eats 120lbs of sugar per year! Let that sink in.
Here are a couple of popular diets that take the low-carb, low-sugar approach to healthy eating.
Sure, it's not for everyone, but no one said you had to go hardcore, right? There's nothing wrong with easing into a diet that works for you. Take a few of the popular recipes, sub out the sugar/carbs and see if you can introduce a few of these meals each week.
It doesn't mean you can't ever have sugar, carbs or "cheat meals", it's about making healthier eating choices for the long term. Play the long game here and focus on fixing your diet the right way.
Here are a few easy ways you can phase out some sugar in your diet.
A healthy diet is the #1 way to reverse prediabetes!
Ahhhhhh the dreaded "exercise". Well, let's treat this a bit like the above diet change and think smaller.
What can you do to get 7,000 steps in every day?
Can you do something active that gets your heart pumping for 30 minutes every day?
Can you walk a pet for 30 minutes?
It starts to get easier if you break it down into manageable activities.
FACT: Being overweight is a huge risk factor for diabetes. Every 2.2 pounds of weight lost reduces your risk of developing diabetes by 16 percent!
You don't have to get into Crossfit, or Olympic weight lifting, or start running marathons to be healthy - you just have to move. Your body was built to move, not sit.
Remember when you were a child and ran around everywhere?
What about when you were a teen and played sports, or walked endlessly in the mall?
You've always had that ability, now it's simply time to go find that activity where you can get your body moving for a good 30 minutes or longer and reap the long-term benefits.
Oh, and if you say you don't have 30 minutes every day to devote to exercise, you're lying to yourself. We hate to break it to you, but 30 minutes in a 24 hour day is not that difficult to find. Walk to lunch, walk after lunch, walk to work, walk your dog, take the stairs...keep walking.
You can do it!