If you've been recently diagnosed with prediabetes, you may have experienced that trifecta of heavy emotions: confusion, fear and worry. But there's one other emotion you should feel — relief.
You read that right. You've just been given a second chance to get your life on-track and your body in shape. Prediabetes is a "prediagnosis" of diabetes, like a tap on the shoulder to check yourself before you go down the road to type 2 diabetes, heart conditions and kidney disease. All you have to do to stay healthy now is course correct. Here's how to change tracks.
The right diet can help prevent type 2 diabetes. It doesn't have to be restrictive and boring. Once you get the basic requirements down, you can give it your own twist. What's better, get your family involved. Good health begins at home, after all.
Fill up on fibre. High-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and beans fill you up and keep you full longer to help you refrain from overeating. In turn, fibre helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Say no to sugary drinks. All those sodas, coffees and processed juices aren't doing anything for you. The empty calories cause abnormal spikes in blood sugar levels. Drink plenty of water instead. It keeps you hydrated and your blood sugar levels in check.
Choose lean meats. Meat contains significant saturated fats that lead to high cholesterol levels. It's wise to choose leaner cuts, such as fish or chicken without skin. If possible, opt for more meat-alternatives such as beans to reduce your fat intake.
Limit alcohol. The American Diabetes Association recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two for men. Alcohol tends to block glucose production in the body, which can cause your blood sugar levels to plummet suddenly. So, drink in moderation to avoid complications.
Keep your eye on the portions. The best way to control your weight is by cutting down on your portions. You don't necessarily have to give up all the things you love; you just have to eat less of them. When managing portions, swapping out your dinner plates for smaller ones often does the trick. You could also try eating more slowly, which helps you recognise when you're getting full.
Get Active, Stay Active
While a good diet can help you regulate your blood sugar levels, you need exercise to shed those excess pounds. When you pair a nutritious diet with daily physical activity, you're armed to fight your new diagnosis.
Shed the pounds. Losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body fat can have tremendous health benefits. It can cut your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease significantly.
Get moving. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days a week. It doesn't have to be a strenuous activity. In fact, you don't even have to go to a gym. You could walk, cycle or do some yoga if you prefer.
The silver lining is you can stop prediabetes symptoms from evolving into a serious condition. With a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can rebalance your sugar levels and enjoy a healthy, happy life, diabetes-free.
Disclaimer: This publication/article/editorial is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.