Time and time again, the American public is inundated with news clips and commentaries about how we are the most overweight country in the world. While experts chat on daily talk shows about the latest fad diet or quick fix exercise plan, fast food joints encourage us to come in and try the newest-biggest-baddest-burger that they’ve just concocted.
Sadly, the topic that might encourage people to really think about their weight as a real health issue, and make changes in their daily lives is often not mentioned at all: pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is a nutritional disorder that affects over 100 million people in the US. Some of the outward signs of pre-diabetes can be an extra layer of fat around the waist, insulin resistance, craving sweets or starchy foods, and/or feeling tired or mentally in a fog. What people can’t see is the damage that this disease is doing on the inside where, without treatment, there is great risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and, of course, Type 2 diabetes. Although pre-diabetes can lead to serious health conditions, it can be reversed!
Here are five tips to avoid pre-diabetes:
1. See a doctor.
Meeting with your doctor and having a simple glucose test, to confirm if you have pre-diabetes, is the essential first step towards dealing with this disease. By seeing your doctor, you are providing him or her with a baseline of your health as it stands today so that, going forward, your doctor can work with you to monitor any pre-diabetes symptoms. He or she can also be a valuable resource towards giving you recommendations to see other specialists or support programs such as Insulite Laboratories which helps people with pre-diabetes develop a comprehensive plan to battle the disease.
2. Develop a smart eating plan.
We all know that some foods are better than others. But when dealing with a health concern such as pre-diabetes, evaluating and thinking about what we put into our bodies becomes essential to our overall health. That’s why sitting down to develop a healthy eating plan and really evaluating food choices will help you adopt lifelong, healthy eating habits.
Obvious good food choices that have proven to reverse pre-diabetes include low-fat proteins such as chicken and fish as well as fruits and vegetables such as assorted greens, spinach, tomatoes, onions, peppers, apples, cherries, broccoli, and blueberries. Other not so obvious good food choices include organic foods, low-glycemic foods such as lentils, chickpeas, and yogurt. Also, foods with essential fatty acids such as fish oil GLA, CLA and flaxseed oil. Foods that you should avoid when diagnosed with pre-diabetes include high-glycemic foods that break down quickly in the bloodstream like white bread, bagels, white potatoes, and corn.
3. Add exercise to your daily routine.
Because weight is a key indicator for people with pre-diabetes, exercise is another essential component when developing a healthy lifestyle plan. By building movement into your daily routine, you build muscle and burn blood sugar and fat which will help you lose weight. Obviously the more you exercise the better off you will be, but starting with small changes such as walking around your neighborhood two to three times a week will help you start to make physical changes in a way that you can maintain and build on as your stamina improves.
4. Don’t forget your nutraceuticals.
While eating more healthily will definitely improve your prognosis, adding supplements to your daily routine can help you go the extra mile towards battling and reversing pre-diabetes. Also called nutraceuticals, these disease-specific vitamins, herbs and minerals give you that added boost to keep you healthy and ward off more serious health issues caused by pre-diabetes. Some that are recommended for people with pre-diabetes include alpha lipoic acid, chromium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, magnesium and/or biotin. However, before taking any of these nutraceuticals, you should talk to your doctor to make sure that they will work well with your overall health, eating and exercise plan.
5. Improve your personal environment.
Many people experience weight gain due to situations occurring in their own personal living environments, so by making small changes in your personal space you can make a big difference in your overall health. For example, are you getting enough sleep? If not, you may not be helping your metabolic system lose that extra weight. Also, are you stressed? If so, you need to think about making changes that will limit the stress in your life so that the chemicals in your body that replenish energy and make you hungry can subsist. Additionally, you should look around at your physical environment. New studies show that toxins from pesticides, food, cosmetic preservatives and some pharmaceutical drugs may be linked to obesity and insulin resistance. Avoiding such toxins can only increase your chances of successfully reversing pre-diabetes.