Doctors explain the 5 things you can do to help avoid and reverse prediabetes
Having prediabetes means you have a higher than normal blood sugar level.
But it’s not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes – yet! However, it can evolve into diabetes if it is not managed correctly, which puts you at risk of many health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Medical experts have revealed things you can do to help you avoid prediabetes…
How to reverse a prediabetes diagnosis
Not everyone who is diagnosed with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that over one million Australian adults have type 2 diabetes.
While there’s no cure for this disease, it can be reversed and is often caused by overeating and an inactive lifestyle.
By making some diet tweaks, losing weight and getting more active, you can improve your chances of reversing it.
And you don’t have to deny yourself the foods you love either!
Here’s how you can turn things around:
1. Know your BMI
If you are overweight, it’s important for you to try to reduce your body mass index (BMI). This is because excess weight all cause blood glucose levels to rise.
Your BMI is worked out from your weight versus your height. Ideally, your BMI should be in a healthy range.
Research shows that the majority of people who have a normal BMI are going to have lower blood sugar levels.
Experts also agree that the best way to reduce your risk of diabetes is to lose about 5% of your body weight.
If you are in the healthy range and you have high blood sugar, it’s worth talking with your doctor as there may be another reason why your blood sugar is peaking.
If you are planning on starting a healthier lifestyle or weight loss plan, find out your body mass index.
2. Cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet
There’s lots of evidence to suggest that eating food that is high in sugar or in refined carbs increases your blood sugar levels and insulin levels.
Refined carbs consists of white bread, potatoes, many breakfast cereals. Instead opt for whole grains.
You should also try to ditch your usual sugar in your tea or coffee and give up your daily biscuit or chocolate evening snack.
Meanwhile, up your protein, helping you feel full, lean meat, fish, eggs and beans are packed full of protein.
Also, try upping your fibre by switching from white rice to brown and eating a lot of veggies and fruit.
Remember your gut is your ‘second brain’ and that a healthy gut can help with weight loss.
There is also evidence that shows that probiotics are the way to restore the good bacteria in the gut, giving you a boost of good health that can help you tackle belly fat.
3. Walk more
The best way to start losing weight is to be more active. Walking more will help keep the weight off and improve your muscle mass.
By doing three short walks every day after meals, you could reduce your blood sugar levels.
What’s more, weight training can increase lean muscle mass and encourage loss of fat simultaneously.
Plus, weights workouts help you to build lean muscle mass which burns calories even while you are resting.
These used in conjunction with cardio workouts will help you to reach your fitness and weight loss goals faster.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking may make your body more resistant to insulin, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels.
Some studies have found that nicotine raises the haemoglobin A1c level by nearly 9% to up to 34.5%, depending on nicotine exposure.
This is a test that is used to monitor your blood sugar levels.
5. Reduce stress
While stress on its own doesn’t cause diabetes, some research has found that it can raise your blood sugar.
When you are stressed, your body releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones might make it harder for insulin to work, meaning the body isn’t absorbing sugar from the bloodstream as well as it should.
Sleeping better may help you feel less stressed and cranky.
What’s more, a bad night’s sleep can actually add to the size of our waistline.
More about diabetes type 2
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.
There are currently 1.7 million Australians with diabetes and every day roughly 280 Aussies develop the disease.
Around 500,000 people are believed to have diabetes but don’t know about it.
Please note: If you do suffer from diabetes, you should talk to your health care professional before you alter your diet.
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