Lifestyle Changes for Pre-Diabetes
A diagnosis of pre-diabetes indicates that your blood sugar levels are 100-125 milligrams per deciliter via the fasting plasma glucose test (people with diabetes have blood sugar levels of 126 mg/dL or more). This means that you’re likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years unless you adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The good news is that studies show that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes with a combination of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, choosing healthy foods, and getting regular exercise. Your doctor may also want you to use medications to delay the onset of diabetes.
A weight loss of as little as 5% to 10% can make a big difference in your blood sugar levels because it reduces insulin resistance. To find the right meal plan for you, talk to your doctor or nutritionist.
Making Healthy Food Choices
To choose healthy foods for yourself and your family, follow these basic principles:
Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially non-starchy vegetables like green beans, spinach, and carrots.
- Select whole grain breads, rice, and pasta.
- Don’t forget dried beans and lentils.
- Have fish 2-3 times a week.
- Think lean when you select cuts of meat, and remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
- Go for low-fat and non-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Avoid regular soda and other sweetened drinks. Instead, drink water and calorie-free diet drinks.
- Eat fats in moderation, and avoid trans fats.
Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. Which type of exercise is best? Anything that gets you up and moving. That includes jogging, swimming, biking, aerobics, walking, and dancing. You can also count strenuous housework like vacuuming and washing floors and windows, and yard work such as mowing the lawn with a push mower or gardening.
In conjunction with these lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend medication, such as metformin and another group of drugs called thiazolidinediones, which have been shown to delay the onset of diabetes.