GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — An estimated 84 million people in the United States are likely prediabetic and they don’t know it. Prediabetics don’t have any symptoms, but their blood glucose levels are above average. And, it’s a strong indication that they will develop diabetes. Dr. Christopher Schoonover, an Endocrinologist with Allina Health joined us to share some simple ways to combat prediabetes and get started on a healthier path
Approximately one out of 3 adults in America is likely prediabetic!
Q. Why don’t so many people know that they are prediabetic?
- People with prediabetes often don’t show any symptoms.
- But they sit in the range between normal and overtly abnormal blood sugars. Those mild abnormalities predict the development of diabetes.
- You should seek out screening tests because prediabetes is a preventable diagnosis.
Q. So you find out you are prediabetic, what do you do?
- There are three risk factors for prediabetes: age, your genes and weight.
- The only one you can control is the weight.
- Your doctor will likely want you to lose 5 to 7% of your overall weight. That may seem ambitious, but it is not impossible.
Q. How do we tackle this goal of losing 7% of our overall weight?
- Set small goals for yourself. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Try adding a 30 minute walk to your day to get on the path to regular exercise.
- Look at your meals and think about ways to reduce your calorie intake by 10% every day. If you are eating 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day, that means you need to reduce your calories by 200 a day.
- I brought in three examples to show how a few small swaps with each meal can really make an impact on your overall calorie intake each day.
- For breakfast. We have some eggs, some sausage, toast, and vegetables. Consider cutting out the meat and possibly the toast. Now it’s healthier. You have your protein and your veggies in the morning. Try replacing your juice or coffee with water.
- For lunch we have a sandwich on whole grain bread and some chips. Replace the chips with an apple. And swap the soda for water. Soda can account for 200 calories a meal.
- And now for dinner focus on half of the plate being vegetables. We have a sweet potato, a steamed veggie medley and a grilled chicken breast.
- It’s all about making small changes that can have a big impact. You can make a huge impact by just cutting out sugary drinks.
- So, now you’re walking 30 minutes a day and reducing your calories. As you reach these small goals, you’ll set new ones that will lead to the overall lifestyle changes you need to maintain going forward.
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