An estimated 34%* of adults have prediabetes, a condition that is reversible simply by adopting a healthier lifestyle. By choosing the right foods, exercising, not smoking and avoiding excess alcohol, you can make a difference to your health in the future. But you don’t have to do allof these at once – choose one and make it part of your daily routine before taking on more changes. Here, our experts help to kick-start your healthy eating, with easy swaps you can make to help to keep your blood sugar and waistline in check, without feeling like you’re making huge sacrifices!
What is prediabetes?
‘Many people with type 2 (T2) diabetes first go through a stage in which their glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to diagnose diabetes. This phase is known as prediabetes, or impaired glucose tolerance,’ says Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director at Healthspan. ‘If it is diagnosed, and you take steps to improve your health, you can delay or even avoid going on to develop type 2 diabetes.’
Unfortunately, prediabetes doesn’t have any symptoms, but if you know you are at risk you can be screened. Diabetes UK suggests getting an NHS health check – you are eligible for this if you are aged between 40 and 74, and it includes tests for the presence of T2 diabetes.
How is food linked to prediabetes?
‘Prediabetes is strongly associated with obesity, which affects the way you respond to insulin,’ says Dr Brewer. ‘Insulin is the key that allows glucose to enter muscle and fat cells. When these cells become resistant to insulin, glucose builds up in the blood stream after eating carbohydrate-rich foods that raise blood sugar levels.’
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August 17, 2020