Prediabetes is when a person’s blood sugars are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. More than 86 million Americans, or 37% percent of American adults, have prediabetes — and most are unaware, because there are no symptoms.
Individuals who are especially at risk of having prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include those:
- Who have a family history of diabetes
- Who are older than 40
- Who are overweight
- Who have high blood pressure
If you have prediabetes, it is not too late. For some, prediabetes can be reversed through lifestyle modification. This includes managing your weight, staying active and eating healthy. Walking at least 150 minutes a week is recommended for everyone. That’s a little more than two 10-minute walks each day.
When preparing meals, look for ways to cut back on fats and add more fruits and vegetables. It’s good to start with a lean meat or fish and aim for half your plate to be fruit and non-starchy vegetables. If some cooked vegetables aren’t a family-favorite, try putting a veggie tray out before dinner to encourage some healthy eating before the meal even starts.
Fruit is also a great way to add some color to your diet, and dinner time is no exception. Fresh berries, sliced apples or pears canned in juice (instead of syrup) are good choices to add some extra fiber to your meal.
The more a person is able to keep moving and avoid high calorie meals and snacks, the better the chances that he or she will delay or avoid prediabetes, but it’s always good to know where you stand. Don’t be afraid to ask your health care provider about your individual risk.
Want to learn more about prediabetes? Attend a Prediabetes 101 presentation taking place on Monday, April 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Carroll Hospital or Wednesday, April 12 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Mt. Airy Health & Wellness Pavilion. Both presentations are free, but registration is required. Call 410-871-7000 to register.