Understanding the Risk Factors for Prediabetes
There are certain risk factors for developing prediabetes which are :
- Weight: People who are heavier—especially heavier around the midsection or waist—tend to have a higher risk for prediabetes. One simple way of determining this is to measure the waist (in inches). The risk of prediabetes is increased in women with a waist measurement of > 35 inches and in men with a waist measurement of > 40 inches.
- Physical Inactivity: People who tend to do little physical activity tend to be heavier and this has long been thought to be an indirect way that low levels of physical activity put a person at risk for prediabetes.
- Genetics or Family History: Your heredity can be very important as a risk factor.
- Age: After the age of 45, your risk of prediabetes begins to increase. After the age of 65, the risk starts increasing more dramatically.
- Medical History: Your personal medical history can increase your risk of prediabetes. For example, if you have a history of high blood pressure, high levels of LDL-cholesterol (or low levels of HDL-Cholesterol), a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or have had gestational diabetes, your risk of prediabetes is increased.
Controlling Prediabetes with Diet
- Buy whole foods (whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables) as opposed to processed foods.
- Cook fresh food from scratch as much as possible—this helps preserve the nutrients.
- Include organic foods as much as possible. Here, the rationale is that many chemicals are though to cause inflammation. Since inflammation is always linked to prediabetes, you want to limit that inflammation as much as possible.
- 90-95% of the carbohydrates you eat should be complex carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates are found in whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, peas, lentils, beans, fruits and vegetables.
- Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Try to include, for example, a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds at every meal. You can add ground flaxseeds to salads, vegetables, side dishes or soups.
- Limit red meats and increase the amounts of fish and skinless poultry you eat.
- Increase the amounts and varieties of fruits and vegetables that you eat.
Controlling Prediabetes with Exercise
- Increasing your physical activity level just a relatively moderate amount can help reverse prediabetes.
- All you really have to do is to start walking more, climbing more stairs, doing more outdoor activities, hiking, gardening, aerobics, bicycle.
- Your goal should be 30 minutes of moderate activity (mixing the activities if you want) for at least 5 days a week. Start slowly and work your way into greater activity.
- Don’t forget to stretch and warm up, especially if you are trying to jump right into it !
- Make certain you know and understand any physical conditions that may limit your activity.