More than 86 million American adults—approximately one-third of those over age 18 and half of those over 65—have prediabetes, and most of them don’t even know it. If you have prediabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by staying at a healthy weight, eating well and being active. With these steps, you can stay healthier longer and lower your risk of diabetes.
Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds).
Exercising moderately - such as brisk walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Don't worry if you can't get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference!
If you have prediabetes, you can reduce your risk of developing more serious conditions by eating better and losing any excess weight. This means choosing more healthful foods (e.g., lean meats or protein substitutes, fresh veggies, high-fiber starches, healthful fats); eating a wide variety of these foods to balance your meals and be sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need; and sticking to small portion sizes. It also means eating regularly scheduled meals and snacks to avoid extreme blood sugar highs and lows throughout the day.
Regular exercise can help you manage your weight, reduce high blood pressure and blood fats, sleep better, improve your mood, and boost your energy levels, all of which can also help alleviate stress. The ADA recommends 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week - such as brisk walking, stair climbing or jogging and strength training at least twice a week - such as calisthenics or weight training.
Take the Risk Test to see if you are at risk for diabetes: