Diabetes is an epidemic in this country. It is estimated that about 26 million people in the United States are diabetic. An even bigger number - about 79 million people have Pre-Diabetes. I am concerned that we aren't taking Pre-Diabetes serious enough.
A recent study presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists showed that 36% of patients with impaired fasting glucose had coronary artery disease compared with 42% of patients with diabetes and 21% of patients with normal blood glucose levels. In addition, 37% of patients with impaired fasting glucose had hyperlipidemia compared with 38% of patients with diabetes and 24% of patients with normal blood glucose.
The bottom line - heart disease is almost as likely if you are pre-diabetic compared to if you are diabetic. So, why don't we take it more seriously?
First, if you have not had your blood sugar tested - get it done! You need to know where your numbers are at. And what should those numbers look like?
According to the National Institute of Health, normal fasting blood glucose is 70-130 mg/dl. But according to research a value of around 100 mg/dl is seen with early glucose intolerance. What does that mean? If your numbers are even around 100 mg/dl your body is not responding to sugar the way that it showed. When you consume carbohydrate rich foods your cells do not readily take up sugar for energy, rather excess sugar remains in the blood stream damaging the walls of arteries.
Second, if you know you have had an elevated blood sugar then you need to make changes to get those numbers down. Elevated blood sugars can damage your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
It Will Never Happen To Me
I know "it will never happen to me!" That is what we all think. I heard someone justify recently that his friend who chewed tobacco and got cancer did not get cancer because of the tobacco chewing, so he wasn't going to quit his habit. We can always find a justification for not choosing the healthy path. But I encourage you to consider the seriousness of Pre-Diabetes. If not for yourself, for the people who love you. I understand the healthy path is not always the easy one, but making changes to prevent or reverse Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes is worth the effort.
Making Changes To Prevent or Reverse Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes
1. Eat well balanced meals including protein, fat and carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables.
2. Eat real, whole foods.
3. Choose fruits and vegetables full of color.
4. Eat protein for breakfast every day.
5. Eat regularly throughout the day - about every 4 hours.
6. When choosing snacks look for those that contain a small amount of protein.
7. Choose foods that reduce inflammation including wild caught salmon, tuna, sardines, nuts, berries, dark green leafy vegetables.
8. Eat a diet rich in fiber - sourced from legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
9. Eliminate (or significantly decrease) highly processed or junk foods.
10. Eliminate (or significantly decrease) foods rich in sugars and white flours.
11. Eliminate high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
12. Eliminate foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
13. Exercise regularly.
14. Manage stress.
When you are ready, get the support you need to make changes that will last.