Did you know that 1 in 3 American adults have pre-diabetes? And of those with pre-diabetes, 90% don’t even know they have it. Prediabetes means your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not yet diabetes. It’s a “pre” condition because it often leads to type 2 diabetes, which happens when your blood sugar gets too high. But the good news is that you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by making some lifestyle changes. In some cases, you can even reverse pre-diabetes. So let’s find out how.
1. Eat healthy foods most of the time
You don’t have to be perfect, but try to eat healthy foods most of the time. This means eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans and fewer sweets, sugary drinks, and processed meats. When you do eat sweets or other high-carb foods, pair them with protein or fat to help slow down their entry into your bloodstream. Eating healthy foods will help you control your blood sugar and lose weight, which are both important for reversing pre-diabetes.
2. Get moving
Exercise is an important part of any diabetes prevention or management plan. It can help you control your weight, lower your blood sugar, and boost your insulin sensitivity. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like brisk walking) most days of the week can make a difference. If you haven’t been active in a while, start slow and build up gradually. You may need to check with your doctor first if you have any health problems or injuries that could limit your ability to exercise safely. But once you get the green light, get moving!
3. enjoy a cup (or two) of coffee—or tea
Drinking coffee or tea may help protect against type 2 diabetes. In fact, people who drink 4 or more cups a day have about a 30% lower risk than those who don’t drink coffee at all. The key is to enjoy it black or with very little milk and no added sugar—that way you avoid adding unhealthy carbs to your diet. If you typically sweeten your coffee or tea, challenge yourself to cut back on the sugar little by little until you can drink it black or with just a splash of milk. Your taste buds will adjust over time and you’ll save yourself some calories in the process!
Making lifestyle changes like eating healthy foods, exercising, and drinking coffee or tea may help reverse pre-diabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes from developing in the first place. So if you have pre-diabetes—or are at risk for developing it—take steps today to improve your health tomorrow!