Type 2 diabetes: How to minimise your risk of the condition if you have pre-diabetes

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Pre-diabetes is a warning sign that if you continue as you are, a type 2 diabetes diagnosis will be on its way. Thankfully, you still have the power to prevent the condition from being a part of everyday life.

Lead a healthier life

Anyone who is “carrying extra weight” would benefit form losing “five percent of [their] body weight”, confirmed the informative charity Diabetes UK.

This is because being a healthy weight can “significantly reduce your risk” of type 2 diabetes.

Anyone who is overweight or obese is at an increased risk of developing the condition.

You can find out whether you’re at a healthy weight or not by checking your Body Mass Index (BMI) here.

Making healthier food choices and being more active are both good ways to shed the excess pounds.

Diet

There are various diets that have been linked with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. These are:

  • The Mediterranean diet
  • The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet
  • Vegetarian and vegan diets
  • The Nordic diet

All these diets have at least one thing in common – there’s a high focus on vegetables and fruits.

It’s also key to cut down on red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates, sugar sweetened drinks and potatoes.

Refined carbohydrates

Here are a list of refined carbohydrates, listed by Medical News Today, you need to cut down on:

  • Bread and tortillas containing white flour
  • Bagels
  • Waffles and pastries
  • Breakfast cereals
  • White rice
  • Pizza

The body uses refined carbohydrates much more quickly than refined carbohydrates.

This means refined carbohydrates create a short burst of energy that is quickly depleted.

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As a result, a person may not feel full for long and could overeat, leading to weight gain.

Refined carbohydrates also lack fibre, which is key to helping blood sugar levels remain stable.

Moreover, refined carbohydrates are less nutritious than complex carbohydrates.

This is because refined carbohydrates have B vitamins, iron and dietary fibre removed to improve its shelf life.

Exercise

Diabetes UK encourages people who have a sedentary lifestyle (meaning you sit down often) to “be more active”.

This is because inactivity is linked to type 2 diabetes, thus being more active (in any way you can) would decrease your risk of the condition.

What’s pre-diabetes?

Diabetes UK defined pre-diabetes as the label given when “blood sugars are higher than usual”.

Yet, the blood sugar reading isn’t “high enough” for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Other names for pre-diabetes are:

  • Borderline diabetes
  • Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)
  • Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)
  • Impaired Glucose Regulation (IGR)
  • Non-diabetic hyperglycaemia

“They all mean the same thing,” assured the charity, and if you’ve been told you have any of these, you’re in need of a health kick.

Pre-diabetes usually doesn’t have any symptoms, so it’ll need to be picked up by a blood test arranged by the doctor.

This blood test is known to check HbA1C levels, which measures your average blood sugar levels in the past two to three months.

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