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Fight pre-diabetes with your fork and feet

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The statistics are shocking: By 2030, if the current trends continue, 30 percent of the US population will develop type 2 diabetes. But, before someone is diagnosed with full-blown diabetes – which takes 10 to 15 years to develop – there is an actual disease called pre-diabetes. By making modest changes to diet and exercise, a person can prevent the transition from pre-diabetes to diabetes and avoid a lifetime of blood sugar monitoring, medication and serious complications.

Sleep diabetes away

There is a strong link between lack of sleep and obesity. Insufficient sleep may encourage insulin resistance. Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep to reap optimal health benefits. Get on a schedule, one where you go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, even on weekends. This natural pattern may also aid in more restful sleep.

Move your feet

Use your muscles. This will help fight obesity – a major contributor to pre-diabetes. “Physical activity such as walking, biking or swimming for at least 30 minutes, five days per week can keep pre-diabetes in check. Fiftyeight percent of people who lose at least seven percent of their body weight can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” says Lois Gerst, RD, CDE, manager of the Virtua Center for Nutrition and Diabetes Care.

Your fork is your friend

Get your blood sugar down by getting your weight down. Cut out the cookies, cakes, muffins and sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. Instead, reach for healthier alternatives like yogurt, nuts or even a “sugarfree” version of the treat. Carbohydrates such as bread and pasta also break down into sugar. Jean Marie Davidson, DO, a Virtua endocrinologist, counsels: “Fill half your plate with fresh vegetables. Fill a quarter of the plate with healthy carbohydrates such as beans, quinoa, barley and brown rice, and the other quarter with a lean protein. Stay away from the “boxed” or processed foods which contain a lot of starch and sodium. Instead, choose natural foods.”

“Jumpstart” your diabetes care at Virtua

Join the discussion with a Virtua certified diabetes educator at one of our classes. Call the Virtua Access Center at 1-855-VIRTUA-8 for more information.