Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than it should be but not enough to be medically diagnosed as diabetes. It is a precursor to many health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, and can result in long-term damage affecting your eyes, kidneys and blood vessels.
Unfortunately, prediabetes can go undetected for years without any signs or symptoms until serious health problems show up. Factors that put you at a higher risk of prediabetes include being overweight, being physically active less than 3 times a week and having a close relative with type 2 diabetes.
The good news is, it is a highly preventable and reversible condition – here are some lifestyle changes you can adopt to prevent or better manage your blood sugar levels and prevent prediabetes from taking over.
Clean Up Your Diet
You are what you eat. This is particularly true when it comes to metabolic type disorders like diabetes. Choosing a diet with healthier choices rather than one filled with sugary and fried foods is an effective way to combat prediabetes and restore your blood sugar levels.
Foods to incorporate into your diet would include fibrous fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. It would also help to avoid simple carbohydrates and trade them for complex carbohydrates like vegetables, beans and whole grains instead.
Exercise To Lose Weight
One of the risk factors of prediabetes is obesity. Even losing 5% of your body fat can improve your blood sugar levels tremendously, which is why having a regular exercise routine is key to reversing prediabetes.
Exercise does not mean signing up for an expensive gym membership and a personal trainer but can include light physical exercises like going for a night walk or practicing yoga. Ideally, you should try to hit 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity at least 5 out of 7 days a week.
Even though smoking is known for causing respiratory diseases, did you know that smoking also contributes to insulin resistance? Insulin resistance is one of the precursors to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Hence, if you are looking to prevent prediabetes, it is a good time to kick your smoking habit.
Even though most of us know the harmful effects of smoking, it is often easier said than done to completely shake off the addiction. Consider trying nicotine patches or ask your health practitioners about the “I Quit” programme by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board to help you along your journey.
Drink More Water
This last tip is the simplest but most important one. Drinking water helps flush out the toxins we consume in our bodies and regulate our blood sugar levels. It is also a healthy substitute for other sweet beverages or caffeinated drinks. If you find yourself drinking too much bubble tea, as most Singaporeans do, try a bubble tea ban and limit yourself to enjoying it as an occasional treat.
Prediabetes is your body’s way of warning you of a bigger problem. However, if we can make some tweaks to our lifestyle, it is possible to prevent prediabetes. So, do not get discouraged – if you need more support, search for the nearest virtual doctor in Singapore using the MyCLNQ app to get immediate access to a range of telemedicine services today.