If you’ve been told by your doctor that you’re pre-diabetic, you should consider yourself lucky. Yes, you read that right. Being classified as pre-diabetic means that there’s time to turn your health situation around.
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes refers to a condition that is associated with a blood glucose levels being higher than what is considered normal – but not elevated enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Consider pre-diabetes the warning sign, the precursor, to the onset of type 2 diabetes. If left untreated, 33% of individuals with pre-diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 2 million Australians are pre-diabetic. In the USA, 1 in 3 people have this condition.
What are the risk factors?
There are a wide range of risk factors that can influence your likelihood of developing prediabetes. These risk factors include:
- Weight: if you are carrying extra weight, particularly around your waistline
- Age: the older you get, the higher your chances of developing pre-diabetes
- Inactivity: not being physically active regularly can increase your risk of pre-diabetes (and goes hand in hand with carrying additional weight)
- Family history: having a family history of type 2 diabetes or heart disease can increase your risk of pre-diabetes
- Gestational diabetes: if you have had diabetes while pregnant, you may be at higher risk of becoming pre-diabetic later in life
How can pre-diabetes be managed?
There are very simple things you can do to manage your pre-diabetes, so that you don’t end up being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes down the track. These activities include:
- Healthy eating: eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, rich in lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables and wholegrains are the keys to fuelling your body with all the right things, as well as making an effort to reduce your overall energy intake
- Healthy living: through regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. Keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum and giving up smoking will also make a big difference when it comes to managing prediabetes, as well as a wide range of other conditions.
What role can wholegrains play in managing pre-diabetes?
Wholegrains such as BARLEYmax® can play an important role in the management of pre-diabetes, and the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Specifically, BARLEYmax® is considered low on the Glycemic Index (GI), which is crucial for maintaining steady blood glucose levels. Additionally, BARLEYmax® is a rich source of resistant starch, which helps to maintain blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
A pre-diabetes diagnosis doesn’t have to equal a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. A few simple, conscious lifestyle changes are all you need to make to keep type 2 diabetes at bay.
Intended as general advice only. Consult your health care provider to discuss any specific concerns.