By Kirsten Hawkins
Did you know that you can be 'just a little bit diabetic'? The
condition is technically called 'pre-diabetes', and it is
characterized by persistent high blood sugar levels.
Pre-diabetes is a serious condition, though its symptoms may
so subtle that you don't notice them affecting your life. More
importantly, it's an indicator that there is something
seriously wrong with your body. Left untreated, over 50% of
those diagnosed with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes
within ten years.
If your doctor has told you that you are one of the more than
16 million Americans who has pre-diabetes, the American
Diabetes Association has some very good news for you. In March
2005, the ADA released the results of the multi-year Diabetes
Prevention Project. In a study that followed thousands of
patients across the nation who had been diagnosed with
pre-diabetes, the Diabetes Prevention Project found that
patients who lost a 'moderate' amount of weight reduced their
risk of developing full-blown diabetes by over 58%. Even more
encouraging, many of those patients had managed to reverse
their condition, and their blood sugar levels were well within
This was a result that the researchers had not expected.
Diabetes (and pre-diabetes) is the result of changes to cells
in the pancreas that reduce the amount of insulin that they
produce. Doctors have always believed that those changes are
irreversible. Now however, the research seems to suggest that
losing weight with a healthy balance of exercise and diet can
actually heal those early damages caused by diabetes.
Here's the even better news. Those results were achieved by
people who lost 'moderate' amounts of weight - from 5-7% of
their total body mass. In other words, if you weigh 200 pounds
and have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, losing just 10-15
pounds can more than halve the risk of developing full-blown
diabetes, and may reverse your condition entirely.
Here are some healthy weight loss tips from the American
1. Keep your diet balanced. Eat a variety of foods in all food
groups, with an emphasis on grains, starches and fresh
vegetables and fruit.
2. Learn to eyeball portions. Portion control is far more
important than restricting what foods you eat. A 'portion' of
raw vegetables may be considerably larger than a portion of
same vegetables cooked. There are some handy reference guides
their web site at www.diabetes.org
3. Add one half hour daily of moderate exercise to your daily
routine five days a week. This one single lifestyle change
seemed to be the key to both weight loss and the beneficial
effects derived from it. It was the single significant
difference between the two groups in the study.
The results of the Diabetes Prevention Project only confirm
what has been the best advice in dieting circles for years -
losing weight with a balanced diet and exercise is the
healthiest way there is. For more information on the diet
recommended by the American Diabetes Association, visit their
web site at www.diabetes.org
About The Author: Kirsten Hawkins is a nutrition and health
expert from Nashville, TN.Visit www.popular-diets.com/
for more great nutrition, well-being, and vitamin tips as well
as reviews and comments on popular diets.