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Health & Wellness

What is Pre-diabetes and why do you need to know?

Pre-diabetes is the condition that happens before diabetes is actually diagnosed.

You may be told by your doctor that your sugar is a little high and that you should watch what you eat and exercise more, that you should come back in a few months for a follow up visit, or that maybe you need to start a medication to help control your blood glucose. What you need to know is that for many years before you actually see that your glucose level is high, your pancreas has been working overtime to pump out enough insulin to cover your daily requirements (both the basal--or all day long needs--and the extra needs at meals), and/or that you have been developing a resistance to the insulin that you are producing. This type of diabetes, Type 2, frequently develops later in life and is often associated with being overweight or obese. The good news is that it can be reversed or you can at least delay the progression of the disease with lifestyle changes.
 

The facts are staggering.

  • 1 in 3 children born today will develop diabetes during their lifetime.
  • 29.1 Million people in the United States have diabetes (9.3% of the population). Of those, 27.8% are undiagnosed.
  • 6.1% of Americans aged 65 or older have pre-diabetes.
  • The estimated costs related to diabetes in the United States for 2012 are $245 Billion*.
The complications of diabetes affect the entire body, from head to toe, including the eyes, heart, kidneys, and extremities (literally the toes). Diabetes is a 24/7 disease, where you are constantly required to monitor your blood sugar to keep it in a range to prevent hyper and hypoglycemia, both of which could land you in the hospital.
*According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 

Do you know your numbers?

When you see your doctor it is routine to have your fasting blood glucose (FPG) checked in your blood work.

Pre-diabetes is defined as a FBG of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL, or a Hemoglobin A1c 5.7% to 6.4%. HgA1c is the average of your blood glucose levels over the past 3 months, and is normally checked only if you have had high blood glucose levels.

If you have any of the risk factors for diabetes but you don’t show signs of diabetes, it is still a good idea to follow a healthy diet, be at a healthy weight and exercise accordingly.

Risk Factors
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Physically inactive lifestyle
  • Native American, African-American or Hispanic heritage
  • Prior gestational diabetes diagnosis
  • High blood pressure
  • PCOS
  • A dark, velvety rash around the armpits or neck
  • History of heart disease

Eating Well

General guidelines suggest a diet low in simple sugars, processed foods, saturated and trans fats.
Plan a diet full of fresh fruits (in moderation because of the natural sugars), vegetables, high fiber complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and meats, low fat or non-fat dairy products and healthy fats such as olive and canola oil.

These guidelines are not new, so why is there a fast food store, bakery and pizza place on every block? Why is a salad $10.00 but 2 slices with a soda only $4.00, or a bagel with butter only $2.50. Are we just being lazy or is it truly difficult and nearly impossible to change our habits and lifestyles? The reality is that if it was easy people would “Just Do It”. But it’s not easy and you can’t flip a switch to turn it on. It will take time, energy, motivation, strength, support and persistence.

Start with one small step today and see what you can do...you deserve it!
RECIPES
 

Buttercup Squash and Apple Muffins (Yield 12)

  • 2 cups flour (I substituted ½ of this with whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. allspice (I omitted)
  • ½ c. coconut oil (I substituted ½ of this with applesauce)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ c. buttercup squash puree
  • 1 medium sweet, tart apple, peeled, cored, and shredded on the large holes of a box grater

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray the muffin wells with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl. Whisk together the wet ingredients and the apple in another bowl. Fold the dry into the wet, being careful not to over-mix. Spoon batter into the muffin wells and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing the muffins.

Note: To cook the buttercup squash, use a large sturdy chef’s knife to split the squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds (wash, dry and roast separately for a yummy treat). Rub the flesh with a little canola oil and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375 F for 45-60 minutes or until soft. Cool, then scoop out the flesh.

(Recipe adapted from Mike’s Organic Delivery)


Oven Roasted Vegetables

  • Celery root – peeled and cubed
  • 2 Onions – peeled and quartered
  • Cauliflower – cut into florets
  • Parsnips – peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • (Other vegetables as desired – carrots, peppers, blue potatoes, Brussel sprouts)
Directions: Place cut vegetables in a roasting pan and coat with olive oil (about ¼ cup). Cook for 40-50 minutes, at 400 F, and take out and stir a few times during the cooking so they don’t stick to the pan. Season with sea salt and pepper as desired.
Call or email today for a free session to see if Wellness Coaching or Nutritional Counseling is right for you.

Carena Lowenthal, MS, RD, CDN
(917) 882-5033 | carena@carenalowenthal.com
Copyright © 2014, All rights reserved.

Carena Lowenthal is a Registered Dietitian and is Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a consultant to physicians and clients specializing in health and wellness, weight loss, pre- diabetes, diabetes, and heart disease.  Carena is passionate about helping people make lasting lifestyle changes for a more fulfilling, healthy, happy and complete life.
Today is: October 20, 2017 - 6:56am
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