According to the Center for Disease Control, about 30 million Americans—more than 9 percent of the U.S. population—live with diabetes. In 2017 the CDC also reported that as many as 84.1 million Americans also have prediabetic symptoms like high blood sugar. Often, prediabetes turns into type 2 diabetes in as few as 5 years if left untreated.
Though diabetes isn’t reversible, you can often reverse prediabetes. Here are some things you can do to reverse the risk of developing diabetes.
Maintain and control your weight.
If you are overweight, you have a higher risk of developing diabetes. However, losing even a little bit of weight can help. Researchers found that people who lost 5-7% of their body weight were able to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.
Eat a heart healthy diet.
Another thing you can do is to eat a healthy diet. This is important for all seniors. However, foods like brown rice and whole grains are extra important for people with prediabetes. This is because it takes longer for your body to turn these foods into sugar. On the other hand, processed foods like white rice and white bread can quickly raise your blood sugar levels.
Smoking can cause a number of health concerns. Among other things, it increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When compared to nonsmokers, smokers are 50% more likely to have diabetes.
Keep it moving.
We have discussed the benefits of physical activity on this website several times before. That’s because it has numerous benefits for people of all ages. It can also help prediabetic seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle. As always, you don’t have to take up intense activities. Low-impact exercises like walking and yoga are also beneficial.
Make sure you’re getting enough fluids, but also beware of what fluids you’re taking in. Try to cut back on sugary drinks like soda and juice, which are high in sugar. Try water, coffee, or tea instead! If you miss the fizz of soda, try swapping it out for sparkling water.
Keep your blood pressure in check.
If you have high blood pressure, you also have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Keep an eye on your numbers and always take the medication your doctor prescribes you.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning a new diet and exercise regimen. While these are some things that can reduce your chance of developing diabetes, your doctor can help you figure out what lifestyle changes will work best for you.