As people social distance during the pandemic, many aren’t moving around and getting out as much as they used to. This inactivity, along with poor eating habits and added stress, are contributing to an uptick in prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Still, there are a few simple things people can do to reverse the trend, said Karlee Adams, registered dietitian nutritionist for Intermountain Healthcare.
“Identifying the things we can control in our lives, and making a few small changes, can really improve health and prevent the onset of diabetes,” Adams said.
Diabetes risk factors include family members with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and a current or previous Gestational Diabetes diagnosis, Adams said. Those are things we cannot control. Having overweight or obesity issues and a lack of adequate physical activity are also risk factors, but in most cases, those can be addressed with healthy choices. Here are some examples:
What a person eats makes a difference, and promotes healthy weight or weight loss. Here are things to try:
-Track what you’re eating.
-Add more servings of fruits and vegetables, and fewer servings of empty calories or drinks high in added sugar like sugary sodas, juices, chips, cookies and other sweets.
-Keep meal portions balanced, with a lean protein, whole grains, and half the plate filled with fruits or vegetables.
Set a goal for 150 minutes of exercise each week but get there with smaller goals. Anything that increases the heart rate to a moderate level counts, including:
-10-minute walks, three times a day for five days each week.
-A strength training workout app
Intermountain has many treatments and prevention programs, including the CDC-accredited diabetes prevention program, The Weigh to Health.
For more information about diabetes prevention, go to IntermountainHealthcare.org.