Pre-diabetes is the stage just before illness. When all is well, the carbohydrates (sugars) provided by food are digested to form glucose. The pancreas detects the increase in blood glucose levels (blood sugar) and secretes insulin, the hormone necessary for the energy distribution of glucose in the body. When the system goes wrong, glucose builds up and hyperglycemia gradually and silently attacks the heart, nerves, eyes and kidneys.
• I screen for prediabetes
A fasting blood sugar level between 1.10g / l and 1.25g / l in the blood indicates entry into prediabetes. This is the case in France for 7.4% of the population, three times more men than women. On average, within ten years, the disease sets in. However, everything is still possible at this stage!
“By judiciously modifying a few lifestyle habits, the trend can be reversed and blood sugar levels drop to a normal level,” says Dr Jean-François Thébaut, prevention expert with the French Federation of Diabetics. A study carried out in Sweden in 2019 among 2,575 people aged 60 and over demonstrated the reversibility of the situation or, in some cases, stabilization, during the twelve years of follow-up.
– To get started: a simple blood test helps to take stock. It is particularly recommended in case of a family history of diabetes.
• I watch my diet
No need to embark on a drastic diet to lose extra pounds: “Losing 8 to 10% of the weight is enough to promote the action of insulin because in case of overweight, this hormone works less well and the pancreas must provide more to bring blood sugar back to normal”, explains Marie-Laure André, dietician-nutritionist.
The parade: cook raw products at home
The ideal plate to moderate blood sugar and bring satiety must include: a majority of raw or cooked vegetables, from 100 to 200g, by weight cooked, whole or semi-whole grains and legumes (rice, pasta, lentils, peas chick, red beans …), 100g of protein (lean meat, fish, egg, tofu), plain milk and / or fruit, depending on hunger.
To know: 1/4 teaspoon a day of cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar (in dishes, compotes or drinks).
The trap: sugary drinks, alcohol, pastries, candies and saturated fats (cream, butter, meat in sauce).
– To get started: the advice of a dietitian helps to save time to point out individual errors: snacking, portion size …
Managing your diabetes is possible!
• I pamper my microbiota
Our intestinal flora can help us. “An imbalance between bad and good gut bacteria has been observed in the progression to diabetes, says Dr. Thébaut. It is believed to contribute to insulin resistance and is a risk factor for diabetes.” Pampering the gut microbiota would therefore be a strategy to curb the disease.
– To get started: feed good bacteria with fermented foods, like cabbage, kefir, sourdough bread or miso soups, and foods rich in prebiotics, such as honey, almonds and apples.
• I move more and better
Endocrinologists are used to saying: “a dog to walk is better than three drugs”. In the case of prediabetes, physical activity reduces the risk of diabetes by up to 50%, regardless of dietary advice and weight loss, says the French Federation of Diabetics.
Dr. Thébaut deciphers: “Muscles in action burn excess sugar, which promotes weight loss and insulin work.” The ideal activity should be long enough, a walk of thirty minutes (or more) and, most importantly, daily. Add a 45-minute physical activity session twice a week: brisk walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, martial arts … according to the tastes and abilities (backache, fragile knees or shoulders), and the count is good.
– To get started: contact the town hall to find out about local sports clubs or, in the Paris region, the health network www.revesdiab.fr. The Sports and Diabetes Union, created with doctors, also offers adapted internships and workshops, including in case of obesity, low vision or complex pathologies.
• The ideal plate
– 1/2 of vegetables: green beans, endives, fennel, cabbage, zucchini, spinach, leeks …
– 1/4 protein: White meat, fish, egg, seafood, tofu …
– 1/4 starchy foods: rice, pasta, buckwheat, lentils, chickpeas, red beans …
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