If You’re Tackling Diabetes, Choose Your Plan Carefully
Here’s why support is also critical for success on your plan to manage diabetes.
If your doctor has told you that you’re at risk for diabetes – or you’ve already been diagnosed with the condition – you can tackle your disease on your own through a plan that combines weight loss and physical activity.
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The task force analyzed data from 53 studies describing 66 programs designed to reduce the onset of diabetes in people who were at high risk for developing the condition.
They found that the programs were most successful when they had trained staff who work one-on-one with patients for at least three months. The sessions in the successful programs combined counseling, coaching and learning about diet guidelines.
“Patients who are aware of their high risk should see this as a second chance,” says endocrinologist Betul Hatipoglu, MD. “They can either intervene with exercise and diet, or do nothing about it and further advance diabetes.”
Dr. Hatipoglu says that people who are at high risk for developing diabetes can start by adopting a Mediterranean-style diet. Then ask your doctor to recommend a safe and healthy weight-loss and exercise program.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
“We currently recommend at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week,” Dr. Hatipoglu says. “If you can throw in some weight training a couple of times a week – even if it’s light – that is really helpful, too.”
Nine percent of the U.S. population suffers from type 2 diabetes. What’s more, 37 percent of adults are at very high risk of developing it.
If nothing were done to help those at high risk, every year 10 percent of those at high risk would become diabetic.