I recently read a stunning statistic: According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, 1 in 3 Coloradans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes within six years! How can this be possible in one of the healthiest states in the nation? Estimates put the total number of Americans with prediabetes at 86 million!

Prediabetes is diagnosed when fasting blood sugar levels are higher than “normal” (over 100mg/dl) but not high enough to qualify for full-blown diabetes (over 126 mg/dl). Many people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within a decade.

The reason this news is so alarming is because prediabetes isn’t “pre” anything; it’s an earlier stage of diabetes that carries with it nearly every risk factor of diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In other words, prediabetes can kill you before you ever get full-blown diabetes. The good news is that prediabetes is reversible through healthy diet and lifestyle practices.

You might think this doesn’t apply to you because you’re thin but research shows that 40 percent of normal weight people have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes high blood sugar and increases your risk of prediabetes and diabetes. 

At your next physical request a fasting blood glucose test and an HbA1c (average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months). If theses tests are elevated take action immediately by switching to a low glycemic diet.

Doctors don’t have a way to treat prediabetes but nutritionists do! Prediabetes is completely reversible by making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes. More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, and one in four doesn’t know it! Get your blood sugar tested. You don’t have to be a statistic!

Until next time, make every bite count!