Stopping the progression of prediabetes is possible

Rates of type 2 diabetes are climbing to record levels. However, perhaps more troubling than the high number of individuals who currently have the condition is the fact that so many more people are at risk for developing it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 26 million people have diabetes. Another 79 million individuals have a condition known as prediabetes, which is characterized by resistance to the effects of insulin. Very often, prediabetes develops into type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, up to two-thirds of the adult population in the U.S. is either overweight or obese. Excess body fat is the leading contributor to type 2 diabetes risk. The majority of these individuals may be predisposed to developing the condition.

However, just because a person can be characterized as having prediabetes does not necessarily mean they will develop the full condition. The American Diabetes Association reports that it is very possible for an individual to bring their blood sugar levels back to within a normal range through more physical activity and a healthier diet.

In fact, one recent study showed that people with prediabetes were able to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent when they got 30 minutes of moderate daily physical activity and lost 5 to 10 percent of their body fat.

It doesn't take hours at the gym or a major dietary intervention. Taking simple steps each day can produce impressive results. Taking the stairs up to the office instead of the elevator every day may be one way to increase physical activity levels. Replacing two or more weekly dinners of red meat with heart healthy fish can dramatically reduce the amount of saturated fats a person eats.

While these lifestyle changes may not be that major, they still require a person to pay attention to what they are doing throughout the day. With a little planning and attention to detail, losing a few extra pounds is possible. This may significantly reduce their type 2 diabetes risk.