Diagnosed with prediabetes? What can you do? Interview with diabetes expert Hope Warshaw

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Prediabetes. What can you do? Part 2 with diabetes expert Hope Warshaw

An estimated 80 million Americans have prediabetes but only about 10% know it. Hope Warshaw is a registered dietitian and diabetes educator. This is our 2nd of 3 interviews about diabetes and prediabetes. Hope is the author of many diabetes books available on her website—www.HopeWarshaw.com. (To watch video scroll to bottom or click here.)

Neily:We are talking about prediabetes. In the previous video we talked about the statistics and how prevalent it is. So somebody has prediabetes. What can they do?
Hope:My message is: take action as soon as you possibly can. Because this is a progressive disease. I know that sounds so negative but I try to turn that around in counseling people and talk about that being a positive thing because, now you know. You can start to take action. What we know from all the research—all of the diabetes prevention studies—is that taking action as soon as possible is your greatest help to prevent progression. That’s what we know.
Neily:And we are not talking about going on a diet.
Hope:No. We are not talking about going on a diet.
Neily:Which is often the first thing people think of.
Hope:It is. And it is also not about eating low carb.
Neily:Right.
Hope:So, it is about healthy eating. What I say to people, look at what you are currently eating. And even more important, what you are drinking. Because that is such a great place to start. I mean, if people are downing a couple of regular sodas a day, that’s 300 calories right there. Drink water, drink iced tea, diet soda and you have already made a significant change that can really help. So, we are not talking about big, difficult-to-do changes. Let’s say you are doing a lot of restaurant eating, look at what you are ordering.

  • Can you split an order of fries with your family if out to dinner?
  • Can you brown bag lunch a couple of days a week?
  • Portions—oh my goodness—there is so much work to do around portion control.
  • Cook less (meaning don’t make huge volumes of food). Put leftovers away before you dig in.
  • Don’t put serving bowls on the table.
  • Think about the plate method and fill your plate half with vegetables and a quarter with starch and a quarter with meat.
  • Take in what is being said about healthy eating—eat more fruits and vegetables, eat more fiber, eat more whole grains.
  • Go lighter on the meat. Make sure your meat is lean, go meatless! Meatless on Mondays!

And then there is the exercise piece. Go walk. Think about your day and how can you fit in more steps.

Neily:Yes. Steps. I tell people just move. Because just starting that, they will feel better and know it’s not insurmountable.
Hope:Now, you and I both know it’s not as easy said and done because we live in a culture that is 24 x 7 x 365 food and it is hard to do this.
Neily:True. Going back to what you said that’s important. Something else. I call it liquid sugar. People often substitute juice and think it is better. And even though it may be a better option, it is still 100% sugar. It’s one of those things that should be limited or eliminated as well because liquid calories, just does not have the satisfying, the satiating factors that whole food does.
Hope:That’s right. We both would rather that people chew.
Neily:Absolutely. Get that sensation of chewing.
Hope:And it takes more time.
Neily:Yes it does. More fiber too. So, cutting back on the sugary drinks, eating a healthy diet, consulting with a registered dietitian or just getting a few tips off the www.diabetes.org website.
Hope:Also, I just want to make sure that people know that an element of the Affordable Care Act ‘Obamacare’—has the start of something called the ‘National Diabetes Prevention Program’ managed under the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). People can search under the National Diabetes Prevention Plan and find some excellent resources. There may be programs in their neck of the woods. All kinds of things happening because our government knows we have got to get a handle on this.
Neily:Great. Good information. Thanks Hope! (Hope’s books can be found at www.HopeWarshaw.com and Amazon.) Thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition.


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