New projections show that one in ten adults could have diabetes by 2030 based on current trends, including both types of diabetes and undiagnosed cases. There are an estimated 346 million people currently with diabetes worldwide, and eighty percent of deaths caused by this disease occur in developing countries. In the United States alone there are 79 million pre-diabetic adults.
Sadly, many of these cases are preventable through diet and lifestyle changes. “The major controllable risk factor for diabetes is weight,” Dr. Donald Hensrud told DietsInReview.com in an interview, who is the Chair of the Division of Preventive, Occupational, and Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic. “There’s certainly a genetic predisposition, age is a strong risk factor. Obviously people can’t control those, but of the controllable factors, weight is the strongest one.”
The Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical research group, announced today a diet plan that’s designed for people with type two diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions. The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet is a two-part diet plan that’s consists of a “Lose It!” phase and “Live It!” phase. The diet is based on the original Mayo Clinic Diet and is adapted to meet the needs of diabetic patients. The first phase of the diet helps participants safely lose over six pounds in the first two weeks, and the second phase helps them transition to a slower long-term weight loss and maintenance plan.
The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet includes practical advice for dealing with common weight-loss issues such lack of exercise, poor diet and the hectic schedules that lead to poor health choices.” We took The Mayo Clinic Diet and just tweaked it a little bit,” says Dr. Hensrud. “We put in other specific information related to diabetes. The importance, for example, of understanding how increased weight contributes to elevated blood glucose levels.”
Even before pre-diabetic and diabetic patients reach a healthy weight, they can see major changes to their blood sugar levels simply by eating fewer calories. “It’s important for people to know when they first start making changes, they may see quite a big drop in their blood glucose values even before substantial weight loss.” This means that people who are on medication to control blood glucose need to be prepared for these changes.
Overall, the book is aimed at making weight loss and lifestyle changes a less daunting task. “We’re trying to provide good information for people and practical suggestions in a challenging area,” adds Dr. Hensrud. “If people approach this is a positive manner, it doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can improve glucose control, it can improve health risks and importantly it can improve quality of life and help people feel better.”