Optimal health starts with preventative care. Preventive care aims to take care of the body in a way that fuels the body, inhibits the progress of a disease, and maximizes well-being. It’s a combination of psychological and physical factors enhanced by actions we undertake to take care of ourselves. The better we take care of our bodies, the better quality of life we stand to have. Dr. Ari Bernstein, MD, an investor in Fruit Street Health, talks about the three main actions crucial to take charge of our health.
Dr. Bernstein believes that patients who fall into the prediabetic category have a chance to take charge of their health before it becomes too late. “A lot of chronic issues we see in medicine stem from diabetic complications,” says Dr. Bernstein. “With a proactive approach towards preventive care, we can prevent these conditions and witness better health of patients.” Dr. Bernstein discusses how prediabetic patients can improve their health with exercise, diet and nutrition, and meal planning.
“Exercise is a great first start for anyone with prediabetes,” explains Dr. Bernstein. “If you want to take charge of your health, start exercising.” It is recommended that we exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day, and the truth is no matter where you are in your journey, you can start there, no excuses. Our bodies were meant for exercise, and they thrive on physical activity. Plus, it helps us lose weight, which is critical for prediabetic patients. Movement, exercise, and losing unhealthy excess weight are the initial steps towards any preventative plan for prediabetic patients.
2. Diet and Nutrition
This one should go without saying, but we all know how hard it can be to get the right diet and nutrition in our hectic and busy lives. Dr. Bernstein maintains that it must be prioritized. “We are what we eat, and we must always remember food is medicine, otherwise medicine will be our food,” explains Dr. Bernstein. As we change our diets to a whole-food, plant-based diet, we fight disease through the vitamins and antioxidants present in these foods. Ask yourself every time you eat something, are you feeding disease or fighting it?”
3. Meal Planning
“Meal Planning is all about setting yourself up for success,” says Dr. Bernstein. “If you plan your meals, you walk into your day or week prepared, and it’s harder to fall off-track.” Knowing how important diet and nutrition is to our preventive care, meal planning is a simple tactic patients with prediabetic or chronic conditions can utilize to take control of their health. “Meal planning gives you the power over your diet,” states Dr. Bernstein.
When it comes to preventive health, a lot of it is about the actions we take ourselves and the choices we make guided by expert physicians and dietitians.