Being diagnosed with pre diabetes should not be taken lightly, but it should not cause you to fly into an unbridled panic either. Yes, many people who are diagnosed with the condition do go on to develop type 2 diabetes, but there are also many people who don’t, and if you want to fall into that bracket, rather than the former, pour your efforts into a healthy pre diabetic diet, and cut your chances dramatically.
What Is Pre Diabetes?
If you are diagnosed with pre diabetes this basically means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with actual diabetes. Pre diabetes is actually a useful tool, because it is a warning, and when you heed that warning and use it to your advantage, i.e. losing a little weight and choosing a healthier way of life, you are actually giving yourself the permission to be literally that, healthier!
It doesn’t mean 100% that you will develop type 2 diabetes, it just means you are at a higher risk as your diet and blood glucose level stands at that time – things can change.
Despite that, in order to make things change, you need to take action.
It has long been considered that having a healthy diet and being more active has a huge effect on the development of type 2 diabetes, so it makes perfect sense that to cut your chances, you need to get healthy.
What’s the Connection Between Diet and Pre Diabetes?
Nutrition is a cornerstone in the prevention and management of pre diabetes and diabetes. Many people with pre diabetes are suffering from overweight. Excess weight and physical inactivity increase the risk of insulin resistance. Sugar from food begins to build up in your bloodstream because insulin can no longer move it into your cells.
In addition to promoting wellness, a healthy diet can optimize control of:
- blood glucose
- blood pressure
- cholesterol and triglycerides
Experts believe that if a prediabetic person takes no action (including the diet plan) to address this problem, he could face many risks of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
A study conducted by Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) shows that:
…millions of high-risk people can delay or avoid developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight through regular physical activity and a diet low in fat and calories.
What Is a Healthy Pre Diabetic Diet?
A healthy pre diabetic diet is basically a healthy diet, with an eye on blood glucose levels. This isn’t too hard task to embark on, because as long as you stick to healthy choices then you are ticking both boxes.
These are basic principles of healthy eating:
- Eat three meals a day
- Avoid skipping meals
- Aim for a range of 4 to 6 hours between meals
- Limit your intake of foods high in refined sugars and
- low-nutrient such as soft drinks, cakes, pies, cookies
- Stay hydrated, water is the ideal drink when you are thirsty
Remember to get active too, by either joining the gym, going out walking, jogging, or making small changes to your daily schedule, such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator, for instance – every little does help here.
Naturally, you should try to combine effective dietary changes with 30-40 minutes of cardio exercises at a rate of 3 or 4 times per week.
Adapt your diet depending on your needs, your level of physical activity, and « moderation » remains a winning recipe!
These simple lifestyle changes may be enough to prevent pre diabetes to progress to diabetes. Do not forget to visit your doctor every six months to test your blood sugar.
Do I Need Dietary Supplements
Vitamin D plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and controlling obesity. vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. The human body is able to synthesize vitamin D when ultraviolet sunlight hits the skin. There are no proven recommended doses for people with prediabetes. Only few foods in nature contain vitamin D. The best sources are:
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends the following guidelines for daily vitamin D intake:
- 1 to 70 years: 600 International Units (IUs).
- 71 and older : 800 IUs.
Stick With the Basics
Whole grains are important in a healthy pre diabetic diet, and they have been shown to cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eat wholegrain pastas, slow-cooked oats, wholegrain bread, or brown rice, instead of the white varieties for instant health-boosting properties.
Whole grains are a good source of fiber. Natural fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is resistant to digestion. It passes through the body largely unchanged. It does not raise blood sugar and is an effective “Appetite suppressant”.
By adopting a diet rich in fiber, you will significantly control your diabetes and your weight, in addition, you will reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fruit and Vegetables
We know that fruit and vegetables are important, and this is certainly the case in a healthy pre diabetes diet. Opt for fresh fruit than juice, and prepare vegetables with little or no fat and salt.
Smoothies are a good way to pack in your daily quota, but remember not to add extras which contain sugars. In terms of vegetables, simply load up your plate at dinner, or snack on vegetable sticks and hummus as a healthy alternative to fatty snacks.
Are unsweetened fruit juices recommended as a snack? No. It is advisable to consume 100% pure juice in small amounts, (125 ml or ½ cup). Juices should be taken with a meal to limit their speed absorption from the stomach to the intestine. Whole fruits are best choices
Having a balanced and varied diet is the way forward, and always remember to eat breakfast, as this will stop you snacking as the day progresses, and making unhealthy choices. If you must snack, make them healthy, and nuts are a great choice, as they have been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes; avoid the salted kind.
On top of this, be careful how much processed meat you eat, as this can increase your risk, and watch the amount of trans-fats you consume, such as baked goods. Avoid processed foods as much as possible too.
As you can see, a healthy pre diabetic diet is simply a healthy diet overall, with a few extras thrown in. What worked for you? Share it with us!