What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes refers to a medical condition where a person experiences higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to type 2 diabetes and can cause more serious complications, such as heart disease and stroke.
Prediabetes is manageable, and one of the best ways to manage it is by following the appropriate diet and eating the right kind of foods. The main objective of observing this practice is to prevent prediabetes from complicating and control blood glucose levels.
Complying yourself to eating only nutritious food and adhering to a proper diet means a change in your lifestyle. It helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels in your body and keep your weight in a healthy range. Remember that increased body fat and overweight can both lead to insulin resistance – a risk factor of diabetes and other life-threatening medical conditions.
Below are the guidelines of a good diet that you can follow and apply in your daily food consumption:
The glycemic index (GI) is a useful tool for determining the types of food that could affect your blood sugar. It helps in choosing foods that are healthful and beneficial for consumption. The higher the food is on the GI scale, the higher chance it gives to raise your blood sugar. On the other hand, foods that are ranked lower on the scale will provide a lesser effect on the blood glucose level. Always note that foods on the lower GI scale contain high fibre, which is necessary for preventing diabetes. This explains why choosing foods that have a high content of fibre is highly recommendable. Some of the foods that are low on the GI scale are as follows:
- Vegetables (carrots and field greens)
- Beans (kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and adzuki beans)
- Sweet potatoes
- Steel-cut oats
- Stone-ground whole wheat bread
Choose foods that are rich in fibre
Fibre-rich foods help you to feel full and prevent overeating. Aside from the good benefits it can give to your body, it eliminates the chances of getting diabetes. It controls the levels of blood glucose in the body and provides fewer calories. Furthermore, it makes bowel movements easier and flushes out toxins from your body. Some of the foods that are rich in fibre are as follows:
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole-grain bread, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, bulgur, and rye)
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole grain cereals
- Vegetables (green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, and collard greens)
- Fruits (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries pears, navel oranges, grapefruits, papaya, unpeeled apples and dried fruits)
- Nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, or almonds)
- Beans and legumes
Control your daily meat consumption. Although meats do not necessarily contribute to carbohydrates content, it has saturated fat that can assist in getting high cholesterol levels. It is highly advisable to only consume meats that are low in saturated fat to prevent acquiring heart disease. Instead, choose foods that contain high levels of omega-3 and protein, which are necessary for regulating blood sugar levels. Some of the foods that you can choose from are as follows:
- Bean and legumes
- Soybean products (tofu and tempeh)
- Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, herring, and albacore tuna)
- Lean beef cuts
- Chicken (without the skin)
- Shellfish (crab, scallops, shrimp, lobster)
- Greek yogurt
Drinking lots of water
What is the better choice to quench your thirst? Choose to drink more water than consuming a can of soda. Drinking plenty of water is an important part of the diet. It prevents you from getting dehydrated and keep the blood sugar level steady. Should you be diagnosed with prediabetes, it is better to avoid drinking sugary drinks or even juices.
Aside from learning about the right kinds of food to eat, here is the list of prediabetes diet foods to avoid:
- Highly refined grains – These types of food lack fibre that controls the blood sugar levels. One good example is bagels made from white flour.
- Processed meats – If you have prediabetes, it is best to stay away from processed meats. These types of food can increase your risk of insulin resistance and may cause liver disease.
- Canned vegetables – Avoid eating canned vegetables that have been added with lots of sodium.
- Fast-food burgers and fries – Studies have been reported that those who frequently visit fast-food restaurants are at high risk of insulin resistance and overweight. Prevent further development of diabetes by cooking instead of at home and make your own burger using a whole grain bun and freshly roasted sweet potato fries.
- Cheesecake – Are you fond of eating cheesecake? You might haven’t realized this yet, but cheesecake contains saturated fat that can harm insulin sensitivity. Aside from that, it has 27 grams of sugar that can significantly increase your blood glucose levels.
Early intervention with regards to having prediabetes can prevent the condition from progressing. Note that this disease is manageable, and following the right diet and doing daily physical exercises will help you stay healthy and worry-free. Visit your doctor today, and seek medical advice to be properly educated about your medical situation.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.