So, today we are going to give you a full guide on a pre-diabetic diet. I bet you’re here after you’ve gone to see your doctor for a check-up and you just got the news that you’re a “prediabetic”! Well, don’t be shocked, you’re not alone, in fact, almost 50% of the American population alone have diabetes or prediabetes!
Briefly, diabetes is when your blood sugar is above the normal level and, consequently, you need to take medications to lower it.
The good news is, sometimes people don’t have a severe case of diabetes or pre diabetes and only eating the right healthy food could be the answer to their high sugar levels.
Now, you can’t ignore that your doctor told you-you’re a pre-diabetic and at the same time, you can’t accept the fact that you have a slightly high blood sugar. As a result, you need to regulate your food to make sure that your blood sugar doesn’t go any higher and control it before the sugar controls you!
Let’s get your pre-diabetic stage in control, shall we?
Prediabetic Diet: The 10 Changes to Make In Your Diet:
If you have prediabetes, then, there are great chances to develop type 2 diabetes (T2D) (¹) in the coming next 10 years. Nonetheless, you can turn your pre diabetes around when you make some changes to your diet, beginning today.
Here Are The 10 Changes You Need To Make:
1. Drink In Moderation:
Well, I believe you already know that alcohol contains some added sugars that you obviously don’t need and dehydrates your body too.
Drink alcohol in moderation, not more than one glass a day. Also, choose your drinks and alcohol wisely. I’d simply advise going for scotch, whiskey or wine because they are way better than cocktails (contain sugary mixers).
2. Choose Grains Intelligently:
Some people have the concept or belief that once sugar is eliminated from their diet, then their blood sugar levels should be great and normal. In fact, you should know that not only sugars spike your sugar level up, but also carbs, which end up breaking up to sugar.
Especially simple carbohydrates are a threat for your pre diabetes, so you should aim for the complex carbs found in grains, vegetables & fruits (for instance; quinoa, brown rice, barley, steel-cut oats, amaranth, buckwheat, whole-wheat bread, and millets).
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast:
I can’t stress how important it is not to skip breakfast, even if you make it to your office right on time. In the prediabetes diet, it is not an option to skip your breakfast, all you have to do is wake up a little early to catch your breakfast before leaving for work.
4. Control Portions:
Don’t starve yourself because you’re in a prediabetes stage, in fact, divide your food up into 6 meals (mostly made of proteins) and control your portion throughout the day. It’s all about eating the right food at the right time in the prediabetic diet.
5. Try More Healthy Fats:
Obviously, you should aim for the healthy fats that boost your body with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It’s not just because they are healthy fats, but because they help maintain your pre-diabetic stage and significantly reducing your cholesterol levels. Today, you should start cooking with nuts, olive, avocado, oil fish oil for a better life and controlled blood sugar levels.
6. Eat Lean Meat:
Proteins are now one of your new best friends as they help keep you stay fuller longer and amazingly stabilize your blood level during the day. The fact is that proteins take longer to digest than carbs, which means your body uses energy to digest the protein you just ate and stay in your digestive system longer.
7. Avoid All Sugars & Trans Fats From Your Diet:
By eliminating sugars, I don’t just mean stop adding sugar to your tea and coffee only, but sugar is hidden in many forms in your food. Like how sugar is hidden in soda drinks, a Starbucks Latte and many other unhealthy foods and drinks that have lots of sugars and will ruin your diabetic diet for sure!
8. Add Fiber To Your Diet:
Basically, when you’re on a prediabetic diet, you need to add lots of fibers to your diet to make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Also, you need to improve your digestion and reduce calorie intake to reverse prediabetes by eating some legumes, vegetables, beans, whole-wheat bread, and fruits.
9. Nuts Are Your New Friends:
Nuts should now be your new best friend and they make an excellent snack for a prediabetic diet. Now, whenever you feel hungry between meals, go eat some nuts to maintain your blood sugar level and have a healthy snack at the same time.
In 2008, a study in the American Society for Nutrition showed that nuts can definitely improve your lipid and sugar levels in your blood to prevent the risks of any heart or diabetes complications.
10. Intermittent Fasting:
Do you know that when you go for 10-12 hours with no food or caloric drinks you can maintain your blood sugar levels? Certainly!
If you went for 10-12 hours after your dinner and until your breakfast without consuming any calories, you’ll improve your insulin sensitivity and you have great chances of reversing your pre-diabetic stage quicker.
Now, let’s jump into a very important question that every prediabetic asks.
Can You Reverse Pre-Diabetes With The Proper Diet?
The good news is yes you can reverse it! The best thing about the prediabetes stage is that it gives you a warning for what is going to happen before things go terribly wrong (The Diabetes).
So, this is actually a chance that your body is giving you by telling you are about to be diabetic and to do things right before any complications happen.
First of all, losing weight is the main decision you have to make following the 10 lifestyle changes we mentioned earlier.
Every pound you lose helps your body to stabilize your blood sugar levels and normalize your insulin function. Moreover, when you add some exercise in the prediabetes stage, it will definitely help reverse it and prevent the chances of diabetes.
5 Mistakes To Avoid As A Pre-Diabetic:
Mistake 1 – Picking Everything That Says “Low Fat”:
When you decide to lose weight, your brain automatically thinks it’s wise enough to buy food labeled as low-fat food. But, not all fat are bad as mentioned in the lifestyle changes above, in fact, consuming the healthy types helps your body to maintain the blood sugar level at normal levels.
Mistake 2 – Underestimating The Small Weight You Lose:
Remember, that every pound you lose, your body has better chance to function well and in return, your body can easily reverse prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association publishes in 2007 the astonishing results of a one-year weight loss study on people who have type 2 diabetes.
Surprisingly, people who lost 5-8% of their body weight reduced their diabetes risk by 58%.
Mistake 3 – Don’t Eat Regularly:
Don’t listen to people who tell you not to eat frequently, however, you should frequently in moderation and not overindulge. Add 2 small snacks during your day between the main meals (make nuts your best snack here).
You’ll take some time to get used to adding snacks when you’re not feeling entirely hungry, but it’ll suppress your appetite for the next meal, and therefore you’ll eat less.
Mistake 4 – Fats Are Not The Enemy:
If you still have the belief that fat is the true enemy in a prediabetic diet, then you’re mistaken because it is not. The real enemy in the prediabetic diet (as we discussed in details earlier) is processed carbs.
I personally highly recommend an LCHF diet (Low Carb High Fat diet) to lose weight. Most important thing is to focus on limiting your consumption of sugary and starchy food like bread and pasta!
Instead, your body will really appreciate it when you put your main focus on eating healthy foods, & amongst your options is including natural fats.
Mistake 5 – You Think You Need To Avoid Sugar Completely!
The last mistake that people on a prediabetic diet do is think that they have to eliminate sugars completely to avoid falling into the diabetes trap!
Well, this belief is completely wrong in the prediabetic world, in fact as previously explained that you need to avoid only the processed types of sugars and consuming the simple healthy types. (Check the changes in lifestyle to know which are healthy in the prediabetic diet).
This was your complete guide to a prediabetic diet, feel free to comment below on your experience and share your thoughts with us.
If you were prediabetic, then I’d like to know your story and you can inspire others too.