Pre-diabetes is relatively common, though about 90% of those with it have no idea about it. Pre-diabetes can be easily managed with the right diet, but now, the question is ‘what is the right diet for pre-diabetes?’
Pre-diabetes is common in both male and female and people above 45 years of age and having a family history of diabetes increases one’s risk. A blood test can diagnose Pre-diabetes. If you are in need of a good blood test in London private clinic, contact us or search ‘walk-in blood test near me’.
If you are diagnosed of pre-diabetes, it is either because your fasting blood sugar is between 100-125 mg/dl; your oral glucose tolerance test result showed 140 – 199 mg/dl or your glycated hemoglobin A1C range is between 5.7 – 6.4%.
What Is Pre-Diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition in humans, where a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. It usually occurs when the regulation of glucose (sugar) in your blood is disrupted. The sugar in your body comes mostly from the food you eat and from your liver when you haven’t eaten for a certain period.
Insulin is a chemical released from the pancreas to help take some of the sugar in your blood to your muscles, fat and liver. However, your body can become resistant to insulin and the sugar that comes from your food rests only in your blood. This usually leads to pre-diabetes which if not treated, will lead to diabetes.
What Kind Of Diet Should You Focus On To Limit Pre-Diabetes?
There is something really loveable about pre-diabetes; it can be reversed. To make it even better, you can reverse the condition without even taking any form of medication — just a change in your diet is enough.
There are a thousand and one diet plans for pre-diabetes, and almost everyone you meet will have something different to share with you. However, we cannot say that there is an overall best plan for pre-diabetes and since there is no perfect plan, we have put together some factors that will help you get the most suitable pre-diabetes plan for you.
Factors to consider when planning your pre-diabetes diet
a) Weight loss
Weight plays a vital role in pre-diabetes and diabetes and being overweight can increase your risk. It is safe to stay on the 25 kg/m2 recommended BMI; we wouldn’t recommend you go below that to lower your risk. However, if you weigh about 8-10 lb, we advise you to lose about 5% of it.
b) Right nutrition
Nutrition is very important in pre-diabetes and diabetes and eating healthy can reduce your risk of diabetes to a great level. Go for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of refined foods; taking olive oil and avoiding sweets, unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates and the rest can help you reduce the progression of your pre-diabetes.
c) Healthy lifestyle
We advise you to use natural ingredients to make up your diet plan. This will help you stay on it easily. You can also give yourself some lapses that can enable you to satisfy your cravings occasionally. Following your diet plan and exercising can significantly help lower your risk of diabetes.
The right diet for pre-diabetes
Healthy pre-diabetes diet must not only be low in carbohydrates though it is necessary; there are other important things to consider.
To have a healthy pre-diabetic diet, consider the following:
1. Diets low in carbohydrates
With pre-diabetes, your body becomes a bit resistant to insulin, and because of this, high-calorie foods like sweets and refined carbohydrates must be limited. Take foods high in protein and fats to promote satiety.
Examples of foods you should include in your diet plan are:
d. Yoghurt and full-fat cheese
g. Butter and oil
Foods you should avoid include:
a. Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, sweet potatoes, etc.
b. Grains like oatmeal, pasta, bread, etc.
c. Dried fruits and fruit juice
d. Sweets like cakes, ice cream, pies, etc.
e. Processed food snacks like tortilla chips and potato chips.
2. Ketogenic diets
Ketogenic diets are extremely low in carbohydrates. When you take ketogenic diets like beans, without consuming other carbohydrate-rich foods, your body shifts to a process called ketosis. When your brain uses ketosis, it will produce ketones that will help fuel the brain and will also ensure there are not more than necessary carbohydrates in your blood.
Your Ketogenic diets for pre-diabetes should contain about 5 – 10 % calories carbohydrates with proteins and fats, making up the remaining part of the diet.
3. Mediterranean diet
This diet is based on the traditional diets of southern Italy, Greece, and Spain. Their eating style has been found by research to be healthy for the heart, and further research has shown that it can be beneficial in weight loss and the control of blood sugar.
Mediterranean diet for pre-diabetes should have more of
a. Legumes like beans, soy, lentils, etc.
b. Olive oil
c. Whole grains
e. Nuts, etc.
For this diet, red meat, full-fat dairy products, fish, poultry and sweets should be taken with limitations.
4. DPP diet
DPP, which means Diabetes Prevention Programme has helped a lot of people reduce their risk of diabetes by about 50%. This program coaches pre-diabetics on how to adjust their lifestyles so that their risk of developing the disease can be reduced. A curriculum of lesson which usually includes the diet plans are compiled and delivered by CDC. You can contact them for the curriculum or join the groups for a one on one coaching.
The diabetes prevention program will guide you on how to choose fruits instead of desserts, the need to bake, steam or grill your food instead of frying and how well you can use plant proteins as a replacement for animal protein.
According to the DPP diet, you should eat more of this:
a. Plant-based protein
b. Fresh fruits
c. Shellfish and fish
e. Whole grains
f. Healthy fat
g. Lean animal protein
h. Water and any other low-calorie beverage.
You should avoid:
a. Alcohol beverages
b. Processed meat
c. Sweetened beverages
d. Dried fruits and fruit juice
e. Poultry with skin
f. Fatty red meat
g. Solid fat
5. The DASH diet
The DASH diet though developed to control high blood pressure, can also be helpful in weight loss, pre-diabetes, heart health, mental health, and bone health, etc. You can adjust your normal diet to a DASH diet by:
a. Increasing your water intake
b. Eating more of low carb food like beans and other proteins
c. Frequently eating whole grains
d. Eating healthy low-fat dairy products
e. Replacing processed meat and fatty red meat with lean meat, fish and poultry
f. Limiting or completely avoiding sweets if possible.
There are many available diet plans you can use to manage and reverse pre-diabetes, but most of them have one thing in common — the reduction of carbohydrates and starchy foods. Since your body is now resistant to insulin (the chemical that should manage your blood sugar level), keeping the amount of sugar that gets into your blood low is the key to reversing prediabetes. Proteins and healthy fats will help supply your body with energy when needed.
Diet plans don’t work until you faithfully follow them. Stick to your diet plan and regularly go for check-ups. You can contact private blood tests for your blood sugar test and other related blood tests.