When you have Prediabetes, your body's cells don't respond to insulin properly. So to encourage cells to respond, your pancreas produces more insulin. When your pancreas can't keep up, your blood sugar levels rise.
Prediabetes can eventually develop into type 2 diabetes, but it does not always. Though you can’t control every risk factor for Prediabetes, you can address some of them by doing the following:
Consume high fiber.
Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals—and with so few calories and carbohydrate, everyone can enjoy more. Examples of high fiber foods include:
- beans and legumes
- fruits and vegetables that have an edible skin
- whole grains such as quinoa and barley
- whole grain breads
- whole grain cereals
- whole wheat pasta
Smaller portion size.
A good way to manage portions is to practice mindful eating. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. Sit while you eat, eat slowly, focusing on the food and enjoying the flavors.
Avoid binge drinking.
Binge drinking (four or more drinks) can cause the pancreas to become inflamed and unable to secrete insulin as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. If you choose to drink alcohol, the recommendation is no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
A plant-based diet is effective in lowering the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes because it is higher in fiber, lower in saturated fat, and improves insulin sensitivity. Plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes contain disease-fighting nutrients that can reduce your risk for heart disease, lower your cholesterol, help manage your blood sugar, and improve your mood.
Exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, but it’s especially important if you have Prediabetes. There are many obvious benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar and boost your sensitivity to insulin - which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range. Consider walking, dancing, riding a bicycle, or any other physical activity you enjoy.
Prevention is key! The American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening with diagnostic tests for type 2 diabetes for all adults age 45 or older.
Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. They will appreciate your efforts to prevent diabetes and may offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors.