Being diagnosed with prediabetes should not be taken casually as this can lead to the eventual diagnosis of type 2 diabetes if not treated promptly. You might feel like at first there isn’t much you can do, but fortunately there are ways to manage your blood sugar and prevent the prognosis of type 2 diabetes.
One approach to this is through being physically active. In prediabetes, the issue that mainly occurs is insulin resistance. This happens when the cells do not uptake the sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream to use for storage and energy. Because of this, there is an increase of glucose in the bloodstream which results in complications with organs in the body. Exercise helps your body to intake the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
What you eat also has a huge impact on your blood glucose levels. Having a diet rich in proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and limiting processed carbohydrates and sugars will help to manage these levels. With prediabetes, you can explore a variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats and you can even become more creative in the kitchen with different recipes and alternatives.
You must first learn the top foods that should be consumed on a consistent basis:
- Vegetables (starchy and non-starchy) such as kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes.
- Fruits that are low in glycemic index. Glycemic index is a measure of how specific a food with carbohydrates causes blood sugar levels to increase. Lower glycemic index foods will cause blood glucose levels to rise slowly, prevent spikes, and keep levels in a healthy range. However, foods higher in glycemic index will cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly and will lead to more dramatic dips which will cause you to be hungrier, weaker, and more likely to experience cravings. The types of fruits that should be eaten are apples, cherries, blueberries, etc.
- Whole grain carbohydrates instead of refined carbohydrates.
- Healthy oils, such as olive and coconut oil.
- Beans, legumes, and nuts.
- Lean meats, fish, and poultry.
The bad news is you probably can’t eat pizza, hamburgers, and drink beer every day. But the good news is that you can incorporate these tasty recipes into your meal routine!
- This delicious Greek veggie omelet has all the delicious nutrients to start your morning! This omelet calls for portobello mushrooms, spinach and onions with some crumbly feta cheese. This is packed with not only vegetables but also proteins and healthy fats to start your morning right and keep you full for hours.
- Although you do not have to eat everyday salads to control your blood glucose levels, it was worth mentioning this tasty salad. Consisting of salmon, nuts and avocados all in a bed of spinach, this is the perfect salad to keep you feeling full for a while.
- Next these turkey-stuffed bell peppers will leave you feeling full for hours. With lean ground turkey mixed with herbs and spices and stuffed inside colorful bell-peppers, you will get the nutrients you need while leaving the table feeling satisfied.
- Want a wrap but without the carbs? Try these Vietnamese pork lettuce wraps which combine seasoned pork, shredded carrots, jalapenos, and herbs all wrapped up in a leaf of lettuce! You can even try these on Tuesdays to continue your Taco-Tuesday ritual!
- Finally, looking for a sweet treat to end the night but with less carbs and calories, these berries with vanilla custard will satisfy your sweet tooth! This quick recipe contains only half-and half cream, egg yolks, vanilla extract, berries, and your choice of a sugar substitute.
You can switch out certain high-carb, high fat meals, sides, or ingredients of your favorite foods for more healthier options that will help to lower your blood glucose levels and even save you the calories with the same delicious taste. Here are some easy switches to make whether you are eating out or in!
- REPLACE sour cream WITH Greek yogurt
- REPLACE high carb wraps WITH lettuce, low carb wraps substitutes
- REPLACE mayonnaise WITH hummus
- REPLACE white rice WITH cauliflower rice
- REPLACE pasta WITH spiralized zucchini noodles or Spaghetti squash
- REPLACE regular fries WITH sweet potato fries
- REPLACE regular soda WITH flavored sparkling water
- REPLACE creamers WITH half and half or sugar free creamers, almond milk or coconut milk
- REPLACE regular bread buns WITH low carb buns substitute or lettuce leaves
- REPLACE chips and crackers WITH popcorn, mixed nuts, or kale chips
- REPLACE white flour WITH almond flour
- REPLACE milk chocolate WITH dark chocolate
- REPLACE sugar WITH Truvia or cinnamon
- REPLACE regular crusted pizza WITH thin crust or cauliflower crust
- REPLACE starchy/high carb sides WITH side salads, steamed vegetables
- REPLACE sushi rolls WITH sashimi
All in all, prediabetes should not be a frightening diagnosis, but instead a motivational tool to help you make healthier lifestyle choices in order to become the best version of yourself. Trying out these tips will help you to lower your blood glucose levels and will allow you to reverse your prediabetes!