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Eat to Prevent Diabetes

Salad bowl

If you've recently been given the news that your blood glucose levels are elevated, your doctor probably suggested you begin a pre-diabetes diet. Now is a good time to learn about the changes that can be made in your diet to help you get your blood sugar under control and get back on the path toward a healthy lifestyle.

Following a Pre-Diabetes Diet

Pre-diabetes is a term used to describe a condition in which an individual's blood glucose levels are elevated, but not to the point that generally constitutes an actual diabetes diagnosis. This condition is sometimes also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance. Many people are pre-diabetic and don't even know it. A huge contributing factor to this condition is the obesity epidemic that has overtaken many parts of the world. Altering your diet can significantly improve your chances for beating pre-diabetes and for living a healthier life.

Foods to Avoid

A balanced diet is generally the best way to reach optimal health. However, those with high blood sugar should reduce their intakes of certain trigger foods. These foods provide a high number of calories without many nutritional benefits. Foods that contribute to weight gain should generally be avoided.

  • Fried Foods - Try to eliminate your intake of foods like cheeseburgers, French fries, and other fast food-type choices.
  • Sugary Beverages - Sodas, fruit juices, and milk shakes are all good examples of high calorie, low nutrition beverages that can contribute to your health's decline.
  • High Sugar Foods - Sugary foods, especially snacks, should be limited in a pre-diabetes diet. These foods include donuts, cakes, ice cream, pies, and candy. Dried fruits, too, are especially high in concentrated sugar.
  • White Flour Pastas and Breads - If you've been advised to follow this type of diet, you will probably need to limit your amount of white flour carbohydrates, especially pastas and breads, which can raise your blood glucose level. Whole-wheat and whole-grain products can replace some of these foods in your diet.
  • Processed Foods - Whenever possible try to choose fresh foods over processed or packaged ones. Additionally, fresh foods will contain less sodium, which should also be avoided.
  • High Starch Foods - While it isn't usually necessary to limit all starchy fruits and vegetables, it's a good idea to limit your intake of potatoes, sweet corn, bananas, carrots, and others.
  • Fatty Meats - Reduce your amount of high-fat cuts of meat, bacon, sausage, and red meats especially.

Dietary Suggestions

When you're facing high blood sugar, it's important you not only focus on eliminating danger foods from your diet, but also on incorporating healthy foods full of vitamins and minerals. This will allow you to keep up your energy in order to exercise, which can also help you lose weight and lower your blood glucose.

  • Calorie Intake - Depending on your doctor's advice, you will probably need to reduce the number of calories you are currently consuming. Pre-diabetic plans vary, but most suggest about 1600 calories daily. Some experts may advise plans as low as 1200 or as high as 2000 calories. It's important to discuss this with your doctor or a registered dietician to find out what's right for you.
  • Fat Intake - Additionally, it's a good idea to watch your fat intake and most plans will recommend between 30 and 55 grams of fat. How many grams of fat you should be consuming depends largely on your weight and gender.

What to Eat

Consider incorporating these foods in your diet to replace the foods you will be restricting or limiting.

  • Egg substitutes or egg whites
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Salads with low-calorie dressing
  • Lean proteins, such as poultry, low-fat dairy, and legumes
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat breads and pastas
  • Low-sodium soups
  • Non-fat cottage cheese and yogurts

Consult a Dietician

For more information about eating to prevent diabetes, consider visiting a registered dietician who can create a diet and exercise plan that suits your life.

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Eat to Prevent Diabetes