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What to eat if you have Prediabetes

What to eat if you have Prediabetes

One of the most common questions for someone concerned about prediabetes is “What should I eat?”

Often, this comes off the back of some surfing on the net and finding a whole variety of different answers… that often contradict themselves. 

Diabetes.co.uk has a diet guide which includes no less than 28 potential diets that might be right for someone with diabetes or prediabetes.

So how do you know what is right to eat for you?

Many people expect the answer to be “Eat a low carb diet”. Fortunately, that is not the answer. I say “fortunately” as, personally, I think the thought of having to stick to one type of diet to achieve my goals sounds awful.

Yes, carbs can have a negative effect on blood sugar and weight but choosing a way of eating doesn’t just come down to the actual ingredients that we put in our mouths.

We have to consider what we will find enjoyable, practical and something that we can sustain indefinitely. Low carb might be great for some people but for others they may find it hard to follow over a long period. It may lead to bad food choices as meats, butter and cream are all low carb and could lead to excluding healthy carbs like bean and fruit.

Now, that’s all well and good but it doesn’t really answer the question about what should you eat if you are concerned about prediabetes?

To answer this question, we need to take a bit of a step back and look at another question which:

What are we trying to achieve in order to reverse prediabetes?

Essentially, we are trying to achieve two things:

1. Reduce the amount of glucose in the blood: Prediabetes means that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. This can occur due to a lack of insulin or an ineffective response by the body to insulin. Taking the pressure off insulin-producing beta cells is crucial in reversing prediabetes.

2. Reduce weight. Excess weight has been shown to significantly increase the chances of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, especially if you carry a lot of extra weight in your abdomen. Research has shown that dropping just 5-10% of body weight can significantly reduce the chances of developing type 2.

Achieving these two goals does not require a strict diet, these goals can be achieved with a consistent and healthy approach to eating.

The following guidelines, if consistently implemented, have been shown to reverse prediabetes:

1. Eat a protein rich diet (not high protein, protein rich!)

2. Eat nutrient dense whole foods

3. Include good carb (good carbs = whole wheat, high fiber and low glycemic index/load)

4. Eat good fats (olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, avocados)

5. Know your calories and consume the right amount for you

6. Drink water

7. Avoid blood sugar spiking foods (processed carbs, sweet drinks, highly processed foods)

8. Sleep well

9. Reduce stress

To many people this list seems like common sense, but it is actually quite difficult to implement, if it were easy we would not have the diabetes epidemic that we have now.

In many ways, being given a specific diet to follow seems easier… it takes the decision making out of the process. Diets are short term fixes, what is really required is long term habitual change. This change should be gradual and should allow you to still eat and do the things you enjoy.

Are you concerned about prediabetes?
If so, click below to download your FREE Prediabetes Diet and Lifestyle Blueprint now.

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