Struggling with prediabetes? You’re not alone! Managing this condition requires lifestyle changes to help keep blood sugar levels stable. In this article, we will discuss simple health tips to help you keep your prediabetes in check.
Quick facts: Health Tips For Prediabetes
- ✅ Regular physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of prediabetes – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- ✅ Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help prevent prediabetes – Diabetes UK
- ✅ Maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI) can reduce the risk of prediabetes – Harvard Medical School
- ✅ Getting enough sleep and managing stress levels can help reduce the risk of prediabetes – Mayo Clinic
- ✅ Controlling blood sugar levels can help prevent the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes – American Diabetes Association
Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes. While it may not sound serious, it can often lead to larger issues if left untreated. It’s important to make lifestyle changes so you can manage your prediabetes and reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes in the future.
Fortunately, there are a number of easy steps you can take to help improve your health and avoid other medical complications. Here are some tips for living well with prediabetes:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Choose whole-grain carbohydrates
- Limit added sugars
- Practice portion control
- Be physically active
By following these health tips, you can help manage your prediabetes and reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. You’ll also be able to enjoy all the benefits that come along with good health—like increased energy and an improved quality of life!
Diet plays an essential role in managing prediabetes. Not only does it help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing diabetes, but it can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
Here, we’ll discuss the specific dietary changes needed to effectively manage prediabetes:
Increase fiber intake
Increasing your fiber intake is an important step when it comes to maintaining your health and controlling prediabetes. Fiber can be found in many food sources, including legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Increasing your intake of these foods can help you reach the dietary recommendation of 25-40g of fiber per day.
Studies have shown that increasing dietary fiber can help improve glycemic control in individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes by slowing digestion, reducing the absorption of glucose, and improving insulin sensitivity. Additionally, increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can help reduce cholesterol levels and increase satiety after meals, which can help you control your weight better and lower the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Eat more plant-based foods
Eating more plant-based foods is one of the most important dietary changes one can make when trying to prevent prediabetes or even reverse it. This includes adding more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and legumes. These plant-based foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and improve blood sugar control.
Plant-based diets have been associated with improved health outcomes such as lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. Additionally, these diets are low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and cholesterol which have all been linked to an increased risk of prediabetes.
Eating more plant-based foods can also help you lose weight which is another important factor for managing prediabetes.
Limit processed foods
Limiting processed foods is a key health tip for individuals with prediabetes. Processed foods are usually those that have been altered in some way, such as canned and frozen meals, snack foods, pre-made sauces and condiments, crackers, and chips. These types of foods often contain higher amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars that can be detrimental to an individual’s health when consumed regularly.
It is important for anyone with prediabetes to opt for whole-grain options instead of processed grains like white bread or crackers. Additionally, limiting processed meats and opting for nutrient-dense sources of protein can help individuals reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Avoid sugary drinks
For individuals with prediabetes, avoiding sugary drinks is an important dietary change to make. This is because sugary drinks are a major source of added sugar in the American diet, and contain little to no nutrients. Studies have linked sugary drink consumption to an increased risk of weight gain and diabetes.
Sugary drinks include soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juice and can cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly.
Therefore, individuals with prediabetes should avoid all forms of sugary drinks in order to reduce their risk of developing diabetes. Individuals should instead opt for water or unsweetened teas as alternative beverages that are not only healthier but also calorie-free. In addition, adding lemon juice or other flavorings to water can be a great way for individuals to get the flavor they seek without having to increase their sugar intake.
Exercise is an important part of managing prediabetes. Regular physical activity helps control blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, and helps you lose weight. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. They can help you tailor a program to meet your individual needs and help you reach your health and fitness goals.
Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day
Regular exercise is essential for anyone with prediabetes. Not only does it keep your weight in check and help regulate your blood sugar, but it can also help prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day to reap the greatest benefits. This means muscle-strengthening exercises including weight or resistance training as well as cardiovascular activities like running, jogging, walking, or cycling. To increase the effectiveness of your workout, be sure to alternate between aerobic and anaerobic activities – in other words, both moderate and intense exercise.
Achieving 30 minutes of exercise each day may seem intimidating at first, but it’s entirely possible with a little bit of creativity! Try:
- Adding small bursts of activity throughout your day such as parking further away from the store or taking a couple laps around the block during lunch.
- Going for a walk during your break time.
Choose activities you enjoy
When selecting an exercise routine, it is important to choose activities that you enjoy. This can help ensure that you stay motivated and stick to the plan. Participating in physical activities such as strength training, aerobics or cycling can increase your overall fitness level, burn calories and boost your metabolism. Activities such as swimming or brisk walking are great low-impact exercises for those with injuries or joint pain. Having a workout partner can also be beneficial – they will provide extra encouragement and motivation.
It is important to consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program – particularly if you have health concerns or underlying medical conditions, like diabetes. Finally, don’t forget the importance of the restorative power of sleep! Get enough restful sleep seven days a week for healthy body functioning and sustained energy levels for your workouts!
Consider joining a gym or fitness class
Joining the gym or a fitness class can be a great way to stay active and help manage prediabetes. Exercise can lower blood sugar levels and help maintain a healthy weight. A good exercise plan should include aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, as well as strength-training activities like lifting weights or using resistance bands. It’s important to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program to make sure it’s safe for you.
The American Diabetes Association recommends getting 30 minutes of consistent exercise five days a week. This can be broken up into smaller chunks of time each day if needed. Consider joining an exercise class, such as aerobics, yoga, tai chi, or Pilates to stay motivated and have fun while exercising.
Managing stress is a key component to living a healthy life, especially when you are in a prediabetic state. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, which increases insulin resistance. This can cause blood sugar levels to spike, and if left unchecked, can lead to diabetes.
Learning how to cope with and manage stress can help you to better manage your prediabetes:
- Identify the sources of your stress and how it affects you.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
- Exercise regularly to help reduce stress and improve your overall health.
- Get enough sleep to help your body and mind recover from stress.
- Talk to a professional if you need help managing your stress.
Mindfulness involves being present in the moment, noticing and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help you to stay focused on the current task so that you can effectively manage stress. Practicing mindfulness, either formally or informally at home or in a class, can reduce stress levels, improve mental health, reduce tension, alleviate depression and improve sleep. Additionally, mindfulness can help reduce blood sugar levels by lowering levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”).
Mindfulness activities include breathing exercises as well as yoga and meditation. There are several apps available that offer guided meditations specifically for managing stress. Additionally, there are numerous books, articles, and podcasts about mindfulness that provide guidance for developing a mindful practice. Taking some time each day to practice mindfulness will help create peace of mind in times of stress.
Try deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises can help to reduce stress and regulate emotions. When practiced regularly, they can help to reduce levels of cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress. One technique is diaphragmatic breathing, where you focus your attention on taking full breaths from your diaphragm instead of from your chest. To practice this breathe deeply through the nose for four seconds, then exhale for four seconds. Additionally, you can use some simple visualizations such as:
- Imagining being in a calming environment
- Counting when you inhale and exhale
to further enhance the effects of deep breathing exercises. Consistent practice helps increase the body’s relaxation response, which can have positive effects on your overall health and well-being, including reducing symptoms associated with prediabetes.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is an essential component of managing stress and prediabetes. Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your body’s ability to produce insulin, effectively managing your blood sugar levels. In addition, the mental stress of not getting enough rest can further complicate your efforts in managing your prediabetes by increasing your feelings of anxiety and depression.
It is recommended that adults aged 18-60 get 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Additionally, making changes in lifestyle such as avoiding caffeine late in the day, creating a regular sleep/wake schedule, exercising regularly (but not close to bedtime), and creating a calming routine before bedtime can all help promote better restful sleep.
Additionally, speaking with a healthcare provider or therapist on how to manage stressful life situations can be helpful in curbing high levels of stress which can impede its danger to those with prediabetes.
Prediabetes can be a very serious condition and it is important to take preventative measures to avoid it progressing into full-blown diabetes. Unfortunately, there are no “quick fixes” to prediabetes, but there are steps you can take to help manage the condition.
It is important to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity, eating nutritious foods, and losing weight if necessary. Regular monitoring of your fasting blood sugar level and A1C provides an opportunity to adjust your diet or activity level if needed.
If you or someone close to you has prediabetes, working with your healthcare provider and making lasting changes in your lifestyle may prevent further progression of the disease.
FAQs about: Health Tips For Prediabetes
Q1: What is prediabetes?
A1: Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Q2: What are some health tips for people with prediabetes?
A2: Some health tips for people with prediabetes include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress.
Q3: Are there any tests that can be done to diagnose prediabetes?
A3: Yes, there are several tests that can be done to diagnose prediabetes, such as the fasting plasma glucose test, the oral glucose tolerance test, and the A1C test.