7 ways you can prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes

Exercise can play a role in reversing prediabetes. Flickr/irisphotos

Prediabetes is a serious condition that signifies an early onset insulin resistance- it can also potentially become type 2 diabetes.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, untreated prediabetes can lead to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis within five years. The good news is, early intervention can help get you back on a healthy track before prediabetes develops into type 2 diabetes.

Here are some actions you can take to reverse prediabetes.

Add exercise and activity to your daily routine.

It’s important to stay active. Flickr / Serge Melki

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), physical activity can have a lot of benefits, including lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes.

The ADA notes that there are four major types of activity one should incorporate into their day: continuous activity, aerobic activity, strength training, and flexibility exercises.

Overall, the organisation suggests staying as active as you can throughout the day, even if it means setting reminders to go for a walk.

Make the most of what you eat.

Whole foods are a smart choice. Catherine Murray/ Shutterstock

Dr. Danine Fruge, medical director of Pritikin Longevity Center, told INSIDER that it’s important that you make the most of your diet by sticking to whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams.

“They’re naturally packed with nutrients, and their high fibre-to-calorie ratio is very beneficial in curbing hunger, which curbs weight gain,” she added.

Focus on healthy carbohydrates.

Grapefruits have a low glycemic index. Flickr/calliope

Dr. Fruge said you can normalize blood sugar levels and even reverse a prediabetes diagnosis by ensuring the bulk of your diet is fibre-rich, unprocessed carbohydrates like vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, and beans.

Dr. David Kagan, L.A. Care medical director for utilization management, recommended sticking to fruit that has a low glycemic index, like cherries, pears, grapefruit, oranges, and dried apricots.

Read more:
10 signs you’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes

Make sure you get enough protein.

Egg whites are a great source of protein. Flickr/youssefabdelaal

When it comes to diet, Dr. Kagan said proteins should be the focus of each and every meal because protein can help to boost your metabolism.

You’ll want to stick to lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, egg whites, beans and legumes, and lean beef cuts, such as flank steak, ground round, and tenderloin.

Registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, MS, RD, CDN, CDE said to avoid diets high in red or processed meats because they can also contribute to prediabetes.

Read More:
14 foods that have a lot more protein than you think

Eat less packaged and processed foods.

You may want to avoid white rice. JacquesPALUT/iStock

Eating less packaged and processed food is especially important if you’re pre-diabetic.

“You will definitely want to avoid processed foods, trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar,” Dr. Kagan said. He also suggested avoiding white potatoes, white rice, and white bread.

Fill your plate with vegetables.

Your typical meal should include a decent amount of vegetables. Ben and Kaz Askins on Flickr

Malkoff-Cohen told INSIDER that your plate should be half vegetables. The rest of your plate should contain protein and healthy carbohydrates.

Eating protein at the beginning of the meal before the carbs prevents the spike in blood sugar because the body is working on digesting the protein, she added.

Aim for a healthy weight.

What’s considered a healthy weight can vary from person to person. Shutterstock

For people who are overweight, prediabetes is much more likely to develop into full diabetes, Dr.Kagan told INSIDER.

Fortunately, weight loss can help to reverse prediabetes. That’s why Dr. Malkoff-Cohen recommended pre-diabetic individuals lose 10% of their weight if they are overweight. Of course, these numbers can vary on a case-by-case basis, so it’s best to consult with your doctor regarding weight loss goals.

Overall, to reverse prediabetes you should focus on long-lasting changes that will help you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.


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