The Right Diet for Prediabetes

What is prediabetes?

A prediabetes diagnosis can be alarming. This condition is marked by abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) most often due to insulin resistance. This is a condition in which the body doesn’t use insulin properly. It’s often a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people with prediabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With prediabetes, you may also be at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

However, a prediabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get type 2 diabetes. The key is early intervention — to get your blood sugar out of the prediabetes range. Your diet is important, and you need to know the right kind of foods to eat.

How diet relates to prediabetes

There are many factors that increase your risk for prediabetes. Genetics can play a role, especially if diabetes runs in your family. However, other factors play a larger role in the development of disease. Inactivity and having overweight are other potential risk factors.

In prediabetes, sugar from food begins to build up in your bloodstream because insulin can’t easily move it into your cells.

People think of carbohydrate as the culprit that causes prediabetes, but the amount and type of carbohydrates consumed in a meal is what influences blood sugar. A diet filled with refined and processed carbohydrates that digest quickly can cause higher spikes in blood sugar.

For most people with prediabetes, the body has a difficult time lowering blood sugar levels after meals. Avoiding blood sugar spikes by watching your carbohydrate intake can help.

When you eat more calories than your body needs, they get stored as fat. This can cause you to gain weight. Body fat, especially around the belly, is linked to insulin resistance. This explains why many people with prediabetes also have overweight.

Healthy eating

You can’t control all risk factors for prediabetes, but some can be mitigated. Lifestyle changes can help you maintain balanced blood sugar levels and stay within a healthy weight range.