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Above 88 million adults now have prediabetes, as per the CDC reports. Prediabetes is a health condition characterized by more than normal blood glucose levels that aren’t sufficiently high to be detected as diabetes type 2.

And there’s a lot a person can do to avoid type 2 diabetes or slow its development, and to start with, it involves consumption of a balanced diet. A healthy weight is significant for every person, but particularly any person with type 2 diabetes. Weight loss greatly helps in lowering down insulin resistance and even delays or prevents future complications.

Healthy eating when a person has prediabetes

Leave the sugary drinks: say no to sweet tea, soda, sweet lemonade, or juice. The foremost advice is not to have sugar. Sugary drinks deliver nothing beyond calories, moreover they would not help a person in feeling full. All the available sugary drinks are a real risk factor for obesity. Also, studies found an association between sugary beverages and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Back off the portions: a person may still consume a lot of foods as per the liking; just consume smaller portions. Reduce high-calorie, junky snacks, as well as desserts. Remember, being obese is a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Fill up on fiber: it is advised to have enough high-fiber foods, such as fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains. Fiber aids a person in feeling fuller for a longer while and he or she thus eats less to avoid weight gain. It is also suggested to fill at least half the plate with non-starchy veggies like broccoli, peppers, asparagus, or mushrooms. These veggies, being diabetes-friendly, have a rich content of fiber and low amounts of calories and carbs.

Choose fats wisely: a person’s diet must include some fat, but it’s better to opt for the healthiest sources, for example, monounsaturated (olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds) as well as polyunsaturated (fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds). Fats derived from nuts, avocados, oily fish, as well as other plant oils are composed of heart health benefits as well. Now, these are important as diabetes and heart disorders are interlinked. 

Choose healthy grains: Fiber-rich grains including brown rice or quinoa are healthier options in comparison to white rice or pasta. Processing of refined grains is done to remove the fiber. In diabetics, fiber helps in improving blood glucose levels, promoting increased satiety, as well as consequently controlling weight.

Ditch meat from time to time: saying yes to plant-based diets and limiting or avoiding animal products is great for people with diabetes. They must prioritize whole foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, or legumes. All these help in treating and preventing type 2 diabetes together with lowering the risk of comorbidities such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and hypertension.

Drink liquor only within limits: it is recommended that males must have no more than 2 drinks per day, and females no more than 1. If a person is wishing to lose weight, he or she must moderate alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a highly calorie-rich drink, which signifies it might add in a huge number of calories, resulting in an unwanted weight gain. It is also suggested to limit alcohol to once a week or stopping it totally if weight loss is the prime goal.

Select healthy proteins: it is very important to pay attention to protein consumption, too. Protein aids in keeping the levels of glucose in the blood steady by delaying the absorption of carbs in the bloodstream. In addition, protein makes a person feel full indicating the need for less snacking later. It’s a must to choose lean sources of protein such as fish like salmon and herring, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids content, healthy plant proteins such as nuts, beans, or tofu, as well as certain reduced-fat cheese and eggs.

Opt for lean meats: If a person wishes to have meat, go for lean one. To simply identify lean red meats, search for cuts with the word “round” or “loin” in their name, like top round or pork loin. Also, the label must state that it is at least 90% lean. Also, fish can be a great addition to a diabetic diet twice a week as it considerably helps in diabetes prevention.

Drink more and more water: individuals can at times mistake thirst for hunger, which might cause overeating and weight gain. Thus, it’s good to have enough water. Water helps in optimal body functioning, provides more energy, and helps in weight management. Also, it is found that in a person who stays hydrated, his or her blood sugar remains within limits.

So, the best way to avoid prediabetes is to follow a healthy lifestyle, that is, making smart food choices. An ounce of prevention is more valuable than a pound of cure.