How changing your diet can help reverse prediabetes

Losing weight and regular exercise are steps that you can take

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it means the amount of glucose in your blood is higher than normal. You also may be at risk for serious health issues, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

But there are steps you can take.

“It can sound scary,” said  Steven Patton, D.O., family medicine physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Preston and one of Norton Healthcare’s community medical directors. “Working to prevent prediabetes from progressing to Type 2 diabetes is vital following a diagnosis.”

By losing excess weight and committing to regular exercise and other lifestyle changes, you can normalize your blood sugar and naturally reverse prediabetes.

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Changing your diet to reverse prediabetes

Switching to a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet is the first step to reverse prediabetes.

You should choose foods full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Your diet also should include foods that are low in added sugars, trans fat and saturated fat. You can eat moderate amounts of poultry, fish, eggs and dairy.

Related: New to diabetes? Here’s what you need to know

Increasing your amount of fiber intake by eating vegetables such as beans, carrots and asparagus can help control blood sugar levels.

What you should cut back or avoid altogether are high-carbohydrate foods such as pizza, bagels and pasta, as well as sugary foods such as ice cream and milk chocolate. When it comes to liquids, it’s best to stick with water, unsweetened tea or coffee.

As you think about weight loss, it’s important to remember that losing 5% to 7% of your body weight can lower your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. So if you weigh 200 pounds, 7% of your body weight is 14 pounds.

Other lifestyle changes

Other lifestyle changes you can implement that can naturally reverse prediabetes include:

  • Eat healthy to control your weight, lower your blood pressure and lower your cholesterol.
  • Get active by planning for 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as walking fast or biking. Your doctor can help you choose the best activities for you.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Work with a dietitian or nutritionist.

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