So, you have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic? Don’t sweat it too hard, an estimated 79 million Americans have the same diagnosis and experts predict that one in three Americans will be diagnosed by 2050. Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something about it. You don’t want to progress to having diabetes, a disease that severely impacts your quality of life. Instead, follow some of these prediabetes diet and exercise tips to help you on your journey to a healthy, diabetes-free life.
Prediabetes Diet Tip #1 Portion Control
Congratulations for reading this far! For some people, just reading the words “portion control” makes them slam the computer down (or is that just us?). Portion control can be hard, especially when tasty, sugary filled food is around, but we encourage you to stay strong. A recent study but the University of Calgary estimated that 17 percent of people who cut their portions lost five percent more of their body weight than did people who didn’t.
If you don’t want to break out the scales, measuring cups, and so forth, simply try a portion control plate. These plates are designed to accommodate proper servings for adults. It also helps you stick to the prediabetes diet recommendation reserving half of your plate for vegetables and fruit, one-fourth for lean protein like chicken, fish, or lean red meat, and one-fourth for a starch like potatoes or rice.
Diet Tip #2 Fiber Fiber Everywhere
Fiber is essential to the prediabetes diet. Salads, fruits, and beans are great sources of fiber that not only leave you satiated but contain vital nutrients like magnesium and chromium which help your body regulate blood sugar. The Harvard School of Public Health reported “the bran and fiber in whole grains make it more difficult for digestive enzymes to break down the starches into glucose. This leads to lower, slower increases in blood sugar and insulin, and a lower glycemic index. As a result, they stress the body’s insulin-making machinery less, and so may help prevent type 2 diabetes”. So, order two kinds of veggies (like peppers, onions, broccoli, or mushrooms) on a slice of pizza or start your day with a large salad instead of a bowl of cereal. Instead of chips and dip, snack on baby carrots and low-sugar salad dressing.
Diet Tip #3 No Juice
Fruit juice, it’s good for you, right? Well, not when it comes to consuming sugar. In fact, many fruit juices contain as much sugar as a can of soda, and some fruit juices contain more! The problem with drinking these juices is that they lack fiber. As mentioned early, fiber inhibits the sugar from being absorbed into the body at a rapid pace. When the sugar enters the body slowly, the body can respond by producing the right amount of insulin. As any diabetic or prediabetic person can tell you, diabetes boils down to an issue with insulin, so do you body a favor and keep the sugar to a minimum.
Exercise Tip #1 Small Workouts
Medical experts agree that 30 minutes of physical activity a day vastly improves your health, yet some of us have a hard time carving out a full thirty minutes. If that’s you try fitting in smaller workouts like two fifteen minutes sessions or three ten minute workouts. The goal is to get that 30 minutes in the best way you can.
Exercise Tip #2 Get a Pedometer
Sometimes all you need is an accountability partner and when you’re friends are too busy to step into that role, grab a pedometer. A pedometer helps you see how much or how little you’re moving throughout the day. It also helps you set and reach your exercise goals. You can get cheap ones from $10 all the way into the hundreds. If you can reach 10,000 steps per day, you’re likely to see a huge difference in your health.
Eating right and getting some quality exercise are great tools to help you eliminate your prediabetes. As always, though be sure to consult your doctor before adding any new regime to your pre diabetes diet or workout plan.
If you’d like to meet with doctors that care about your quality of life and who can guide you through the prediabetes process, contact Arrowhead Health Centers today.