Over 30% of Americans are considered pre-diabetic, and most of them don’t even know it.
Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar can stay in the prediabetes range for years before it is detected. You can assess your risk with the American Diabetes Association risk test.
However, managing prediabetes is possible with lifestyle changes. Improving our diet, exercise, and stress levels all contribute to better blood sugar levels and may prevent type 2 diabetes. In fact, research from the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program has shown that lifestyle changes can. prevent or delay diabetes for up to 10 years!
So, what are the habits to adopt to manage prediabetes? Here’s what’s recommended, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to read our list of the 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat right now.
Eating less often may seem like the right solution for lowering blood sugar, but it can actually cause greater fluctuations in blood sugar management. Skipping meals often helps increase hunger later on and makes portion control difficult. Eat balanced meals every 4 to 5 hours to keep blood sugar stable and prevent hypoglycemia.
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Regular sodas contain over nine teaspoons of sugar. More worryingly, sugary drinks lack fiber or protein to slow the absorption of these added sugars. If you enjoy regular soda, consider switching to a diet as a starting point for weaning yourself off sugary drinks.
Other drinks like tea, sparkling water, coffee or calorie-free drinks are also fun alternatives to mix up your drinking game.
These are the 112 most popular sodas classified according to their toxicity.
Frequent grazing or snacking throughout the day is a sure-fire way to boost blood sugar levels throughout the day. Typically, grazing produces more frequent spikes in blood sugar that increase throughout the day.
Instead of snacking, choose a balanced snack that contains a protein and carbohydrate option. Easy options might be apple and peanut butter, whole grain crackers and cheese, Greek yogurt and fruit, or nuts and dark chocolate.
Watching television after eating can be normalized, but it can contribute to an increase in blood sugar levels after a meal. Instead, take a short walk after your biggest meal to bring your blood sugar down faster. Even 10 minutes of activity can make a significant difference!
It’s not only what we eat that has an impact on our blood sugar, but also the food combinations we choose. For example, a meal high in carbohydrates alone is sure to spike glucose levels. Still, choosing a carbohydrate and pairing it with protein, healthy fats, and vegetables will result in an entirely different blood sugar response.
Go for balance as much as possible by focusing on a balanced plate. Emphasize lean protein, a non-starchy vegetable, healthy fats, and serving-size carbohydrates for optimal balance at every meal!
For even more diabetes advice, read on: