Home Blood Sugar Management The number one thing to avoid if you have prediabetes

The number one thing to avoid if you have prediabetes

by Novella Lui, RD, M.H.Sc.
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Prediabetes is not always obvious. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes but don’t know it.

The good news is that prediabetes can be reversed and does not necessarily have to lead to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, says the CDC. Whether you have prediabetes or know you need help managing your blood sugar levels, there’s one small change that two registered dietitians recommend. Start today to reduce your risk of or reverse prediabetes. You will feel so much better in the process.

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes can be diagnosed based on one of the following blood test measures: american diabetes association (ADA):

  • Hemoglobin A1C level (average blood sugar level over 2-3 months): 5.7%-6.4%
  • Fasting plasma glucose: 100-125mg/dL
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: 140-199mg/dL

Certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low levels of HDL cholesterol, are risk factors for prediabetes. Prediabetes also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and developing heart disease and stroke.

Strategies to lower blood sugar levels

Set aside time for daily physical activity

Being active encourages your muscle cells to use glucose (aka sugar) in your bloodstream for energy. This helps improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. ADA.of CDC recommends being active for at least 150 minutes a week. This equates to about 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week.

Follow the diabetic plate method

This nutritious and balanced eating pattern helps keep blood sugar levels within range. ADA’s diabetic plate method Focus on packing a plate or bowl with half non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter protein, and one-quarter carbohydrate foods, along with a glass of water or a non-calorie beverage. .

Choose low-glycemic foods more often

All foods fit into a balanced and nutritious diet, but foods with a lower glycemic index such as fiber-rich whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, nuts and legumes are digested more slowly. , blood sugar levels rise more slowly. This promotes blood sugar balance throughout the day and keeps energy levels more stable.

The number one thing to avoid if you have prediabetes

Avoid skipping meals. Even if you stick to the lifestyle changes listed above, skipping meals will make it more difficult to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Here’s why:

Adversely affects blood sugar control

Skipping meals can lead to irregular blood sugar patterns throughout the day. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar levels to drop, and eating can cause blood sugar levels to rise again. Jocelyn Laurent, RD, CDCES, a certified diabetes care and education specialist at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center. “The body likes blood sugar levels to fluctuate steadily throughout her day,” she explains.

Skipping meals can send your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster. result? When blood sugar levels drop too low, symptoms can include increased heart rate, shaking, sweating, nervousness, anxiety, irritability and confusion, dizziness, and hunger. CDC. Low blood sugar is not the only problem. Skipping meals, especially at breakfast and lunch, causes blood sugar levels to be higher than normal at other meals that day, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Science. British Journal of Nutrition.

May lead to increased appetite

Blood sugar levels affect hunger and appetite. Skipping meals can make you feel hungrier later in the day. “The hungrier you are when you start eating, the more likely you are to overeat or even binge.” Emily Van Eck, MS, RDa registered dietitian based in Austin, Texas.

As a result, it can be harder to truly tune into your body’s appetite and satiety cues, making it more difficult to manage your blood sugar levels. According to the results of a 2023 study, this eating pattern can disrupt insulin sensitivity over time. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Easy ways to avoid skipping meals

Consider simple, quick-to-prepare foods

When considering what to eat for breakfast, choose something that requires little or no preparation, especially if you’re on the go. “Full-fat yogurt with fruit, whole-grain toast with peanut butter, high-fiber cereal and milk, an English muffin with an egg or two, or a tortilla with scrambled eggs and beans all make great breakfasts.” says Van Eck. Say.

Our 7-Day Meal Plan: Easy 10-Minute Breakfasts is also a great resource for breakfast ideas that are easy to prepare on the go.

Take shelf-stable foods on the go

If it’s really hard to eat breakfast before you go to work, could you bring some options that work for you? For example, keep whole wheat bread in the freezer, a jar of nut butter at your desk, or a deli turkey. Stashing packages in the refrigerator can help keep healthy foods within reach. If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, consider carrying a pack of oatmeal with nuts or fruit for breakfast.

plan ahead

“Never underestimate the power of planning ahead,” says Laurent. Thinking ahead can make a difference and reduce the chance of skipping meals. If you need more inspiration, check out these 18 healthy lunch ideas to pack and grab for work. Eating regular meals that include protein and fiber can help support healthy blood sugar levels.

conclusion

Managing or reversing prediabetes requires lifestyle changes. Skipping meals is one habit you should avoid if you have prediabetes. Irregular eating can contribute to blood sugar fluctuations and overeating, which can affect insulin sensitivity. Focusing on healthy, low-prep foods, taking food with you, and planning ahead allows you to take your time eating and meeting your daily needs, whether at home, work, or on the go. You can get a lot of energy.

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