Can you reverse prediabetes naturally? You may have recently found out you have prediabetes and are a little confused about what that means. Simply put, prediabetes is the stage before diabetes. Your blood sugar levels shoot up higher than normal, but not enough to be considered as type 2 diabetes.
With prediabetes, your body has built up insulin resistance. Or beta cells in your pancreas may not be making enough insulin to keep your blood sugars within a healthy range.
This may all sound scary and dramatic, but there is a ray of hope! It isn’t a set-in-stone, done deal diagnosis. You still have a chance to turn things around.
Prediabetes can be reversed naturally
With prediabetes, working towards a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise can reverse your diagnosis and successfully move you away from the edge of type 2 diabetes. You probably want to get started right away so let’s launch into 5 areas you need to focus on if you want to make this happen.
5 Steps To Reverse Prediabetes Naturally
1. Choose Whole, Nutrient Dense Foods; Ditch the Processed Stuff
This point will always come up in any diabetes or prediabetes diet conversations. Processed foods (most foods out of a box) usually contain added sugars, fats, and calories that have very little nutritional value. These are your frozen pizzas, sugary cereal, ice cream (yes, even the frozen yogurt popsicles), deli meats, and bacon.
They may be convenient, they may even be delicious but the sad, sad truth is they are very bad for your health.
Whole foods, on the other hand, are foods that undergo very minimal processing. This preserves their nutrients and keeps them packed with high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
If you need another reason to choose whole foods, they make you feel fuller while also being lower in calories than processed foods! This means that you’re not gaining as much weight, you’re lowering your blood sugar, and you feel hungry less often because your body has all that it needs.
Some examples of whole foods are:
- Beans and legumes: Like chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils
- Unsalted nuts and seeds: cashews, peanuts, and almonds are great choices
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Like oranges, spinach, strawberries, and eggplant
- Whole grains: Wholegrain rice, quinoa, and wheat are great options
- Unprocessed meat, fish, and poultry
2. Exercise at least 3-5 times a week
Did you know that exercise can help reduce your blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours after a workout session? It’s true. What’s great is that you don’t have to go to the gym for hours to exercise. There is a lot that can be done from home or by simply going outside.
You could try walking, jogging, swimming, biking, aerobics, resistance exercises, and different types of outdoor sports. So next time your friend invites you to that weekly power yoga session, say yes. It’ll be great.
3. Choose Carbohydrates That Are Lower In The Glycemic Index (GI) More Often
So at this point, you know that sugar is bad for both diabetes and prediabetes. What you may not know is that all the carbohydrates in your food ultimately break down into glucose in your blood.
But not all carbs are made equal. Low GI foods break down to glucose a lot slower than high GI foods. This is a good thing. It means that these foods will not cause as big of a spike in your blood sugars. However, portion size is also key to ensure your blood sugars stay within a healthy range. You can read this to learn how to portion correctly.
Choose Most Often to Reverse Prediabetes
- Low GI Foods – heavy mixed-grain bread, whole grains such as barley, quinoa, and bulgur, sweet potato, steel-cut oats, converted/parboiled rice, al dente/firm pasta, apples, green bananas, berries, orange, peach, pears, beans, and legumes, milk
Choose Less Often to Reverse Prediabetes
- Medium GI Foods – Chapati/Rotis, wheat bread, instant or large flake oats, basmati/brown/short/long grain rice, corn, white potatoes, ripe bananas, cherries, grapes, pineapples, kiwi
Choose Least Often to Reverse Prediabetes
- High GI Foods – White bread, Naan, corn flakes, puffed rice, jasmine rice, sticky rice, mashed potatoes, rice cakes, any kind of fruit juice, pop, cookies, cakes, candy, overripe bananas
4. Quit Smoking
Aside from increasing the possibility of lung cancer and heart disease, smoking may also cause type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and insulin resistance. OTC products like nicotine gum or nicotine patches will go a long way in helping you overcome nicotine cravings.
5. Shed Off Excess Weight
Regular exercise and clean eating are the foundations of achieving a healthy body weight. It has been found that if you’re able to lose just 5-10% of your body fat, your blood sugar levels will improve and this may help you reverse prediabetes.
We know that making these changes may take time, effort, and commitment, but reversing prediabetes, and improving your quality of life is worth it. Of course, these steps only serve as guidelines. Working with a registered dietician or a certified diabetes educator can ensure you get personalized advice that fits your lifestyle.
Get started today. Good luck my friend, you’ve got this!
360Care by Ellerca Health seeks to empower individuals to regain control of their health. We believe that with the right support and motivation, anyone can make and maintain the lifestyle changes necessary to live a happy and healthy life.
By using 360Care through your mobile device, you’ll have access to a team of health professionals (nurses, dieticians, diabetes educators, psychologists, and coaches) and your own personalized health plan, all dedicated to helping you reach your health goals.
From feeling better, relieving symptoms, and improving your quality of life, 360Care can help you to live your best life.