Pre-diabetes is real. It is becoming very common, and most importantly it is reversible.
According to a study by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), prevalence of pre-diabetes in India is 1.4 times higher than the prevalence of diabetes. Prediabetes is a condition that affects millions of Indians. In this condition, individuals have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
One of the things that makes this condition challenging is that more than 50% of the people with prediabetes aren’t aware of their condition. So, people with risk factors, such as overweight or obesity, a family history of diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle — must get tested.
Good news is that, you can reverse or delay prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes.
If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, then talk to a dietitian at Planko to get a professional advice. Here are the simple changes that you can adopt in your lifestyle:
Start eating right
“What you eat, When you eat & How much you eat” plays the most important role in reversing pre-diabetes.
- Watch foods with high glycaemic index (GI), foods that are high on the GI will spike your blood sugar faster. Avoid refined carbohydrates, processed foods, white breads, white rice, sugary and aerated drinks, juices, pizza doughs, pastries, candies etc.
- Add more high-fiber foods into your day to combat insulin resistance by slowing down digestion and reducing the impact of sugar on the blood. Some of examples of food containing high fibre are whole grains (daliya, rotis made of wheat bran or ragi or jawar mixed in wheat aata), brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts etc.), leafy greens, root veggies, beans fruits & veggies with edible skin etc.
- Eat lean meats like chicken or turkey, salmon, tuna, egg whites, tofu, beans and legumes, peas, low-fat Greek yogurt etc.
- Eat regular meals — A person with prediabetes needs to keep their blood sugar levels as steady as possible. Fasting can cause significant changes in blood sugar levels, but eating small meals at regular intervals can help to maintain glucose levels.
- Keep yourself well hydrated — Water is an important part of any healthy diet. Drink enough water each day to keep you from becoming dehydrated. If you have prediabetes, water is a healthier alternative than sugary sodas, juices, and energy drinks. Drink at least 2–3 litres of water every day.
- Watch your portion size — Good portion control can keep your diet on the low GI. This means you limit the amount of food you eat. One of the best methods to manage portions is to practice mindful eating. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. Sit, and eat slowly. Focus on the food and flavors.
Lack of physical activity is another risk factor for pre-diabetes so getting active becomes equally important. If you haven’t been active, start building more activities in your daily routine including walking, running, biking, swimming, aerobics, playing sports, dance etc.
If you’re starting a new routine, start slow. Start with light physical activity for 15 or 20 minutes, and then gradually increase the intensity and length of the workouts after a few days. Ideally, one must do 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 4–5 days a week.
Lose excess weight
One benefit of eating right and getting active is that it helps you shed excess weight.
In fact, losing as little as 5 to 10 % of body fat can improve the blood sugar level and help reverse pre-diabetes. In one study, people who had pre-diabetes and lost 5% to 7% of their body weight (just 4–6 kgs in someone who weighs 90 kgs) cut their chances of getting diabetes by 58%.
Insulin resistance increases when you have a larger waist size, too. This is 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men.
Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep regularly makes losing weight harder. A sleep shortfall also makes it harder for your body to use insulin effectively and may make type 2 diabetes.
Set good sleep habits. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Relax before you turn out the lights. Don’t watch TV or use your computer or smartphone when you’re trying to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine after lunch if you have trouble sleeping.
Work with your dietitian
Knowing what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat with pre-diabetes can be tricky. Consult a dietitian at Planko to help you develop a meal plan specific to your condition and offer other practical strategies to maintain a healthy diet. The goal is to stabilize your blood sugar.
Remember to always discuss your food choices with your doctor or dietitian to ensure that you are following the best diet for your individual needs. For any questions related to your personalized nutrition needs, get in touch with Planko.