Type 2 diabetes has traditionally been diagnosed by having a high blood sugar level, but what about those of us whose blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? That’s where the diagnosis of pre-diabetes occurs. Pre-diabetes does not have the same health consequences and concerns as type 2 diabetes, however those with pre-diabetes are at a much higher chance to develop type 2 diabetes.
The diagnosis of pre-diabetes should be considered as a warning sign that certain lifestyle changes should be made to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce the chance of further progression to type 2 diabetes.
Along with exercise and other lifestyle changes, implementing a healthy diet is crucial for treating pre-diabetes. The type of beneficial healthy eating needed to treat pre-diabetes includes; adjusting amount and type of carbohydrates, reducing unhealthy fats, and maintaining good levels of dietary protein, and reduce total energy intake.
Carbohydrates are your bodies go-to fuel source. It is readily broken down into glucose, and easily absorbed into our blood streams.
Having large amounts or easily digested carbohydrates (such as sugars and refined grains) can significantly elevating our blood sugar levels.
Having smaller amounts of slow burning carbohydrates (such as unrefined grains and high fibre vegetables) throughout the day can hep to reduce and stabilise blood glucose levels.
Those with pre-diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. By swapping saturated fats (found mostly in meat products and coconut oil) to unsaturated fats (found mostly in vegetable sources) you can reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels. Fat has a much higher energy density than protein or carbohydrates, reducing fat intake can help to reduce total energy intake and lower body weight which in turn reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining healthy muscle mass is crucial for optimising the uptake of blood glucose from our blood stream into our muscles, not only for our muscles to use immediately but also to store for later use. Muscle mass also helps to lower blood glucose levels during and after exercise. Including adequate protein sources in your daily diet is beneficial for building and maintaining strong muscle mass.
Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and legumes are low in total energy yet have a large amount of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Aiming for 5 serves of vegetables a day can help with reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
A healthy diet focused on reducing blood glucose levels is important for treating pre-diabetes. Often the dietary changes are easier than what they appear, even small consistent changes can have a big impact for reducing blood sugar levels
If you or a loved one are suffering from pre-diabetes give us a call at Generation Physio, we have a friendly team of professionals that are dedicated to changing the lives of our clients. All of our clinicians are mobile and come to your own home to conduct an examination. Give us a call on 1300 122 884 to book a consultation today.
Article written by Will Best
Will is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, holding a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the Sunshine Coast University. Using a patient-centred approach for all his clients, Will works with you to create diet recommendations that suit your nutritional requirements and your lifestyle.
Will continuously strives to expand his knowledge about all things food-related, including food production, cooking techniques, nutritional qualities and different food cultures.
Learn more about Will here.