Embarking on a journey to manage prediabetes through a solid meal plan is like giving your health a friendly boost. It is important to make your meals enjoyable and balanced. In this blog post, we’ll discuss practical steps for creating a meal plan that not only keeps blood sugar levels in check, but helps get to the root of what is causing the prediabetes.
Root cause of prediabetes
Prediabetes typically arises when the body becomes less responsive to insulin, a hormone crucial for regulating blood sugar levels. The root cause is often a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle choices.
Factors such as obesity, inactivity, and an unhealthy diet contribute to insulin resistance, leading to elevated blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing prediabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), visceral fat is an important factor in how our hormones work and is linked to insulin resistance. Too much visceral fat can promote elevated blood sugars, A1C and lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
People that are able to eat a healthful diet are able to reduce visceral fat stores and control or even reverse prediabetes.
Prediabetes can be seen as the warning sign to get this under control before it becomes type 2 diabetes. In reality there are two ways to handle a diagnosis of prediabetes.
Control blood sugars
First is to control spikes in blood sugar levels which attributes to an elevated A1C, which is what ultimately defines the diagnosis.
- Avoid candies, sweets, and simple sugars
- Increase fiber intake
- Consume carbohydrates with a fat or protein source
Reduce visceral fat
Secondly, is to manage and improve what is causing the insulin resistance in the first place. As previously described, an increase in visceral fat may be leading to insulin resistance and subsequently high blood sugars. So if we reduce visceral fat stores, insulin resistance could be improved.
- Avoid saturated fat intake
- Participate in daily physical activity
5 Tips to meal plan prediabetes
- Make half of your plate filled with veggies – include a variety of colorful vegetables, cooked or raw to help incorporate antioxidant rich and full of fiber nutrition.
- A quarter of your plate should consist of whole grains – whole grains help to increase fiber intake and can help reduce cholesterol levels and promote weight loss
- A quarter of the plate should be a healthy protein source – a source of plant protein can help to reduce visceral fat stores and also include some fiber to help control blood sugar levels. Choosing a plant based option can also help to avoid the inevitable saturated fat that is found in animal proteins.
- Encourage more water and less sugary drinks – High sugar beverages are one of the worst choices when it comes to prediabetes control. They can cause a rapidly increasing blood sugar level with no nutritional benefit.
- Eat more whole foods and less processed foods – Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have been shown to promote improved health. Similarly, reducing processed food intake lessens the chances of developing chronic disease.
Adopting a well-planned meal strategy is crucial in managing prediabetes and reducing the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes. By focusing on balanced nutrition and incorporating whole foods rich in fiber and nutrients, individuals can stabilize blood sugar levels and improve overall health.
Remember small changes in dietary habits can yield significant benefits in mitigating the effects of prediabetes and promoting long-term well-being.