Prediabetes is the period before diabetes is diagnosed where blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Fortunately, progressing from prediabetes to diabetes is not inevitable. There are many actions you can take to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Start with these 6 tips:
- Cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet. Eating foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar increases blood sugar and insulin levels, which may lead to diabetes over time. Examples of refined carbohydrates include white bread, potatoes and many breakfast cereals. Instead, limit sugar and choose complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, oatmeal and whole grains.
- Quit smoking if you are a current tobacco user. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Quitting has been shown to reduce this risk of type 2 diabetes over time.
- Watch your portions. Avoiding large portion sizes can help reduce insulin and blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of diabetes. Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels in people at risk of diabetes.
- Aim for 30. Try to be intentionally active by taking a walk, dancing, lifting weights or swimming for 30 minutes, five days per week. If you get no or very little physical activity—and you sit during most of your day—then you lead a sedentary lifestyle, and it's time to get moving.
- Drink water. Drinking water instead of other beverages may help control blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. Sticking with water most of the time helps you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other unneeded ingredients.
- Eat fiber. Getting plenty of fiber is beneficial for gut health and weight management. Consuming a good fiber source at each meal can help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which may help reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
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