88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes and a large percent of those people don’t even know it. Type 2 diabetes prevention or slowing progression to type 2 diabetes is affected by the choices we make in our eating and activity. Three areas to do this is meal timing, food and drink choices, and exercise.
Meal timing. Eating breakfast can improve blood glucose control. Your body needs energy when waking and without energy(food) to break the fast, your body creates its own fuel by releasing stored glucose from your liver into your bloodstream. This causes your blood glucose to spike and can lead to poor glucose control throughout the day. The higher the blood sugar, the more insulin your body must produce, and this leads to the progression of diabetes.
Studies show that eating three meals per day is important and small, nutritious snacks in between meals are appropriate when physically hungry. If you find that you are not hungry within five to six hours of eating your last meal, portion sizes may be larger than what you need.
Food and drink choices. Achieving better blood sugar control requires eating the right foods at the right time. Listed below are ways to improve food and beverage choices to decrease your risk for diabetes.
|Current eating pattern||Option for improvement|
|No breakfast||Breakfast of protein/whole grain combo (whole wheat toast with egg, banana with peanut butter, oatmeal with nuts and berries)|
|Coffee shop drink with sugar/syrup, milk, and toppings||Black coffee or tea – regular or decaf|
|Quick, grab-n-go lunch: sub sandwich or fast-food burger on white bread, fries or chips, soda||Lunch with ½ plate vegetables and fruit, ¼ lean protein, ¼ whole grain; water or milk|
|Last-minute dinner at a restaurant or rushed meal at homemade with boxed or pre-made items, soda, or alcohol||Dinner similar to lunch|
|Grazing snacks: chips, crackers, cookies, candy, ice cream||Snacks if hungry including protein/carb combination (apple with peanut butter, whole grain crackers and cheese, vegetables and hummus, etc.)|
To promote better blood glucose control, consume:
- Plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains
- Protein and fiber at each meal/snack help reduce the glucose spikes
Exercise. Being physically active reduces your diabetes risk. People who achieve 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week are better able to manage their blood glucose, weight, and overall health. Any increase in activity is beneficial for glucose control.
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