Health is wealth, and it takes consistency and the right information to enjoy a rich quality of life.
Today, 3.4 million people in Canada are living with diabetes, while 29% of people have either prediabetes or diabetes. Many people are diagnosed with prediabetes prior to this, which gives them the opportunity to head this potentially fatal condition off at the pass.
So what exactly is the pre-diabetic diet? How can it help you prevent Type 2 diabetes?
We're glad to explain with the following points below:
History of the Pre-Diabetic Diet
The phrase prediabetes entered science, health, and public lexicon in 2003. Diabetes refers to the condition in which your blood sugar, known as glucose, is elevated and exists in your bloodstream without enough insulin to convert it into energy.
This condition can worse to the point of blindness, loss of limb, heart disease, and death.
Physicians can now notice the precursors to diabetes, which allows patients to switch to a pre-diabetic diet in time to offset this condition.
What Is Pre-Diabetes?
Impaired glucose resistance is the main factor involved with diagnosing pre-diabetes. After some bloodwork is done, the doctor can find out your levels, to confirm that they are above normal levels, but below diabetic levels.
Precise causes of pre-diabetes vary, but it's clear that there are both genetic and lifestyle risk factors. People with a family history of diabetes may be more likely to develop it in their lifetime.
Failing to exercise and eat healthily is also a contributing factor. More than 30% of Canadians are considered obese.
People live a sedentary lifestyle more than ever. Getting lots of exercise helps your body process insulin and keep your blood sugar levels healthy. If you're overweight, in your late 40's or older, or have family members who are diabetic, you should consider these factors and make changes accordingly.
Something as simple as practicing yoga or weight training can help you exponentially.
What Is the Pre-Diabetic Diet?
Getting to know the pre-diabetic diet will help you offset prediabetes and prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing. The prediabetes diet consists of high-quality, nutrient-dense foods that don't cause spikes in your blood sugar levels.
It's a balanced diet that allows you to make every organ system in your body work at its best while cutting out foods that are harmful to you. This diet is helpful whether you have been diagnosed with either prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, or if you'd just like to make some healthy, sensible changes to your diet and your life.
What Are the Health Benefits of the Pre-diabetic Diet?
So what makes the prediabetes diet so beneficial? For one, this newfound control of your blood sugar levels will help to curb diabetes so that you prevent the most damaging symptoms and potentially add years to your life.
This diet consists of nutrients that will help you lose weight and build muscle. You will decrease your blood pressure and prevent the risk of heart disease, while also improving your brain health and even reducing the likelihood of depression.
Switching to this diet can create plenty of healthy habits that will carry over into several other areas of your life.
Who Can the Pre-Diabetic Diet Help?
There are a number of people that can benefit from switching to the prediabetes diet. Consider the following if you're thinking about making this change:
People with High Blood Pressure
When you are living with high blood pressure, your heart has to work much harder to pump blood through your veins and your circulatory system. As this condition worsens, you are more likely to experience a heart attack and death.
Close to 15 million adults in Canada are living with or at risk for high blood pressure. When you cut out unhealthy foods and switch to the pre-diabetic diet, you'll have a new lease on life.
You will reduce the likelihood of stroke, and will find that your body and mind work far more efficiently. High blood pressure can also cause a loss of vision, kidney failure, sexual dysfunction, and an array of other issues.
Fixing your diet is one of the best ways to get your blood pressure issues under control so that you can ward off these risk factors.
People with a Family History of Diabetes
If you have a family history of diabetes, you definitely need to consider adopting the prediabetes diet. Changing your diet helps you to control as many variables as possible since there's nothing that you can do about your genes.
Ask your parents and grandparents about any family history of diabetes that you may not be aware of. From here, you'll be more knowledgeable and able to speak about this with your doctor.
People Over the Age of 40
Age is also an important risk factor to consider. The older you get, the more susceptible you are to developing both prediabetes and diabetes.
When you switch your diet you can also increase your longevity and the quality of however many years of life you do have left.
Foods to Eat
Knowing what to eat will help you more than anything else. We live in a society where it's easy to hit a 24-hour drive-thru or to pile up on snacks.
Only 29% of Canadians get enough vegetables in their diet each day. Using the pre-diabetic diet can help you get all your vital nutrients while keeping diabetes at bay.
So which foods should you include in a pre-diabetic diet? Consider the following:
Healthier Grains and Starches
Switching to healthy grains and starches will help you more than almost any other part of your diet.
These foods have healthy carbohydrates that are excellent for your health and wellness. Whole grains and other healthy grains help to keep diabetes at bay, in addition to symptoms of heart disease and other problems.
Your body digests these grains without excessive glucose spikes. They're also better for you than other types of mass-produced grains and starches that exacerbate diabetes symptoms.
Adopting a plant-based diet can improve blood circulation, lower cholesterol, help people lose weight, and so much more. More than 3 million Canadians now adhere to a plant-based diet.
Here are some healthy grains and starches that you should add to your diet:
Quinoa is a complete plant-based protein that features several vitamins, minerals, and all essential amino acids. It helps to regulate your blood triglyceride levels and causes fewer spikes in blood sugar than grains, rice, and pasta.
It can be mixed into any meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is a power food that you can eat every day.
Barley is excellent for prediabetes because it reduces insulin resistance. It features hefty amounts of fibre, which slows how much sugar your body absorbs and keeps you full longer.
To top it off, barley keeps your cholesterol levels under control and improves your digestion.
Add buckwheat into your diet so that you can also control your blood glucose levels. Buckwheat is excellent for diabetes and prediabetes because it is packed with magnesium, which can keep this condition and others at bay.
Getting plenty of protein in your diet will help you control prediabetes. This fundamental building block is important because it curbs hunger spikes, builds muscle, and keeps your weight under control.
Protein increases the level of lipids that you have, which will also regulate your blood glucose levels. The following proteins should be included in your diet:
You get high doses of protein and low carbohydrates from eggs. This helps to control hunger without spiking your blood sugar. They also have plenty of potassium, which is great for your nervous system and muscles.
Eating lean meat will fill you up without disturbing blood glucose levels. The influx of protein and a healthy amount of calories will satiate you and prevent snacking.
Eating fish gives you plenty of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. This provides energy and brain function without increasing insulin resistance. Fish also offers plenty of Vitamin D, which is important, since many people with diabetes are deficient.
Play around with some salmon recipes and get plenty of servings in your daily diet. Eating these high-protein foods will build muscle and give you plenty of energy to get through your day.
Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in carbohydrate content. It will keep your blood sugar levels under control while preventing unnecessary spikes in glucose.
You can spread cottage cheese on almost anything, making it a must-buy for your grocery list.
Tofu is a healthy, plant-based source of protein that is packed with nutrients. You won't experience some of the inflaming effects that come with animal proteins, but will still get the satiating qualities.
Nuts and Seeds
There are plenty of nuts and seeds you can eat that will provide high protein content and an influx of omega 3 fatty acids. Examples include almonds, cashews, hemp, and chia seeds.
Eating these fatty nuts will provide plenty of fibre and magnesium.
Fibre is one of the best foods to add to your nutritional intake. The more fibre you eat, the more you slow the spread of sugar throughout your digestive system.
This regulation in your digestive system can keep your weight under control and prevent diabetes symptoms.
Some examples of quality fibrous foods include:
Carrots are packed with B Vitamins, which provide energy and focus without needing blood sugar spiking carbohydrates.
Beets are excellent superfoods that can prevent diabetes complications, such as eye damage and damage to your nerves. It's also packed with they help to control blood sugar and come with several nutrients, without spiking your glucose.
Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, which can help to manage blood sugar levels. It also has plenty of fibre, protein, and potassium.
It's important to fill your plate with as many servings of non-starchy vegetables as you'd like when trying to avoid diabetes. Getting plenty of vegetables can also improve your skin health and help with the way that you age.
These examples are excellent to add to your diet:
These leafy green sprouts have plenty of fibre, which can prevent diabetes from developing. You'll also enjoy the benefits of disease-fighting minerals and antioxidants.
Cauliflower is good for the heart, has plenty of fibre, and reduces insulin resistance. What's more, you can use sliced cauliflower as a rice substitute.
The skin and flesh of cucumber are packed with antioxidants and nutrients. This food has very few carbs and plenty of fibre.
Turnips have plenty of fibre that will enrich your digestive system. You'll notice an improvement in your lipid levels and will lower your body's resistance to insulin.
Spinach is yet another superfood that will help your body's digestive due to its rich fibre content. It helps to avoid oxidative stress, which can improve your eyesight and prevent ocular damage that often accompanies diabetes.
Foods to Eat In Moderation
Keeping diabetes at bay is about what not to eat as much as anything else. Here are some foods you should limit:
While fruit is packed with nutrients, it's also filled with natural sugar. This can create spikes in your blood sugar levels if you're not healthy.
Eat the following fruits in moderation:
Pineapple is fine in moderation, but make sure it's eaten in its raw form. Avoid pineapple chunks that are canned and often preserved in sugar and syrup.
The sugar content of watermelon might affect your blood sugar levels. Consider juicing the rind to extract more fibre and antioxidant benefits.
Bananas are often rich in sugar and high in calories. These fruits have a low GI score, but you should still track your intake.
The following fruits are your best options:
Blueberries are little powerhouses that are filled with fibre and antioxidants. The flesh of the fruit contains chemicals that can reduce DNA damage.
Blackberries have impressive amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and manganese. They're also filled with fibre, which will help your body's digestive process.
Rather than dealing with blood sugar spikes, kiwi can flat-out lower your glucose levels. Add some freshly sliced kiwi to a fruit salad or to enjoy as a snack.
Always be mindful of your alcohol intake. Drinking can increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels, and lead to further development of Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Foods to Cut Out
There are also several foods that you should eliminate from your diet completely. The influx of sugars in the following snacks and foods spike your blood sugar levels while offering little to no nutritional value:
Taking in sugary drinks is one of the biggest traps that diabetics and pre-diabetics face. It's easy to sip them without thinking, but they offer some of the biggest damage to your body if you're at risk for diabetes.
Be particularly mindful to cut these drinks out of your diet:
A single can of soda is loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, dense with calories, and has zero nutritional value. You're getting a spike in sugar levels without any vitamins or nutrients to offset it.
What's more, these sodas are easy to drink, so you can become overweight and further complicate your health.
Many of today's fruit juices are loaded with sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and very little fruit. They're also filled with preservatives and are guaranteed to spike your blood sugar levels.
Sugary Alcoholic Beverages
With these drinks, you're taking in both the sugar from the alcohol and the sugar from the added sweeteners. This combination dramatically spikes your glucose levels, while also adding on unnecessary calories.
A cup of black coffee can be good for your brain, but today, many people drink coffee drinks that are loaded with whipped cream, sugar, and other sweeteners.
Foods with Added Sugar
These foods pack snack aisles, and also have little to no nutritional value, while also creating spikes in your blood sugar level. What's more, they are packed with empty calories, and not only won't fill you up but will also leave you feeling hungry, which can increase snacking.
Cut these foods out of your diet completely:
Unnecessary sweets will also wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels. Here are a few examples you should avoid at all costs:
There's no such thing as a healthy dessert. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and pies are considered a treat, and thus, are packed with added sugar and other chemicals. Keep these off your food list if you're pre-diabetic.
Jams and jellies are thick and dense with sugar and sweeteners. They're also packed with preservatives that your body has a difficult job digesting.
Honey and Syrups
Single servings of syrups are packed with as much sugar content as a person would require in an entire day. Many of the honey products sold on store shelves also contain very little bee's honey and are instead filled with sugar, high fructose syrup, and added colour chemicals.
Empty “White Foods”
These foods are incredibly problematic for someone trying to keep diabetes at bay. They create significant spikes in your blood sugar levels and will almost certainly consider the development of this disease:
White bread is one of the worst foods for people at risk for diabetes. Your body turns it into sugar as soon as you digest it, which spikes your glucose levels.
Recent studies also indicate that 73% of Canadian bread has high levels of sodium. The more you can eliminate this food from your diet, the better.
White pasta made in factories will also turn into sugar and add to insulin resistance. It has very little fibre to slow down the digestive process.
White rice has a high GI score and will cause your blood glucose levels to rise. It's also bereft of fibre and provides very little resistance to the development of diabetes.
Potato chips are low in fibre, spike your sugar levels, and are filled with sodium and saturated fat. Avoid them at all costs.
Crackers are often made with white flour, which can raise your insulin resistance. They're often low in fibre and don't have enough nutritional value to justify adding to your diet.
Protect Your Body with the Pre-Diabetic Diet
The pre-diabetic diet can work wonders for your health, perhaps to the point of even saving your life. Now that you have the right information, it's up to you to make the correct changes in your life.
In addition to switching up your nutrition, make sure to also hire the best team of physicians, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and other professionals that you can find.
At Insurdinary, we can point you in the direction of the insurance policies that will help you hire these professionals while keeping your costs reasonable. We also have an array of mortgage, bank account, and loan options that you'll be glad to explore.
Use our contact form to begin exploring your options, or reach out to us by calling 1-877-574-RISK (7475).
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