If we said clean, healthy living was important, you'd agree in a heartbeat, right? It's no secret that healthy lifestyles ensure a healthy mind and body and prevent several chronic ailments, conditions, illnesses, and diseases.
We're going to talk about one of these conditions, a common one that can affect people at any age and is suddenly on the rise: diabetes. While not all diabetes can be prevented, some types start with prediabetes. Prediabetes means you consistently have high glucose levels for extended periods, and it can slowly progress into diabetes when this occurs for too long.
The good news is that there are many ways to reverse prediabetes and prevent chronic conditions by optimizing your health. You can do this by learning the basics of healthy eating and physical exercise, maintaining healthy weight goals and sleep patterns, and focusing on a low-stress life. Here's a little more about prediabetes and how you can focus on reversing it.
Prediabetes is a condition where your blood glucose levels are pretty high (between 100 and 125 mg/dl) for an extended period but not so high that you're diagnosed with diabetes. There are three types of diabetes, type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Here’s a little more about each one:
When your body doesn't make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it does have effectively, it can lead to a buildup of sugars in the blood. But why is prediabetes reversible only for people with type 2 diabetes? There's currently no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, and lifestyle choices are not what causes it. With type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes can actually help to prevent, as well as to reverse the condition.
Now that you know you can prevent as well as reverse prediabetes, it's time to start taking the first steps towards it. Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices is a good way to begin! Of course, remember that there's no one-size-fits-all, and it's best to consult with a healthcare professional before you make any major changes. Here are 11 tips and tricks to help you out.
The most important way to work on preventing diabetes is with healthy lifestyle choices—which you can incorporate with the help of a dietitian. The influence of diet on weight, glucose levels, and insulin is essential in the management of diabetes. An individualized diet plan created by a registered dietitian is a good way to prevent weight gain and maintain a healthy weight.
Your dietitian will work as part of your healthcare team in some situations. Their role is to give you the confidence to manage your diabetes, help you understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and guide you towards the changes you need to achieve your goals and improve your glycemic control.
Studies show that interventions promoting weight loss can also improve insulin sensitivity, help reduce lipid oxidation, and improve glucose metabolism.
An increase in adipose tissue can lead to insulin resistance. If your body cannot use insulin, your glucose levels will rise. Losing at least 10 percent of body fat and adopting an exercise routine to reduce fat tissue can improve your blood sugar levels and help reverse prediabetes.
Another thing to note about prediabetes is its role in your metabolic health. It is more common nowadays for people to gain weight due to changes in dietary patterns and decreased physical activity. The key to good metabolism is balancing food intake and physical exercise to prevent weight gain.
The best way to decide what types of carbs you should consume is to use the glycemic index (GI). The GI is a value given to different kinds of food, based on how quickly they can cause an increase in blood sugar levels. Foods that have a low GI release glucose slowly into the blood, whereas foods that have a high GI release glucose rapidly, causing the rise of blood sugar levels. The GI of foods usually ranges from 0 to 70, but some high GI foods can rank higher on the scale.
Refined carbs and sugars are digested faster than other foods, and due to their high GI, they tend to increase blood glucose levels. A low glycemic diet may improve blood sugar regulation, promote weight loss and reduce cholesterol levels in some people.
A healthy diet can help restore normal blood sugar levels and sometimes help to reverse prediabetes. While a 'healthy diet' can differ from person to person, it usually consists of all three macronutrients, high-quality calories, and adequate fiber. There are multiple diets you can try that help to reduce blood glucose levels if you're prediabetic. The most common one is a lower carbohydrate diet—which emphasizes protein, healthy fat, fiber, and non-starchy vegetables, with additional low glycemic index carbs. This may help lower blood glucose levels). A Mediterranean diet may also be helpful with reversing prediabetes, as there is some research to show that this diet is effective for weight loss, which we know can have a positive impact on blood sugar levels.
Sweetened beverages contribute to rising glucose levels in your bloodstream, which can be risky for people who already have prediabetes. Other factors contributing to blood sugar spikes include added sugars and refined carbohydrates. For better glucose management, try the tips below.
Dehydration can negatively influence blood glucose levels by stimulating the release of certain hormones such as cortisol, the stress hormone. This can affect insulin sensitivity and lead to higher glucose levels. It is also essential to keep hydrated to avoid high glucose concentrations in the blood.
Exercise helps to improve your physical health and can also boost mental health. Lower body fat and higher lean muscle mass are associated with lower blood sugar levels, so it's no surprise that so much discussion around diabetes prevention includes talk of weight-loss goals. You can achieve all of this with a healthy diet and some activity. Physical activity also boosts metabolic rates and increases lean muscle mass, which leads to improved insulin action.
High levels of stress on a consistent basis may also contribute to the development of prediabetes. This is because certain hormones can develop insulin resistance, released only when the body goes through certain stages of stress. Conditions like depression can exacerbate stress and are often seen among people with prediabetes. All this can cause a resistance to insulin, which leads to very high glucose levels in the bloodstream.
If you were diagnosed with prediabetes, it is vital to keep track of your glucose levels. Today's technology helps us do so with devices that monitor blood glucose to reverse and prevent conditions like prediabetes and diabetes.
A diabetes specialist can help you go through all the steps you need to reverse prediabetes. First of all, the doctor gives you information about your diagnosis and the proper treatment for your personal needs. They also help keep track of your glucose levels. It is essential to stay in touch with your doctor to prevent the appearance of complications and other risk factors. Diabetes can develop with high glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. So, it's good to have a medical professional supervise these monthly.
Your blood sugar usually drops at night, which helps your body rest. When you eat too late at night, you can have higher glucose values due to reduced insulin sensitivity in the evening. Eating too late at night can raise insulin, lead to weight gain and impair fat metabolism. Consider eating earlier, and if you practice intermittent fasting, find a fasting window that works best for your body.
Learning more about prediabetes and making healthy lifestyle modifications can help you prevent and reverse it. Sometimes, you need a little help and guidance along the way—that's where CGMs can help!
Using a CGM can help give you real-time insights into how your body responds to various food and lifestyle factors. For help monitoring and managing your blood glucose data and overall health, sign up for one of the programs from NutriSense. The data provided by CGM technology, combined with personalized support from a team of registered dietitians, will teach you how to maintain a balanced blood glucose level.
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