12 Simple Ways to Fight Prediabetes (2022)

At 28, Jennyvi Dizon wasn't expecting to be turned down for health insurance. "I thought I was fairly healthy," she says. The company disapproved her because she weighed 188 pounds and was 5 feet 3 inches tall. They wanted her to weigh 155 pounds or less.

When she reapplied one month later, the insurer requested blood tests. This time, the news was even more startling: her blood glucose (blood sugar) level was above normal and her cholesterol was high.

Jennyvi's mother has diabetes, so the elevated blood glucose reading was especially worrisome. Online, Jennyvi learned that her test level meant she had prediabetes—a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

"I had been in a little bit of denial because, really, I was overweight and unhealthy, but I didn't realize it," says Jennyvi, a bridal and evening gown designer from Phoenix. "I knew that if I get to the diabetes level, it'll cause me problems later."

The hidden condition

As many as 60 million people in the United States have prediabetes, yet more than 90 percent of them don't know it. People with prediabetes usually have no symptoms, and many who learn about their prediabetes think it's no big deal.

(Video) 12 Dietitian Approved BEST Foods for Prediabetes | THESE Foods Lower Blood Sugar FAST

"People do not take this as seriously as they need to," says Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "The good news is there is something you can do about it," Dr. Albright adds.

The best way to fight prediabetes and get your blood sugar back in the normal range is with a coordinated plan of healthy nutrition, increased physical activity and lifestyle coping strategies that support modest weight loss if you are overweight. (Modest weight loss is defined as losing 5 to 10 percent of body weight.) Research shows that following such a plan not only reduces diabetes risk, but does it better than using medication. Improvements in glucose levels may be seen in as little as three months.

If you have prediabetes, you need to start making lifestyle changes quickly. There's a window of only about three to six years in which you can turn around elevated glucose levels, Dr. Albright says.

Know your risk

Rhonda Hurwitz had three risk factors for developing prediabetes. The Chappaqua, New York, woman had gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies, more than 20 years ago. That put her at higher risk for prediabetes, yet the condition didn't show up until she was in her 50s and about 15 pounds overweight. By then, both her age and her weight were also risk factors.

Anyone who is overweight and 45 or older should be tested for prediabetes, advises the American Diabetes Association. If you're in that age category and of normal weight, ask your doctor if testing would be appropriate.

Younger overweight women also might need testing if they have: a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides, had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds. Those in ethnic groups with high risk (African American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian) also should talk with their health care providers.

(Video) Stop ignoring pre diabetes and what you can do to prevent it

"You need to know your risk status to take preventive steps," Dr. Albright says.

You'll find a simple screening test to assess your prediabetes risk by clicking here.

After preliminary screening, laboratory tests of your fasting glucose level, oral glucose tolerance level and the A1C test will establish whether you are in the prediabetes zone or not. To find out the test result numbers that indicate you have impaired glucose levels, click here.

In addition to those glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association now advises that an A1C test, which does not require fasting, be used to identify prediabetes and diabetes. An A1C range of 5.7 to 6.4 percent puts you in the prediabetes category (a diagnosis of diabetes is made when the A1C test score is 6.5 percent or higher.)

"There's a cascade of events (in your body) that starts to happen as you put on excess pounds. You disturb the body's normal means for keeping glucose in control," says Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, a nutritionist and author of Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy (American Diabetes Association, 4th ed., 2010) and other books ondiabetes.

When first told that you have prediabetes, Warshaw says, that's when "you can get the biggest bang for your efforts" by changing your diet and becoming more physically active.

"People have the notion that you need to lose a huge amount of weight and that is not what the research says," she notes. By losing just a modest amount through lifestyle changes, "you can reduce your glucose levels back to normal."

(Video) 5 Diet Tips to REVERSE PREDIABETES FAST

Taking action

Jennyvi moved quickly to beat her prediabetes by going to her doctor, a visit that also turned up a heart palpitation and high blood pressure. Yet the doctor was reassuring: lose the weight and you'll diminish or lose your health problems, he told her.

Seven months later, she's lost 30 pounds by changing her food choices and habits as well as increasing physical activity. She cut sugar and fats from her diet, eliminated midnight junk-food snacks and now joins her husband on daily walks with their energetic dog. "I don't consider it a diet. It's a life change for me," she says.

As a result, her blood sugar level has dropped well into the normal range, and she is no longer considered to be in the prediabetes range. "You get serious about it when your health is at stake," Jennyvi says.

Rhonda embarked on a plan to improve her eating and increase activity. She consulted with a nutritionist and became exercise buddies with a friend. Yet it hasn't been all smooth sailing. "The biggest thing I struggle with is my sweet tooth," she says. "How do you police yourself when you don't have any symptoms? You don't feel any different if you eat right or you don't eat right. It's just something you have to decide to do."

After losing 10 pounds, dropping at least one clothing size and seeing her A1C test results improve, Rhonda regained a bit of weight during the holidays. She's now back on track, avoiding refined, low-fiber carbohydrates such as white rice and white potatoes and eating more salads, vegetables and nuts. "I feel I've got it under control," she says.

What helps

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Sheryl Lozicki, RD, MBA, a nutritionist in private practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan, suggests setting three main goals if you're at risk of prediabetes or have been diagnosed with it: eat regularly (no skipping or delaying meals); exercise for a total of 30 minutes daily; and get an average of eight hours of sleep each night. "When you short yourself on sleep, it leads to mindless eating or eating out of fatigue to perk yourself up," says Lozicki.

Choose three behaviors and commit to doing them for at least four weeks. Try these specific ideas from Lozicki, or find others elsewhere in this article:

  • Drink a cup of water with meals and a cup between meals. This fills you up and helps you feel fuller faster.
  • Limit 100 percent real fruit juice to a half-cup, or four ounces. Switch to whole fruit for more fiber and better nutrition.
  • Forget about regular soda, imitation juice drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.
  • Switch from full-fat to low-fat or nonfat dairy.
  • Increase whole grains in all foods. Switch from regular pasta to whole-grain. Have oatmeal for breakfast. Choose brown rice. All of these have complex carbohydrates, which cause a slower rise in blood sugar as well as other health benefits.
  • No foods other than fresh fruit should be on your kitchen counter or in view at all.
  • Keep cut-up fruits and vegetables up-front and available on the main shelf of your refrigerator.
  • Write down what you eat and why. Were you hungry, angry, lonely, etc.? Know which triggers cause you to eat or overeat.

Increasing fiber in your diet helps lower blood sugar. For some great ways to add fiber, please click here.

FAQs

How can I reverse my prediabetes in a week? ›

Can prediabetes be reversed?
  1. Swapping out sugar-sweetened beverages for water.
  2. Cut out processed carbohydrates and foods with added sugar.
  3. Eat a lower carbohydrate diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Reduce your overall caloric intake.
  5. Increasing your protein intake at all meals.
14 Apr 2022

What drink lowers blood sugar? ›

Drinking water regularly may rehydrate the blood, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce diabetes risk ( 20 , 21 ). Keep in mind that water and other zero-calorie drinks are best.

What should I eat for breakfast if I am prediabetic? ›

Tasty, Diabetes-Friendly Breakfast Ideas
  • Eat a Healthy Breakfast. 1/13. It's often called the most important meal of the day. ...
  • Overnight Oatmeal. 2/13. ...
  • Nut Butter and Fruit. 3/13. ...
  • Egg Sandwich. 4/13. ...
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait. 5/13. ...
  • Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Hash. 6/13. ...
  • Vegetable Omelet. 7/13. ...
  • Savory Oatmeal. 8/13.
4 Nov 2021

What fruits should a prediabetic avoid? ›

Fruit makes a healthy option both as a snack and as part of a balanced meal. It contains many important nutrients, such as fiber. However, some fruits have a high sugar content, which can cause blood sugar to spike.
...
These include:
  • apples.
  • apricots.
  • avocados.
  • bananas.
  • blackberries.
  • blueberries.
  • cantaloupes.
  • cherries.
29 Mar 2021

What foods Prediabetics should avoid? ›

Foods to avoid if you are prediabetic include sweets (pastries, cookies, cake, candy, pie, doughnuts), refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, bagels, crackers, pretzels), sweetened breakfast cereals, flavored yogurt, fried foods, fatty meats, jams, jellies, potato chips, snack bars, and others.

How can I go from prediabetes to normal? ›

Some people have successfully reversed prediabetes by modifying their diet and lifestyle.
  1. Eat a “clean” diet. ...
  2. Exercise regularly. ...
  3. Lose excess weight. ...
  4. Stop smoking. ...
  5. Eat fewer carbs. ...
  6. Treat sleep apnea. ...
  7. Drink more water. ...
  8. Work with a dietitian nutritionist.
5 Jun 2020

Can prediabetes eat rice? ›

Rice can be part of a healthy diet for prediabetes, but making a few good choices when you eat rice can make a big difference. Using brown rice, adding protein, fiber, and fat, and keeping portions small can help lower diabetes risk.

What can I drink before bed to lower my blood sugar? ›

A: Drinking apple cider vinegar at bedtime can help diabetic people control their blood glucose levels. A diabetic patient should take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in warm water before sleep. It can also aid in the regulation of fasting blood sugar levels in the morning.

Does lemon water reduce blood sugar? ›

Lemon juice significantly lowered the mean blood glucose concentration peak by 30% (p < 0.01) and delayed it more than 35 min (78 vs. 41 min with water, p < 0.0001).

Are eggs good for prediabetes? ›

A study from 2018 suggests that regularly eating eggs could improve fasting blood glucose in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. The researchers here suggest that eating one egg per day could reduce a person's risk of diabetes.

Are bananas good for prediabetes? ›

A banana's effect on blood sugar depends on its ripeness

Green (unripe) bananas contain resistant starch, which doesn't raise blood sugar levels and may improve long-term blood sugar management. Yellow (ripe) bananas contain more sugar, so they may cause a bigger rise in blood sugar.

What is the best bread for prediabetes? ›

"The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing whole grain bread or 100 percent whole wheat bread instead of white bread. White bread is made from highly processed white flour and added sugar."

How many slices of bread can a diabetic eat per day? ›

It is preferable not to eat white flour bread, but if you must, limit yourself to two medium slices. A slice of bread has about 32 calories in it. The total calories consumed from bread should not be more than 90 for a diabetic patient. Furthermore, diabetics should avoid eating white bread every day.

What is the best cereal for prediabetes? ›

The best choices include hot cereals like oatmeal or quinoa (the real deal, not presweetened packages), muesli, unsweetened granola with nuts, unsweetened cold cereals like original Cheerios, sprouted grain cereals, and more.

Is coffee good for prediabetes? ›

Some studies suggest that drinking coffee — whether caffeinated and decaffeinated — may actually reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, however, the impact of caffeine on insulin action may be associated with higher or lower blood sugar levels.

Are tomatoes good for diabetics? ›

Tomatoes are not high in sugar, and neither are carrots. Tomatoes, similar to carrots, are considered a non-starchy vegetable in meal planning for diabetes. This means that the amount of naturally occurring sugar is minimal in a serving.

Are carrots good for diabetes? ›

Carrots can be a safe choice if you have diabetes and are watching your blood sugar levels. They're also non-starchy vegetables. So you can even enjoy small amounts of carrots if you're following the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

What snacks are good for prediabetes? ›

Enjoy fruit in moderation

And choose lower-sugar fruits, like berries and kiwi, most often. To slow the rate of glucose entering your bloodstream, pair fruit with a protein source, like a handful of nuts or seeds, 2 tablespoons of nut butter, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, a boiled egg or a string cheese.

Can prediabetes go away? ›

It's common. And most importantly, it's reversible. You can prevent or delay prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes.

Which vegetables should be avoided in diabetes? ›

People living with diabetes should look to avoid vegetables with a high GI rating, as the body absorbs blood sugar from those foods much quicker compared with low-GI foods. This includes artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, eggplant/aubergine, green beans, lettuce, peppers, snow peas and spinach.”

Does stress cause prediabetes? ›

While stress is part and parcel of life and a little stress won't immediately cause prediabetes, consistently high levels of stress may lead to it. Certain hormones released when you're stressed can develop insulin resistance, leading to very high glucose levels in your bloodstream.

What are the warning signs of prediabetes? ›

Symptoms
  • Increased thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Increased hunger.
  • Fatigue.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.
  • Frequent infections.
  • Slow-healing sores.
17 Mar 2022

Can pre diabetes make you tired? ›

Fatigue in prediabetes is common and occurs for a number of reasons. High and low blood sugars can cause tiredness so it is important to check your sugars when feeling like this to try and get a clearer picture of the cause.

Are potatoes OK for diabetics? ›

Potatoes and diabetes. Share on Pinterest In moderation, a person with diabetes may eat potatoes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend eating starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, as part of a healthful diet. Starch is a complex carbohydrate that takes the body longer to break down than simple sugars.

Can you eat corn if your Prediabetic? ›

Can you eat corn if you have diabetes? Yes, you can eat corn if you have diabetes. Corn is a source of energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It's also low in sodium and fat.

Is Potato good for diabetes? ›

Potatoes are a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed by everyone, including people with diabetes. However, because of their high carb content, you should limit portion sizes, always eat the skin, and choose low GI varieties, such as Carisma and Nicola.

How long does it take to go from prediabetes to normal? ›

Reversing prediabetes

Most people diagnosed with prediabetes develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years. This means you should have time to prevent this from happening. On the other hand, it takes about three years to reverse prediabetes.

How can I reverse my prediabetes at 3 months? ›

Some people have successfully reversed prediabetes by modifying their diet and lifestyle.
  1. Eat a “clean” diet. ...
  2. Exercise regularly. ...
  3. Lose excess weight. ...
  4. Stop smoking. ...
  5. Eat fewer carbs. ...
  6. Treat sleep apnea. ...
  7. Drink more water. ...
  8. Work with a dietitian nutritionist.
5 Jun 2020

Can prediabetes be reversed permanently? ›

It's common. And most importantly, it's reversible. You can prevent or delay prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes.

What foods to avoid if you are prediabetic? ›

Foods to avoid if you are prediabetic include sweets (pastries, cookies, cake, candy, pie, doughnuts), refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, bagels, crackers, pretzels), sweetened breakfast cereals, flavored yogurt, fried foods, fatty meats, jams, jellies, potato chips, snack bars, and others.

How do you feel when you have prediabetes? ›

Symptoms
  • Increased thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Increased hunger.
  • Fatigue.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.
  • Frequent infections.
  • Slow-healing sores.
17 Mar 2022

Does stress cause prediabetes? ›

While stress is part and parcel of life and a little stress won't immediately cause prediabetes, consistently high levels of stress may lead to it. Certain hormones released when you're stressed can develop insulin resistance, leading to very high glucose levels in your bloodstream.

How long does it take cinnamon to lower blood sugar? ›

The addition of 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon to the diet led to significant decreases in serum glucose levels after 40 days.

Is oatmeal good for prediabetes? ›

The pros of adding oatmeal to your diabetes eating plan include: It can help regulate blood sugar, thanks to the moderate to high fiber content and lower glycemic index. It's heart-healthy due to its soluble fiber content and the fact it can lower cholesterol.

Does prediabetes always lead to diabetes? ›

Not everyone with prediabetes will go on to develop diabetes. Over the short term (three to five years), about 25% of people with prediabetes develop full-blown diabetes. The percentage is significantly larger over the long term.

Can prediabetes be cured without medication? ›

Prediabetes is reversible. You can prevent or slow the development of prediabetes and diabetes by making lifestyle changes and maintaining a moderate weight. According to one 2017 review, each 2.2 pounds of weight loss could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 16 percent for people with IGT, or prediabetes.

Can prediabetes eat rice? ›

Rice can be part of a healthy diet for prediabetes, but making a few good choices when you eat rice can make a big difference. Using brown rice, adding protein, fiber, and fat, and keeping portions small can help lower diabetes risk.

Can prediabetes drink coffee? ›

Having prediabetes may mean making a few diet changes, but it does not mean you need to give up coffee! When drunk responsibly, coffee may actually help lower risk for prediabetes!

How do you reset your pancreas? ›

The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers. Restoring the function of the organ - which helps control blood sugar levels - reversed symptoms of diabetes in animal experiments. The study, published in the journal Cell, says the diet reboots the body.

Are eggs good for prediabetes? ›

A study from 2018 suggests that regularly eating eggs could improve fasting blood glucose in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. The researchers here suggest that eating one egg per day could reduce a person's risk of diabetes.

What type of exercise is good for prediabetes? ›

Aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, dancing) and strength training (weight lifting, pushups, pull-ups) are both good.

Videos

1. How I Reversed My Pre-Diabetes | Kate Kowalczyk | TEDxDePereMiddleSchool
(TEDx Talks)
2. Next steps for people with prediabetes
(U of U Health)
3. I Cured My Type 2 Diabetes | This Morning
(This Morning)
4. Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines | Sarah Hallberg | TEDxPurdueU
(TEDx Talks)
5. ⚡Top 10 Prediabetes Symptoms You MUST AVOID (Reverse Prediabetes)
(Respiratory Therapy Zone)
6. A Low Carb Diet Plan that reduces 93% of PreDiabetes (Easy) | Jason Fung
(Jason Fung)

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