As the name suggests, pre-diabetes is the forerunner to diabetes; the chronic medical condition with a rapidly increasing global diagnosis rate. Considering that pre-diabetes itself magnifies the risk of heart and kidney failure before even progressing into full-scale diabetes, it is imperative that it be stopped in its tracks. Meaning that major lifestyle adjustments are in order, particularly within your daily diet plan, so here are our recommendations for your pre-diabetes diet:
1- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
This cure-all ingredient can also be utilised as an effective pre-diabetes treatment due to its proven ability to decrease spikes in fasting and post-meal blood glucose levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower insulin resistance. ACV can be taken either directly before or early on in a meal, as a salad dressing, or mixed into drinking water. However, limit ACV consumption to 2 tablespoons at a time. It should also be noted that since it is a completely organic substance, it is also perfectly safe for almost everyone to use, even people with type 2 diabetes. If combined with a balanced diet, it can have a huge impact on ones health.
2- High-Fiber Foods:
Like ACV, fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels by preventing spikes and drops, while also minimising insulin resistance. Moreover, consuming fibrous foods like beans, fruits and vegetables with edible skin, and whole-grain breads, cereals, and pasta improves bowel movements by adding bulk to the diet, prevents sugary food cravings and hence, glucose spikes by helping you feel fuller for longer. This will also help with potential cardiovascular problem (people with diabetes have a much higher chance to develop such issues), thus hitting two birds with one stone. Foods like lentils and beans are generally recommended for people who want a high fiber diet.
3- Green Tea:
Where popular beverages including ‘sugar-free’ fruit juices contribute towards blood sugar escalation and abdominal obesity, a major diabetes risk factor, 2-4 cups of freshly brewed green tea aids in weight loss while preventing further belly fat accumulation, along with preventing organ damage due to high blood sugar. It also really helps with regulating insulin sensitivity, thus making managing ones blood sugar much much easier, just make sure you are not adding anything extra to the tea like sugar or milk. Alternatively, supplements of the active ingredient Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) can also be taken.
The strong polyphenolics (antioxidants) in cinnamon significantly lower the elevated fasting blood glucose levels and contribute towards lowering insulin resistance. It manages to do all this without any adverse side effects so it can be used by everybody and makes a great addition to any pre-diabetes diet. It can either be consumed whole, in powdered form, dissolved in water, or as a supplement. Use no more than once daily however, as the coumarin present in cinnamon increases the risk of liver damage if taken in excess.
Promoting efficient glucose metabolism and aiding in proper insulin function, this metal is required in small amounts for optimum body functioning. Other benefits of chromium include appetite and carbohydrate-craving reduction and preventing glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. This way it can also help by preventing weight gain which is one of the causes of type 2 diabetes. While broccoli, oats, barley, and tomatoes are effective food-sources, chromium supplements are also necessary to meet the daily nutritional requirement i.e. 200-1000 micrograms.
A deficiency of this vital mineral has been linked to the development of major diabetes contributors like insomnia, hypertension, and other nutritional deficiencies, making it an essential addition to the pre-diabetes diet. Many diabetes patients have a magnesium deficiency as low levels of magnesium are directly related to insulin ressistance, where the body does not produce enough insulin to meet its needs. Some great sources of magnesium leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, avocados, bananas, 80-90% dark chocolate, as well as magnesium supplements, since most of these sources only contain trace amounts of the mineral.
7- Unsweetened Cranberry Juice:
This proven heart and urinary health booster also helps reduce pre-diabetes symptoms and prevent diabetes progression, particularly in women. Studies have shown that people who regularly drank cranberry juice had lower glucose levels and were able to control their glucose much more. It also helps with cardiovascular problems which can be very useful for many diabetes patients, so it is a great addition to your pre-diabetes diet. However, instead of choosing ‘no added sugar’ products, opt for self-extracted cranberry juice, as pre-packaged juices often contain pro-diabetic artificial sweeteners or corn syrup for adding flavor.
While all of the above ingredients are proven prediabetes remitters, remember to consult with your practitioner before incorporating them into your diet if you take insulin or other diabetes medication. You can also book an appointment with a top Endocrinologist in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your prediabetic concerns.