Prediabetes means your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not in the diabetes range. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes by your doctor, it’s not too late to turn things around—small adjustments to your lifestyle can make a big difference in preventing diabetes. In fact, a healthy diet and routine exercise can lower the risk of diabetes up to 75%. Here’s what you should keep in mind when you’re shopping at the grocery store and cooking at home.
1. Pick the Right Foods
It’s recommended that those with prediabetes cut back on carbs and added sugar. This means eating food that’s low in fat and calories and high in fiber. Vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and legumes are all ideal for losing weight and controlling your sugar levels.
However, foods that have carbs or sugar aren’t entirely bad if they offer other nutrition. Fruits have lots of vitamins and whole grains are high in fiber, for example. Both of these are okay in moderation.
2. Know Your Portions
The American Diabetes Association recommends that meals include:
- Half a plate of vegetables, at least two servings
- A quarter plate of meat, fish or an equivalent
- A quarter plate of carbs, for example, rice, pasta, bread or potatoes
- A cup of water, low-fat milk or other healthful options
- A piece of fruit
3. Don’t Skip Meals
Not eating for a while can cause sharp changes in glucose levels. It’s recommended that you keep it steady by eating three meals per day, each less than 6 hours apart. Also, make sure each meal contains some protein, fat and carbohydrates.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Cutting back or abstaining from drinking alcohol can help you keep glucose levels stable and lose weight. If you are drinking alcohol, skip the sugary mixers.
If you end up developing diabetes, know that you still have ways to keep it under control. With our Diabetes Management Incentive Program, Standard and Basic Option members may earn up to $100 on their MyBlue® Wellness Card for providing A1c results—one result completed by June 30 and another by December 31—and completing nutritional counseling sessions if the second A1c result is 8% or higher.