According to the CDC, more than 100 million Americans have prediabetes or diabetes. I’ve had some patients taking Metformin tell me they have prediabetes and are taking it to prevent diabetes. This never made sense to me because Type II diabetes can be prevented and reversed with lifestyle changes. The first step towards lifestyle change starts with food, so educating those with prediabetes and diabetes about nutrition is so important.
Prediabetes is when glucose is higher than normal when fasting but the pancreas is still able to make and use insulin to utilize glucose for energy or store it. When someone has prediabetes, it is important to make dietary changes because if they do not, they will go on to develop diabetes or women can develop PCOS which is a metabolic disorder causing insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. Pre-diabetes also increases the risk of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
What foods cause diabetes?
Red meat and processed meat such as bacon, sausage, and deli meat.
Foods with processed ingredients and added sugar such as high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, and molasses.
Beverages with added sugar or artificial sweeteners such as sodas, fruit juice concentrate, vitamin water, sports drinks, and alcohol.
Processed and refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, flour, crackers, baked goods, and cereals.
Canned, frozen, and packaged foods that contain added sugar.
Even sauces, dressing, and condiments also contain added sugar.
Those who are diabetic or prediabetic can benefit from eating higher protein and healthy plant fats, as well as less simple carbohydrates. I recommend avoiding the foods that cause diabetes and instead focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods.
What are the best foods to help reverse prediabetes and diabetes?
Organic, lean meats such as chicken and turkey.
Wild caught fish low in mercury such as salmon, mackerel, anchovy, sardines, and herring (SMASH).
Whole fruit and vegetables.
Consuming fiber from beans and leafy greens.
Healthy fats from avocado, nuts, and seeds.
Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, garlic, and turmeric to help lower glucose.
Switch sugar added beverages for water which can be infused with fruits, vegetables, & herbs for flavor, and herbal teas that have many benefits for health.
This biggest takeaway is to learn how to read the labels to find hidden sources of sugar and processed ingredients. Then focus on consuming more on consuming whole foods and less packaged foods. Those who consume meat, should consume no more than 3 ounces daily and most protein should come from plants. Also controlling portion sizes of food ,especially carbohydrate intake. The main source of carbs should be complex carbs from vegetables and less from grains which are simple carbs. Complex carbs contain more fiber than simple carbs to help stabilize glucose levels. I hope this provides you with more insight and empowers you to make intentional choices their health and improve the quality of your life! Live with Intention and Be Radiant!