What Should You Eat If You Are at Risk For Diabetes?

Séverine LEMOINEBlood Sugar Management

Did you know that 1 in 10 people have diabetes in the United States? Diabetes is way more common than you might think. While this number may be shocking, even more people are at risk of getting diabetes. 

Approximately 1 in 3 people in the United States are prediabetic. Many people don’t even know they are prediabetic and continue to live their lives without realizing they are putting themselves at risk. 

Have you ever wondered, am I at risk for diabetes?

If you are at risk for diabetes, then your nutrition should be one of the most important aspects of your life. Here is our nutritional guide for prediabetes. 

What Does It Mean To Have Prediabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease where your body has trouble regulated your blood sugar levels due to inadequate amounts of insulin production, leading to high blood sugar levels and several other health complications. 

There are two types of diabetes that you can have. Type 1 diabetes is when the body’s immune system destroys insulin-producing cells, leaving the body without insulin. This type of diabetes requires insulin shots to regulate blood sugar. 

Type 2 diabetes is where the body produces insulin but is unable to use it efficiently. Type 2 diabetes is commonly treated with nutritional and lifestyle changes. 

If you are prediabetic, that means you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here are some risk factors of having prediabetes: 

  • Overweight
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Not enough exercise
  • Over 45 years old
  • If you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy

If anything previously mentioned applies to you, you may be at risk for diabetes. Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle could be what you need to prevent developing type 2 diabetes. 

Foods To Eat When At Risk For Diabetes

Prediabetics should avoid high sugar and high carb content in their food to regulate their blood sugars. Since obesity makes your risk of developing diabetes greater, it’s important to eat healthily and get enough exercise. 

Here is a nutritional guide for food choices for people at risk with diabetes:

Seafood is a great option for someone who is at risk of diabetes. A great way to level your blood sugar levels is to eat protein, and fish is a great source of lean protein. 

It will also give you important nutrients and healthy fats that can help regulate your blood sugar. Since it is lean meat, it will help you stay at a healthy weight. 

Leafy green vegetables are another great food to eat for a healthy lifestyle for a prediabetic. They are low in calories and carb, so that they won’t affect your blood sugar levels drastically. 

They also have essential nutrients that can help prevent heart disease, which can be a health complication caused by diabetes. 

Greek Yogurt is another great food option. Greek yogurt has the protein you need to regulate your blood sugar, and it also has probiotics which have been known to help with heart disease as well.

Just make sure you get a Greek yogurt that doesn’t have a lot of added sugar.  There are plenty of options out there to choose from!

Some fruits are high in glycemic value, but berries are a great option for prediabetics. They are high in antioxidants and low in sugar. They will make a great topper for your Greek yogurt!

Other foods like nuts or nut butters, seeds, beans, lentils,  avocados, squash, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, broccoli, and eggs are also great foods to promote healthy eating. 

The main goal is to keep your sugar and carb intake low and your protein, vitamin, and healthy fat intake high. This can give you a foundation to make a personalized meal plan for your healthy lifestyle!

What To Avoid When At Risk For Diabetes

If you are at risk of diabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not quite at diabetic levels. This means that you can prevent diabetes by keeping your sugars low and living a healthy lifestyle.

To do so, you should avoid eating certain foods and doing certain things.

First, it is important to talk to a therapist or doctor if you are feeling stressed. Not only can stress cause you to overeat and binge on junk food, but it can also affect your overall health.

Next, you should try to avoid the following foods:

Highly processed refined carbs, like white bread, pastries, and pasta. These foods are considered high-glycemic and will make your blood sugar rise. 

Sugary or alcoholic beverages. Both of these drinks will give you no nutritional value, boost your blood sugar, and can make you put on weight. 

Highly sweetened snacks or desserts. If you are craving something sweet, try to eat something like fruit or something naturally sweetened. Added sugar is definitely something a prediabetic should avoid. 

Live A Healthy Lifestyle

Being at risk for diabetes can sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be! You can prevent developing diabetes by living a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, and avoiding foods that could raise your blood sugar.

Eating foods high in healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and low in refined sugars and carbs may be tricky at first, but there are many recipes and options to choose from to make your personalized healthy eating meal plan. 

Keeping your mind healthy is just as important as keeping your body healthy, so make sure to talk to your doctor about your mental health while dealing with prediabetes. 

If you want to learn more about blood sugar management, healthy lifestyles or want to read more insightful articles, check out more posts on our blog!