The Best Diet for Prediabeties: How a Healthier Diet CAN Reverse Prediabetes

Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE


January 4, 2018

Originally posted on, here.

Prediabetes and diabetes are caused by the body’s inability to process sugar due to a dysregulation in the way insulin is supposed to work. Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels, but certain risk factors can inhibit this process, which causes insulin resistance.

As blood sugar levels are dysregulated, blood sugar lingers in unwanted places in the body, which can lead to heart, eye, kidney, oral, and nervous system complications.

The good news is that that we have the ability to positively influence our insulin resistance and control our blood sugar levels by improving our lifestyle habits. This includes managing our diet, physical activity, stress, sleep, and smoking and alcohol habits.

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A Few Scientific Studies to Prove it
In countless research studies, a change in lifestyle has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In some studies, like the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes study, the trial even had to be stopped prematurely because the reduction was so high (a 58% risk reduction) that it would be unethical to not allow everyone to join the lifestyle intervention group.

Lifestyle medicine intervention is a broad description that is not black and white, nor can it be followed via a cookie cutter template. In the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS), high risk individuals with prediabetes did not develop diabetes when four out of five lifestyle targets were met, but the the targets were reflective of each person’s own starting point.

Adhering to these specific factors (adding more fiber to their diet, reducing the amount of fat they consumed, weight loss, etc) reduced the study participants’ insulin resistance to allow them to process blood sugar levels more efficiently and effectively in their own body.

How Personalized Care Can Reverse Pre/Diabetes
Prediabetes and diabetes can be reversed through lifestyle medicine, it just requires an individualized treatment approach for successful life-long results.

Whether you have prediabetes, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or you are at risk for diabetes, the key to optimal control is balancing the glucose and insulin in the blood. This can be achieved by understanding the science behind the disease and how to fit the appropriate diet, physical activity regimen, management of stress, sleep, tobacco, and alcohol into your lifestyle.

It requires being comfortable at home, traveling, on vacation, at parties, and knowing how to navigate the grocery store, restaurants, and social gatherings. To successfully reverse pre/diabetes it is advised to consult with a Registered Dietitian who is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and can craft a personalized plan to fit your lifestyle.

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