Prediabetes is a condition that develops when your blood sugar levels are higher than usual but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It’s estimated that over 84 million adults in the United States have prediabetes, which is a significant health concern. While there are many factors that can contribute to prediabetes, diet is one of the most important.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for managing prediabetes and preventing it from progressing to type 2 diabetes. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five foods that you should avoid if you have prediabetes.
1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices are some of the worst foods for people with prediabetes. These drinks are loaded with sugar, which can quickly spike your blood sugar levels. In fact, a single can of soda can contain up to 40 grams of sugar, which is more than the recommended daily limit for most adults. It’s essential to avoid these drinks and opt for water, unsweetened tea, or coffee instead.
2. Processed Snacks
Processed snacks like chips, crackers, and cookies contain refined carbohydrates and sugar. These foods can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leading to fluctuations in energy levels and mood. Instead of processed snacks, choose healthier options like fresh fruit, nuts, or whole-grain crackers.
3. White Bread, Rice, and Pasta
White bread, rice, and pasta are all refined carbohydrates that can cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly. These foods lack the fiber and nutrients in whole-grain versions, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Instead of white bread, rice, and pasta, choose whole-grain options like brown rice, whole-wheat bread, or quinoa.
4. Fried Foods
Fried foods like French fries, chicken wings, and onion rings are high in unhealthy fats and calories. These foods can contribute to weight gain, which is a risk factor for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Instead of fried foods, choose grilled, baked, or roasted options.
5. Candy and Sweets
Candy and sweets like chocolate, candy bars, and ice cream are high in sugar and calories. These foods can quickly spike your blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain. Instead of candy and sweets, choose healthier dessert options like fresh fruit, yoghurt, or homemade smoothies.
In conclusion, managing prediabetes requires a healthy, balanced diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates. By avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages, processed snacks, white bread, rice, pasta, fried foods, and candy and sweets, you can help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes. Remember, small changes in your diet can make a big difference in your health, so start by making healthier choices today.