There are many ways to help prevent the onset of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes — and making healthy lifestyle changes, including losing weight and getting regular exercise, is a great place to start.
In fact, weight loss and other healthy habits have been found to be more effective than medications for reversing prediabetes, a precursor to diabetes with which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not as high as in diabetes. If you’re following a healthy diet, such as the South Beach Diet, you’re taking the right steps.
Eat whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, wild rice, bulgur, slow-cooking oatmeal, and whole-grain breads and pastas. Quinoa is another healthy option.
Enjoy beans and other legumes frequently.
Eat plenty of vegetables, prepared without unhealthy fats (like stick margarine and butter) or sweetened sauces.
Choose whole, fresh fruits like berries, apples, and citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit halves. Avoid canned or jarred fruits with added sweeteners or syrups.
Include nonfat or low-fat dairy in your diet, such as fat-free or low-fat milk, plain or artificially sweetened low-fat soy milk, nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt, and artificially sweetened low-fat or nonfat flavored yogurt.
Focus on lean proteins, like fish and shellfish, skinless poultry breasts, and lean cuts of meat.
Use healthy cooking methods, such as baking, roasting, broiling, or grilling.
Avoid saturated fats and trans fats; instead, choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, found in olive oil and canola oil, for example, or foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish.