The term ‘diabetes’ typically triggers a significant sense of concern. However, many are unaware that there’s a precursor stage to this condition known as prediabetes. During this phase, an individual’s blood sugar levels elevate, though not to the extent that would classify as diabetes.
Prediabetes is typically characterized by:
- HbA1c levels ranging from 5.6% to 6.4%
- Fasting blood glucose levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) results (which measure blood glucose two hours post consuming a 75 g glucose drink) between 140 to 199 mg/dL
It’s a common occurrence for individuals to remain unaware of their prediabetic status, only discovering it incidentally during regular health checkups. The silver lining here is that prediabetes can often be managed and potentially reversed by adhering to a wholesome lifestyle and nutritional habits. Utilizing a well-structured, science-based Diabetes Management Program can be immensely beneficial at this stage.
In this context, the crucial role of dietary choices cannot be overstated. Consuming the right foods not only aids in managing prediabetes but also forms a vital component of any effective Diabetes Management Program. Healthy eating habits can significantly influence blood sugar levels and can be a powerful tool in preventing the progression from prediabetes to full-blown diabetes.
So in this blog, we delve into the five critical foods to steer clear of when dealing with prediabetes.
The initial category of foods to avoid for individuals with prediabetes is sweets and desserts. These items, including barfis, cakes, tarts, ladoos, puranpoli, or puddings, consist of saturated fats (dairy, ghee, oil) and refined sugars. These are rich in calories and may give rise to a sudden increase in blood sugar levels. These food items are often triggers for the incidence of chronic health conditions and that’s why it is featured as one of the top 5 foods to avoid in prediabetes.
The majority of bakery products like bread, biscuits, cookies, nankhatai, and others, comprise refined carbohydrates or maida. Also, the GI value of these products is high and they contain a low fiber content. This means they don’t provide satiety and leave you feeling hungry soon after consuming them. You will also be amazed to know that refined carbs are digested rapidly. And, this leads to a rapid increase in blood glucose levels.
Deep-fried food items like chips, chakli, other fried snacks, samosas, potato fritters, have plenty of saturated fats. Intake of such food items can cause weight gain, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. As a result, this increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you get pre diabetes diagnoses, it is better to avoid such foods. This helps minimize the risk of developing the disease.
Drinks containing high-sugar content can be fruit juices, soda, sports beverages, and energy drinks. These are a rich source of added sugar. Intake of these drinks can result in insulin resistance and hence, type 2 diabetes.
Together with previously stated foods, another class of foods to evade prediabetes are processed and packaged foods. These foods have become progressively widespread in our homes owing to their accessibility, which is particularly comfortable to people with busy schedules. These foods can be ready-to-eat meals, processed meats, soups, cereals, or cup noodles. Also, such foods contain high amounts of carbs and saturated fats. Both carbs and saturated fats add to insulin resistance. As a result, they are found to increase the risk of prediabetes or development to diabetes.
Diet control plays a crucial role in management of prediabetes and bringing your blood glucose levels to a healthy range. It’s not just about keeping away from certain foods; it’s also about including healthy food selections and adhering to them. With the right guidance and support, anyone can successfully manage prediabetes and lower his or her risk of developing diabetes. Consider speaking to a healthcare expert or joining a Diabetes Management Program for personalized support on your journey towards better health.