Do you have prediabetes? This health condition is becoming more common throughout the world. In the USA nearly 9.5% (2015) of the population has the disease. Each year about 10% of prediabetes patients become diabetic. The good news is you can follow certain diets like the ketogenic diet for prediabetes to treat your condition. This diet is low-carb and high fat. Both of these features are good for treating diabetes by preventing blood sugar spikes. This is the main goal when you have prediabetes to prevent you from experiencing full-blown diabetes. It can be a tough battle yet is worth it since it can prevent lots of aches, pains, and money.
Prediabetes involves glucose (blood sugar) levels being higher than normal. However, it’s not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If you have prediabetes there isn’t a 100% chance, you’ll develop diabetes. However, you’re at a higher risk and you’re also more likely to develop other health conditions like strokes and heart disease. So, it’s important to take steps to reduce your blood sugar levels. There are various methods you can take but tweaking your diet is certainly one of the best options. Besides the Keto diet, there are other options like Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers, SlimFast, and Intermittent Fasting (IF).
What Is Prediabetes?
As the name suggests prediabetes is a condition that could lead to diabetes. It means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for diabetes. If you have prediabetes then it’s important to take steps to help prevent it from becoming diabetes. The more glucose buildup you have in your blood the worse your general health becomes.
Type 2 diabetes is easily the more common type. In the USA it makes up 95% of all diabetes cases and the rates are similar around the world. Besides type II diabetes you’re also at a higher risk of developing other conditions like heart disease.
There are various ways you can help prevent prediabetes from developing into diabetes. They include weight loss if you’re overweight/obese and regular exercise. Another option is to follow a particular diet like the keto diet.
There’s a caveat to having prediabetes. It usually doesn’t produce any symptoms. So, there’s really no way to be sure you have this condition unless you get your glucose levels tested. It’s something you should do from time to time so you’ll know whether or not you have this disease.
The general cause of prediabetes is your body’s insulin doesn’t function as it normally does. Insulin works by helping the body’s cells to use blood sugar.
So, when insulin isn’t working correctly this results in a glucose buildup within the blood. Over time this can cause prediabetes. If the condition becomes worse this can lead to type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions.
Here are some of the main risks of prediabetes:
- Pregnancy-related diabetes
- Family history of diabetes
- High triglyceride (blood fat) level
- Low “good” cholesterol level
- High blood pressure
Prediabetes is diagnosed by a blood test. Your “fasting blood sugar” will likely get tested first. This is your blood sugar before eating breakfast.
Ketogenic Diet for Prediabetes
The keto diet is one of the different diets that can help to treat prediabetes. In recent years low-carb diets have been trending for reversing the condition prediabetes. High-calorie foods include those high in sugars and starches.
Besides white sugar, you should also watch out for foods that contain natural sugars like beans, grains, starchy veggies, fruit, and dairy. We often only think of sugars coming from foods like sweets and sodas that have tons of added white granules and corn syrup.
Standard low-carb diets like Atkins make the claim that their diet help to lose weight since lowering carbs means you’ll burn more fat. It cuts calories through different ways like lowering appetite, boosting protein/fat, and ditching high-calorie foods like white flour.
While Atkins was a game-changer in the low-carb game keto takes it to the next level. That’s because it’s not just low-carb but also high-good fat. This provides extra benefits like more effective than standard high-fat diets for weight loss.
Studies show that the ketogenic diet can provide various diabetes-related benefits including:
- Lower insulin resistance
- Fewer sugar cravings
- Boosts weight loss due to lower calories, higher fat, and food restrictions
- Avoids unhealthy sugary, processed, and fried foods
- Easy to follow vs calorie counting
- Lower blood sugar levels
When following the keto diet it’s important to know which foods to eat and avoid. Here are some low-carb foods to add to your diet:
- Full-fat yogurt/cheese
You should also avoid certain foods like:
- Dried fruit
- Grains (e.g. bread, rice, pasta, oatmeal, crackers, and cereal)
- Most fruits
- Low-fat dairy (e.g. yogurt)
- Beans, lentils, and peas
- Sweets (e.g. cake, candy, pie, and ice cream)
- Sugary drinks (e.g. sodas, energy/sports drinks, and sugary tea/coffee)
- Starchy veggies (e.g. squash, peas, sweet potatoes, and corn)
- Fried foods (e.g. French fries, donuts, and fried chicken)
- Processed snacks (e.g. tortilla chips and potato chips)
- Fruit juice
Tips for Prediabetes Patients
1. Eat right
Besides following the keto diet, you should try to improve your overall diet. This includes adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. Add more low-carb, high-fat, and high-fiber foods to your diet. While keto doesn’t allow grains, you can get fiber from low-carb veggies and some fruits.
If you’re on keto you can pick many healthy low-carb/high-fat snacks like pepperoni crisps, avocado, and Greek yogurt. Healthy snacks are important since traditional snack foods like potato chips and cookies are loaded with salt, sugar, and bad fat.
2. Get tested
It’s important to visit your doctor every 3-6 months if you have prediabetes. This is a good idea whether or not you’re on track to prevent diabetes. If you’re high-risk then you can get guidance from your physician. Even if you’re on track you can get motivation from your doctor.
3. Lose weight
If you’re overweight or obese then it’s important to consider losing weight if you’re pre-diabetic. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to lose lots of weight. Studies show that losing up to 7% of your body weight can reduce diabetes risk by nearly 60%.
4. Get more shut-eye
Make sure you’re getting about 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Try to get into the habit of sleeping and awakening at the same time daily.
5. Hit the gym
Technically you don’t have to visit a local gym or even do gym workouts. What’s important is to simply move more instead of sitting in front of a computer or behind a steering wheel all day. Studies show that being more physically active can be one of the best steps to take to prevent diabetes.
You can start out slow. This includes walking around the block, climbing stairs, and so on. It can help to lower blood sugar and body fat like the Ketogenic diet for prediabetes.