9. Eating a High-Fiber Diet
Fiber is essential for a healthy gut as well as proper weight management. Studies involving prediabetic, obese and elderly participants have proven that it helps in keeping one’s insulin and blood glucose levels low.
Fiber can be categorized into insoluble and soluble. The soluble kind absorbs water, whereas the other kind does not. Once in the digestive tract, the soluble fiber mixed with the water forms a type of gel which slows the rate at which one’s food is absorbed.
Which is great, since this also means a much slower rise in one’s blood glucose levels. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, has not been connected to lower blood sugars or any reduced diabetes risks.
10. Optimize Your Vitamin D
This vitamin is very important when it comes to controlling your blood sugar. This is proven by many studies which claim that those deficient in vitamin D (or whose blood levels are way too low) have a much higher risk of developing diabetes.
That’s why the majority of health organizations recommend a vitamin D level of at least 30 ng/ml. A specific study discovered that those with high vitamin D blood levels had a 43% lower chance of diabetes than those whose levels were low.
Another observational study, this time from Finland, observed the effects of giving vitamin D supplements to children. Needless to say, the results were astounding.
Some other controlled studies have successfully proven that when people deficient in this vitamin take supplements, there is an improvement in the cells which produce insulin as well as a normalization of their blood glucose levels.
If you’re not a fan of supplements, some excellent food sources of this vitamin are fatty fish as well as cod liver oil. Exposing yourself to some sunshine can also raise your vitamin D levels.
Though for some this may not be enough, and in that case, they’d need to turn to supplements in order to maintain proper amounts of vitamin D in their system.
11. Minimize Your Processed Food Intake
This step is advised for anyone, not just those seeking to maintain their blood sugar levels or those who fear that they may develop diabetes.
Processed foods are never good news for your health or body. They may lead to many problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Ideally, you should completely avoid such foods, but if you find that is simply too hard, at least try and limit them as much as possible.
Numerous Studies have shown that cutting back on packaged foods which are high in refined grains, additives or vegetable oils leads to positive health results as well as a reduction in one’s diabetes risk.
What to eat instead? There are plenty of tasty and healthy alternatives for you to choose from (or even mix them up to suit your personal taste). Vegetables, fruits, nuts and other plant-based whole foods have nothing but positive things to offer your body.
One particular study found that those daily diets which were poor in quality and high in processed foods increased one’s diabetes risk by as much as 30%. Additionally, switching to whole, healthy, nutritious foods successfully lowered that risk.
12. Drink Tea or Coffee
We’ve already established that drinking water is the best way to go. But you can also add tea or coffee (or both) into your diet, as there is some proof of their potential in lowering your diabetes risk.
In fact, plenty of studies observed that the consumption of coffee on a regular, daily basis ended up reducing this risk by 8-54%! The greatest percentage, naturally, was in those with the highest consumption.
Similar results were seen in a review of several studies involving the consumption of coffee or caffeinated tea. Women and overweight men had achieved the best results.
This may be thanks to polyphenol content of both tea and coffee. These are powerful antioxidants which show promise in protecting one against diabetes.
Furthermore, green tea has a unique, special antioxidant compound named epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is praised for both increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing the liver’s blood glucose release.
13. Take Some of These Natural Herbs
There are several herbs which have shown positive results in reducing our chances of diabetes (and even increasing our insulin sensitivity!).
Curcumin – It is the main component of the famed turmeric, which has been used for centuries in India, but has now gained popularity in the western world as well.
It’s potent anti-inflammatory properties not only work well against many different diseases such as arthritis. But they can also reduce inflammation in those with prediabetes.
A few studies reported an improvement in the progression of diabetes and a reduction in insulin resistance. The functioning of the pancreas’s insulin-producing cells also seemed to increase.
Berberine – This can be found in a number of herbs and has a long history of usage in traditional Chinese medicine. It not only combats inflammation, but it also lowers one’s cholesterol and any other markers of heart disease.
A couple of studies have shown that berberine can aid those with type 2 diabetes thanks to its powerful blood sugar reducing properties.
In fact, an analysis of 14 different studies reported that berberine is just as effective as the pharmaceutical drug metformin when it comes to the effective lowering of one’s blood glucose levels.
Thanks to all this, berberine may also be useful for prediabetics in their efforts to avoid reaching diabetes. But when it comes to this, many more studies need to follow.
A word of caution. You’d be wise not to use berberine together with any other diabetes medications you may be taking. Unless your doctor says it’s all right.
14. Choose Good Fats Over Bad
Is it really a surprise to you that the type of fats you consume also play a key role in whether you are in danger of developing diabetes or not? That’s why you should never hesitate when it comes to opting for the good kind.
Were you aware that polyunsaturated fats found in seeds, nuts, and liquid vegetable oils can all aid in warding off diabetes? The opposite effect happens by consuming trans fats, found in fast food, fried foods, most margarines, and packaged baked goods.
All of these, along with any other product which has ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’ on its label, are a huge health hazard, and not just for diabetes. Another thing you should know concerning the polyunsaturated fats we get from fish (which also go by the name of ‘marine omega-3 fats’).
Even though there is plenty of evidence which suggests these healthy fats can protect you against heart disease, they don’t seem to do anything about protecting you from diabetes.
Still, in case you already have diabetes, consuming fish can aid in keeping any heart attacks at bay. Or even from passing away due to heart disease. This is good news indeed, as a large percentage of diabetics also happen to have cardiovascular-related issues.
15. Moderate Alcohol Consumption Might Actually Help to Prevent Diabetes
Yes, you read that right. There is plenty of proof which connects (controlled!) alcohol consumption to a reduced heart disease risk. Scientists suggest the same may apply when it comes to type II diabetes. What it does is increase insulin’s efficiency to get the blood glucose inside one’s cells.
But take heed, we are by no means saying you should turn to alcoholic beverages under the excuse that you are trying to protect yourself from disease. Remember, the keyword here is ‘moderate’, which means one drink a day for women and two for men.
You should always keep in mind that higher alcohol amounts could have the opposite effect. Namely, they may increase your risk of developing diabetes, among other things. If, on the other hand, you don’t drink alcohol, we are not suggesting that you start now.
You can achieve the same benefits through exercise, losing weight, and a healthy daily diet.
The positive conclusion which we can deduce from all of this is that one has plenty of scientifically-proven ways to manage and prevent diabetes.
Moreover, one should not be so pessimistic as to view prediabetes as nothing but a ‘stepping stone’ to diabetes. Instead, try and see it as a motivator for making some positive lifestyle changes, that way keeping diabetes at bay.
One of the main lifestyle changes would be which foods you eat and which you should best stay away from. If you pay close attention and follow the advice given in this article, you should have no problem in reducing your risk of developing and thus prevent diabetes.