What is a pre diabetic? Before people have type-2 diabetes, they usually have “pre-diabetes”. A pre diabetic has blood glucose levels that are high, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Some studies have shown that long-term damage, such as damage to the heart or circulatory system may already be occurring in this early stage of diabetes.

Luckily, one study has shown that pre diabetic people have a chance to prevent type-2 diabetes from developing. This Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study shows conclusively that a pre diabetic person can accomplish this feat just by making changes in their diet and being physically active for 30 minutes or more each day. In fact, the DPP study proved that 30 minutes of physical activity, coupled with a weight reduction of 5-10%, produces a 58% reduction in diabetes (Diabetes.org, 2011).


Pre Diabetic Nutrition


Pre diabetic diets should be portion controlled. Protein from fish is highly recommended, but only two or three times a week. Seafood is also a good choice. However, the main source of protein should come from daily portions of skinless poultry, dried beans, lentils, and peas. Pork cut as tender loins and center loin and Canadian bacon may also help to fill protein requirements.

Non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli, and green beans should be central in pre diabetic diets. They should be chosen more frequently than any other foods. Whole grain foods, such as whole wheat pasta and brown rice should also be part of a pre diabetic diet. Buckwheat, cracked wheat, oatmeal, popcorn, wild rice and barley are also good for you. Be careful not to buy foods which have been refined or enriched.


Pre Diabetic Symptoms


What are pre diabetic symptoms? Darkened areas of skin are one of the only pre diabetic symptoms which can be seen visually. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans, and the darkened areas are commonly on the neck, armpits, elbows, knees, and knuckles. Other symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.


Pre Diabetic Glucose Levels


Doctors usually will use blood tests to determine if a person has pre diabetes. One test that is commonly used is the fasting blood glucose test. In this test, patients should not have eaten anything for at least 8 hours, and the results are more precise if the test is given in the morning. Blood glucose levels for a pre diabetic will usually be around 100 to 125 mg/dL.

A glucose tolerance test may also be used to diagnose pre diabetes. In this test a patient will not eat for at least 8 hours and then they will drink a sweet liquid. After 2 hours, blood will be drawn. In this case, if the blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dL, the patient may be diagnosed as having pre diabetes.


Pre Diabetic Blood Sugar Levels


In order to keep weight and blood sugar levels down, some foods should be avoided. According to the ADA, in a pre diabetic diet, the daily requirements for calcium should come from high-quality protein. Fat-fee or non-fat yogurt, soy milk, and non-fat or 1 percent milk are healthy sources of calcium. Don’t eat foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol and that contain a large amount of sugar or salt. Fruit juices should also be eliminated in a diet for a pre diabetic.


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