Several risk factors indicate prediabetes, also known as metabolic syndrome. All of these factors pave the way toward insulin and metabolic problems if you do not make the proper lifestyle changes necessary to control them. Of these changes, dietary awareness is one of the most fundamental.
If you are fighting prediabetes, be judicious when planning snacks and meals. Stay away from refined sugars and soft drinks, focusing instead on low glycemic index carbohydrates. The “glycemic index” is a scale that measures different foods according to the length of time they take to break down into sugar during digestion. As in all aspects of health, balance is key, so foods that are low on the glycemic index scale—meaning they will not cause your blood sugar to rapidly rise and then crash—are always the best choices. Low glycemic foods include high-fiber fruits and vegetables, some whole wheat pastas and breads, and most nuts, while foods that you should limit or avoid include sugary cereals, high-sugar fruits, white enriched pastas or bread, parsnips, white potatoes, and most juices. Suitable replacements are whole-grains, fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—including those that provide high levels of omega-3 fats, such as wild salmon and avocado. Of course, decreasing caloric intake by reducing portion sizes will encourage healthy weight loss, which also helps to improve metabolic abnormalities.
Exercise also plays a major role in reversing prediabetes. If you do not already exercise, start with moderate walking for 10-15 minutes every day and gradually increase your walking pace and length of time to meet your fitness level. Eventually, you want to aim for a brisk 30- to 60-minute walk at least five days a week—a routine that will not only help with weight loss, but will improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while reducing your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Adequate sleep is also critical, as recent research reveals that disrupted sleep patterns contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The same goes for chronic stress, which increases your levels of the hormone, cortisol, so find the solution for stress relief that works for you and engage in your stress-relieving activity as often as needed.
Last but not least, nutritional supplements can make a genuine difference. There are a variety of nutrients, herbs and botanicals that may help, both individually and in combination with one another. For more healthy ways to control your blood glucose levels, download a complimentary wellness guide at www.dreliaz.org/metabolic-report.