Did you know that dietary strategies can help improve your blood sugar control and reverse pre diabetes? It’s never too late to make these improvements without the nudge by your local GP and the support of an Accredited Practising Dietitian
Here are our top 3 nutrition strategies to help reduce insulin resistance:
Strategy 1: Eat quality carbohydrates
As human’s, we all enjoy some simple carbohydrates like chips, lollies and chocolate on any given day but unfortunately these have a negative impact on our blood sugar levels when eaten in excess or if they regularly replace healthy options.
These types of foods have a high Glycaemic Index (GI) meaning that they break down quickly to release sugar into the bloodstream at a more rapid rate than other complex carbohydrates.
Our advice is to choose a diet that includes low GI foods which cause a gentle, steady rise and eventual fall in blood sugar levels.
Choosing quality carbohydrates:
· Reduces insulin levels and insulin resistance (the inability of the body to effectively clear sugar/glucose from the blood)
· Promotes feelings of fullness, supporting the maintenance of a healthy weight
· Provides a continuous supply of energy which impacts mood, motivation, cognition and food selection
· Prevents sugar “highs” and “lows” which can increase the likely hood of insulin resistance progressing on to diabetes.
Examples of low GI foods are sweet potato, wholegrain bread, legumes and honey but a Dietitian can individualise a diet with smart and enjoyable swaps that work well with a client’s lifestyle and food preferences.
Strategy 2: Control the quantity of carbohydrates that you eat
It is not true that an individual with pre-diabetes should avoid carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and provide many other essential micronutrients for optimal body function. As a result, portion controlled amounts of carbohydrates spread throughout meals and snacks across the day is the best way to manage blood sugar/glucose levels.
Counting carbohydrate exchanges is one way of monitoring the amount of carbohydrate eaten evert meal. A carbohydrate exchange is an amount of food that contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrate. Different carbohydrate foods can be ‘exchanged’ for one another so that a similar amount of carbohydrate is consumed daily in both meals and snacks.
Dietitians educate with exchange food lists and personalise examples for daily intake based off what a client is already eating.
Strategy 3: Eat a balanced diet
Apart from focusing on carbohydrates, looking at the overall balance of dietary choices is super important in the management of pre-diabetes as well as for the prevention other chronic health conditions such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
A meal plate should be composed of a quality carbohydrate, lean protein source, lots of colourful vegetables and a healthy fat source at both lunch and dinner. This will further help regulate blood sugar control by slowing down digestion and preventing post meal blood sugar spikes.
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