Skip to content

Making nutrition science understandable, realistic and delicious.

To Reverse Prediabetes, Start Now!

Prediabetes is NOT pre-problem!

Statistically speaking, there’s a pretty good chance that you or someone you care a lot about has prediabetes. About 1/3 of adults in the US have it. And very unfortunately, statistically speaking, you might have prediabetes and not even know it! A whopping 84 million American adults have prediabetes and only about 12% are aware that they have it.

Eating healthfully, which includes lots of vegetables is one way to help reverse prediabetes.

Cleaning up your diet and eating lots of veggies is one strategy to stop prediabetes.

The best time to reverse prediabetes – or to stop its progression – is today!

Prediabetes is not pre-problem

Prediabetes must be taken seriously. I think it’s frequently ignored because of what it’s called: prediabetes. “Pre” sounds harmless – like before something happens or before the problem. But prediabetes isn’t harmless. It’s actually a sign that a problem has been going on for some time. Before blood sugar levels rose to the threshold of prediabetes, insulin resistance or loss of insulin production or both were going on for sometime.

Here’s how prediabetes and type 2 diabetes develop.

  1. Normal blood sugar levels in an abnormal state. In this earliest stage of the problem, no one is the wiser because blood tests are normal. But because certain cells of the body are resistant to the effects of insulin, the beta cells of the pancreas send out extra insulin to move sugar out of the blood and into the cells. The result is higher-than-normal insulin levels with normal blood sugar levels. There’s more insulin secreted, so it gets the job done. This extra insulin tamps blood sugar down to the normal level, but this is not a normal, healthy state.
  2. Prediabetes. The beta-cells of the pancreas aren’t able to release enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. For many people, genetic factors cause the beta-cells to break down.
  3. Type 2 diabetes. The beta-cells continue to fail, and the pancreas can’t keep up with the demands. The amount of insulin available isn’t enough to keep blood sugar levels down, so they rise even higher.

So now you see that prediabetes didn’t just come out of the blue. It’s actually a sign that a problem has been going on for some time. Prediabetes likely developed gradually over years because of beta-cell failure and insulin resistance. Prediabetes is your wake-up call that type 2 diabetes is on the horizon – unless you make changes.

Without lifestyle changes, 37% of people with prediabetes are likely to progress to full blown type 2 diabetes within 4 years and most will have the diagnosis within 10 years.

How Prediabetes & Diabetes are Diagnosed

TestPrediabetesDiabetes
Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)100 - 125 mg/dl> 126 mg/dl
2-hour OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test)140 - 199 mg/dl> 200 mg/dl
Random plasma glucose in an individual with symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst and urinationNot done to diagnose prediabetes> 200 mg/dl
A1C (an indicator of your average blood glucose level over the past three months)5.7 - 6.4 %> 6.5%

Why you want to reverse prediabetes today.

fight prediabetes by walking your dog

What a great way to fight prediabetes!/© Can Stock Photo / halfpoint

Prediabetes is more than a blood sugar problem.

Like diabetes, prediabetes is defined by blood sugar levels. And because of this, many people aren’t aware that both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are metabolic disorders that affect organs throughout the body. Measuring blood sugar levels is how we identify the problem and watch the progression. But there’s a lot more going on. Other problems associated with insulin resistance include blood vessel dysfunction, fatty liver, chronic inflammation and increased risks for heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.

Prediabetes is more than just a blood sugar problem. Here are 6 ways to put a stop to it. Click To Tweet

Prediabetes can be stoppedPrediabetes: A Complete Guide

Your greatest opportunity to reverse prediabetes is today. Every day that window of opportunity closes ever so slightly because of progressive loss of beta-cell function.  There are lots of things you can do to halt the progression of prediabetes and possibly even reverse it. Heck that’s why I wrote Prediabetes: A Complete Guide. But here are 6 strategies to get you started.

healthy breakfast oats and lentils

Surprise! This bowl of yum has both oats & lentils for your lifestyle reset. And health-boosting spices too!

  1. Clean up your diet. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), higher intakes of nuts, berries, yogurt, coffee, and tea are associated with reduced diabetes risk. But red meats and sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. So that sounds like a good place to start: get rid of sugary drinks, cut back on red meats (yes, you still get to enjoy them) and include nuts, berries, yogurt, tea and coffee regularly.
  2. Trade up on carb-rich foods. It’s very common for people with prediabetes to jump to the conclusion that they need to avoid carbohydrates. But the very foods that fight disease are often the ones rich in carbohydrates. Don’t give up carb-containing foods. Instead trade in toaster pastries for whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Swap snack crackers for fruit. Replace breakfast bars with oatmeal. A few carb-rich foods that are especially good choices are these: oats, barley, fruit, lentils and beans. Much more on this in future posts. Add these 7 foods to your prediabetes shopping list.
  3. Trim calories. Not everyone with prediabetes carries extra weight. But if you do, cutting back even a little can make a difference. At the very least, aim to prevent further weight gain.
  4. Get to bed on time. Studies suggest that sleep deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity. I know from personal experience that short sleeping makes me cranky and less motivated to use my time and energy for self care.
  5. Be active. Every single time you exercise, you improve insulin sensitivity. Yes, I mean that. Every Single Time!!
  6. Get up. The ADA tells us to break up long periods of sitting with 3-minute activity breaks every 30 minutes. Stand up from your desk each time you sip your water or coffee. Do some push ups against the wall. Walk while talking on the phone. You’ll be able to come up with a lot of suitable ideas once you put some thought to it. Here’s how to Get Out of that Chair!

Check out Prediabetes: A Complete Guide, where you’ll find your individualized prediabetes action plan so you can reverse prediabetes and prevent type diabetes.

Don’t wait for your next blood sugar test and hope for the best. Get started now on your own lifestyle reset.

Jill-Weisenberger_about-image-2
Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.

Leave a Reply

12 Comments

  1. Whitney E, R.D. on June 4, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this, spreading awareness and sharing your wealth of information + knowledge on this very important subject. Your six strategies are wonderful and everyone should be putting them to use 🙂

    • Jill Weisenberger on June 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks Whitney! It’s so important for people to take prediabetes seriously. But isn’t it great to know that there are lifestyle solutions!

  2. Emily Cooper on June 6, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Great post Jill! Love how you break it down into simple and attainable steps for everyone!

    • Jill Weisenberger on June 7, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you! My goal is to empower people with prediabetes and diabetes. There are so many ways to intervene and get better control of our health.

  3. Sara on June 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Such an important topic to talk about! Great information here – thanks so much for sharing it!

    • Jill Weisenberger on June 7, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. Together we can spread the word that there is so much we can do to prevent type 2 diabetes.

  4. Amy Gorin on June 7, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    This is some great info. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jill Weisenberger on June 7, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you!

  5. Catherine Brown on June 9, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I’m reading your book now Jill, and must say I Iove the layout as much as the easy-to-absorb information. These six steps above are so important. As a full-time student, I still struggle with number 6 but am making progress. Thank you for sharing your knowledge in a way that is easily accessible to many.

    • Jill Weisenberger on June 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      I hear ya! There’s a whole chapter devoted to number 6. I bet you can use it and your creativity to find workable solutions. Keep me updated on your progress. And thanks for the very kind words about the book!

  6. Diabetes Healing on November 27, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Great post! Thank you for the insightful article. I would like to include a little bit more information that long-term hyperglycemia during diabetes causes chronic damage and dysfunction of various tissues, especially the eyes, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, and nerves.

    • Jill Weisenberger on November 30, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Indeed it does! In fact, even people with prediabetes sometime develop these problems.

Leave a Comment





Jill's Books

Welcome to my Blog

Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.

Dietspotlight Top Pro 2017-18

Connect With Jill

info@jillweisenberger.com
p. 757 969 8385
11747 Jefferson Avenue Suite 1-B
Newport News, VA 23606

Dietspotlight Top Pro 2017-18