What types of food should a borderline diabetic eat to keep from being on medication?

I want to begin by addressing the term “borderline diabetes”. This term is often used to describe blood sugar that is higher than normal, but not yet in the official diabetic range. It is not considered a medically acceptable term and in 2002 the new term “pre-diabetes” was given to replace “borderline diabetes”. Those that are pre-diabetic may already be experiencing some negative health effects and do need to take action in improving their lifestyle.

Diet plays an important role in managing weight and reducing risk of diabetes. Before discussing foods to eat, check to see if you are at a healthy weight for your height. If you have been told that you are overweight, there is a helpful calculator found on the Healthy Balance website that is called “desirable body weight calculator”. Determine your healthy body weight. A weekly weight loss goal of 1-2 pounds is recommended if you are overweight. Next, take a close look at your diet. You may wish to complete a 3-day food journal, recording everything you eat and drink (with amounts consumed) and approximate times of day. Try to include notes as to how you were feeling during times that you eat, or how hungry you were when you started the meal. I would make an appointment with a registered dietitian to review the journal; if this is not possible, examine your journal for areas of improvement. Look for consumption of empty calories like soda, candy, sugary snacks and try to replace them with water/low sugar fruit juice and naturally sweet foods like fresh fruit. For example, if you find you are ravenous at 3:00pm each day and are gorging on sugar-filled foods, plan ahead by packing a snack. A cup of low fat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit or a high fiber granola bar may help to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Overall, following a balanced diet including fresh fruit/vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low fat dairy can help you to avoid being on medication for diabetes. Try to limit foods high in sugar and fat and stick to the suggested portion size on the label. Cut back on high calorie snacks like potato chips, ice cream, and cookies. The substitution of high fiber foods for those that are refined can also help to control blood sugar: whole wheat bread for white bread, brown rice for white rice, whole wheat pasta for regular pasta, and bran flakes for corn flakes.

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