There are a number of ways to approach your how your diet plan whether you need to stop pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome or not. Nutrientology is geared toward people with prediabetes so we approach nutrition from a lower carbohydrate perspective.
One dietary approach may work for some, and another way for others. Try to find the approach that best suits your personality and lifestyle. For example, some people may like the numbers-approach behind the calorie-counting or gram-counting method, but this is not suitable for everyone, is not typically needed if you are eating the proper food, and is not usually sustainable over time.
Using a “counting approach” for a while can be helpful to learn the calorie and macronutrient content of foods. Over the long-term a more qualitative approach can usually be used by most people.
People with prediabetes-metabolic syndrome by definition have at least some degree of carbohydrate intolerance. Learn what your tolerance level is. Stay in touch with Nutrientology for more information on this topic.
People with pre-diabetes should at least initially count carbs. As above, if you have one of these conditions, then by definition you have an intolerance to carbohydrate foods, especially refined carbohydrates. Carbohydrates directly break down into glucose (sugar), and have the greatest impact on your blood glucose level.
If you know how many carbohydrates you have eaten, you will have a good idea how your glucose level may rise. Nutrientology generally advocates a lower-carbohydrate ancestral diet as the best approach to health, especially for the pre-diabetic and diabetic readers of the site that, by definition, have a metabolism that does not tolerate carbohydrate foods.
It is not only helpful to limit carbs, but time the amount of carbohydrates eaten for some consistency each day, especially if you take any prediabetes medications. Otherwise, your blood glucose level may fluctuate more. It is usually best to eat carbohydrate foods after some form of physical activity. Some prediabetics may be put on a “blood sugar drug.” Talk to your doctor about how long it takes your medicine to start working after you take it.
Regarding carb-counting, some diet experts say there are so-called “free foods.” This is food that you can eat without necessarily adding to your carbohydrate count. They define a free food or drink as one that has less than 20 calories (less than 5 grams) of carbohydrate per serving. You should spread out eating any free foods throughout the day, but not too much. They can add up. Bouillon can be especially helpful in preventing the low sodium level that may occur when you start a limited carb diet – Often when you start eating this way, you will lose a lot of water weight, and sodium tends to “go along for the ride” when you use the bathroom.
Examples of free foods:
- Bouillon or broth
- Carbonated or mineral water
- Club soda
- Coffee or tea
- Diet soft drinks
- Drink mixes, sugar-free
- Tonic water, sugar-free
- Sugar-free hard candy
- Sugar-free Jell-O
- Sugar-free gum
- Sugar free jam 2 tsp.
- Sugar free syrup, 2 tsp.
Some people who have prediabetes use the glycemic index to select foods, especially carbohydrates. Foods with a high glycemic index are associated with greater sudden increase in blood sugar than are foods with a low glycemic index. People who eat low glycemic index foods tend to have lower total body fat levels. People who eat a lot of high glycemic index foods often have higher levels of body fat, as measured by the body mass index (BMI)…stay in touch with Nutrientology for more information on this topic.
There is not necessarily one dietary approach for all, but it is safe to say that people with prediabetes should pay special attention to their quality and quantity of carbohydrate intake, and keep it on the lower end of the spectrum.
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Foods To Avoid
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Follow the Nutrientology blog for more information and discussion regarding diet and dietary research including dietary supplementation.