Pre-Diabetes Management

Healthy diet is a way to avoid diabetes

Diabetes is becoming increasingly common. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 29% of people are affected by either diabetes or pre-diabetes in their lifetime. As we age, we are also more likely to be diagnosed. This week, we discuss what pre-diabetes is and what you can do to prevent pre-diabetes from turning into Type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a state where your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It is a warning sign that your body gives to let you know you’re at risk. The Canadian Diabetes Association suggests people start screening for blood glucose levels every few years after age 40.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the patient cannot process glucose (sugar in the blood). This can occur either because the person has an inability to produce an adequate amount of insulin (a hormone which enables the cells of the body to absorb sugar), or because the individual’s cells are non-responsive (resistant) to insulin.

For those who have been diagnosed as pre-diabetes, it is important to know that if you take the proper steps to manage your blood glucose levels, you can delay or prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. Here are some suggestions below.

Planning your Meals and Managing your Diet

A health conscious diet is one of the primary ways of managing blood glucose levels. There are a few important principles to know when planning your meals:

  • What you eat matters. Carbohydrates tend to enter the blood stream at a quicker rate (thus raising your blood sugars) than proteins and fats.
  • There are good carbs and bad carbs. Learning which ones to stay away from can really improve blood sugar levels. As a general rule, processed, refined carbs (like white breads, pasta, and baked goods) will raise blood sugar levels more than whole carbs (like whole grain products and starchy vegetables).
  • Meals need to be balanced and well paced. Eating too many sugars or carbohydrates at once can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Make sure to bulk up meals with good fats and lean protein foods.

Learn about the Glycemic Index (GI)
The glycemic index is an indicator of how much a certain food will raise your blood sugar levels. It is a useful tool to help plan your meals. 100 is the index for pure glucose (the sugar the body uses) to enter the blood stream (which happens almost instantly. In contrast, something that wouldn’t affect blood sugar at all (like water) would be 0. To learn more about GI, and the foods with high GI, visit

Regular Exercise
Something as simple as a walk after meals can vastly improve your blood glucose levels. When we consume food, our bodies break the food down into glucose for the body to use, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. If you go for a walk after eating, your body will use the glucose and your blood sugar will come back down.

Monitor Your Blood Glucose Levels
For those who are just at the brink of developing diabetes, it may be beneficial to monitor your blood glucose levels. Monitoring blood glucose levels requires a blood glucose monitor (a small machine to tell you your blood sugar), testing strips, and a lancet to help get a drop of blood from your fingertip. For more information, visit
You can record your blood sugar levels in a blood sugar diary, which you can then show to your doctor to help determine how you’re doing, and what dietary or lifestyle factors may be influencing your sugars.

With good choices, you can control your pre-diabetes and make sure that it doesn’t turn into anything more serious. In addition, you’ll feel healthier too!