Expert Q&A: Safe Foods for Pre-Diabetes
Q: What foods are safe to eat for people with pre-diabetes?
A: It's not that any foods are really "unsafe" to eat if you have pre-diabetes or insulin resistance. It's simply that some food choices are better than others for blood sugar control and overall health. If your insulin works less effectively than it could or should, then your body will have to overproduce insulin to lower any elevations in your blood sugars. In that case, it makes sense to avoid or limit your intake of foods that are likely to cause blood glucose spikes, such as anything "white," including products or foods made with white flour, white sugar, white rice, and white, processed potatoes. Refined foods like these are very easy for your body to break down and release into your bloodstream as glucose (the main sugar in blood), so they increase your blood sugar rapidly and cause large spikes. By way of comparison, most protein-based foods like broiled chicken, egg whites, most dairy products, and nuts have little or no impact on your blood sugars at all. Eating a less refined diet that contains a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains (in limited amounts), nuts, and healthy protein sources is the best way to keep your blood sugars and insulin levels under control.
Sheri Colberg, PhD, is an exercise physiologist and professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as adjunct professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Having earned a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, she continues to conduct extensive clinical research in diabetes, exercise, aging, and disease prevention with funding from the American Diabetes Association and others. She is the author of eight books, including The Science of Staying Young, and of over 175 research and educational articles. In addition, she has more than 40 years' worth of experience as a (type 1) diabetic exerciser and person living well with diabetes. More information about her books, articles, and more is available at www.shericolberg.com.
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Ice Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
- 2. Can Inactivity Act Like a Disease?
- 3. Kale Snack Recipe for Diabetics
- 4. How Running Affects Arthritis
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.