There are many ways to help prevent the onset of prediabetes and diabetes. Making healthy lifestyle changes, including losing weight and getting regular exercise, is a great place to start. The good news is that weight loss and other healthy lifestyle changes have been found to be more effective than medications for reversing many cases of prediabetes and diabetes. So if you’re following the South Beach Diet, you’re taking the right steps.
To help fight prediabetes (and prevent type 2 diabetes), follow these South Beach Diet smart-eating guidelines:
- Starting on Phase 2, eat plenty of whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, wild rice, bulgur, slow-cooking oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, and 100% whole-grain bread. Enjoy beans and other legumes frequently (on all Phases).
- Enjoy plenty of vegetables, prepared using healthy cooking methods such as steaming, sautéing, or grilling. Avoid buttery or creamy sauces and use extra-virgin olive oil instead.
- Consume whole, fresh fruits like berries, apples, and/or citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruit halves (starting on Phase 2). Avoid canned or jarred fruits with added sweeteners or syrups.
- Include nonfat or low-fat dairy in your diet, such as fat-free or low-fat milk, plain or artificially sweetened low-fat soy milk, and nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt. Starting on Phase 2, you may add 4 ounces per day of artificially sweetened low-fat or nonfat flavored yogurt.
- Focus on lean proteins, like skinless poultry or turkey breast, and lean cuts of meat, as well as fish and shellfish. Use healthy cooking methods, such as baking, roasting, broiling, steaming, or grilling.
- Avoid saturated fats and trans fats; instead, choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, found in olive oil and canola oil, for example, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish like salmon and sardines, soybeans, flaxseed, and walnuts.