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Jun 16 2023

Prediabetes? Six ways a dietician can help

June 16, 2023  /   Nutrition  /   4-minute read

Prediabetes is a very common medical condition affecting around 96 million American adults, that’s one in every three people. In Minnesota, that means up to 1.5 million people may have prediabetes. 

Being diagnosed with prediabetes, however, can be viewed as an opportunity to make positive changes to your lifestyle and prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. It’s alarming that over 80% of those who have prediabetes are unaware of their condition, making it crucial to get tested regularly.

So if you, or someone you love, have been diagnosed with prediabetes, know that you are definitely not alone. And you are not alone on your road to better health. A dietitian can provide valuable, practical guidance to help you improve your overall well-being and avoid developing diabetes.

What exactly is prediabetes?

With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. While not all individuals with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes, almost everyone with type 2 diabetes starts out with prediabetes. Early treatment and moderate lifestyle changes can help some individuals return their blood sugar levels to normal, preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes. For some, prediabetes can even be reversed entirely through proper management and healthy habits.

Do not be fooled. The “pre” in “prediabetes” may make it sound less severe. Still, prediabetes actually increases your risk of developing not only diabetes but also heart disease and stroke. The connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease has been well-established by experts for some time now, with cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death among individuals with diabetes.

The role of a dietician in managing prediabetes

A dietician, sometimes called a registered dietician nutritionist, can play an integral role in managing prediabetes effectively. They provide tailored advice on dietary modifications for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. They also educate patients about appropriate portion sizes based on individual needs, which helps prevent overeating, another contributing factor towards obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Melissa Merrick, RD, LD, a registered dietician at Welia Health, offers patients encouragement and practical resources for success, “Take control of your health and prevent prediabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Stay active, eat well, and manage stress to reduce risk.”

  1. Personalized Nutrition Plan
    Dieticians can help you develop a personalized nutrition plan based on your specific needs and preferences. They can provide guidance on healthy food choices, portion sizes, and meal planning. They can also help you adjust your macronutrient ratios, which is the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you consume daily. For example, research shows that reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing protein intake may help to improve blood sugar control in people with prediabetes. A dietician can help you to implement these changes in a healthy and sustainable way.
  1. Education on Diet and Nutrition
    Dieticians can also educate you on the importance of a healthy diet and how it can help you manage prediabetes. They can teach you how to read food labels, make healthier choices when dining out, and prepare healthy meals at home. Their expertise can empower you to make informed decisions about the foods you eat and help you to understand why certain foods may be beneficial or detrimental to your health.
  1. Support and Accountability
    Changing your diet and lifestyle can be challenging, but having a dietician to support and hold you accountable can make all the difference. They can provide ongoing support, encouragement, and motivation to help you stay on track and achieve your health goals. Additionally, they can help you to navigate any obstacles or challenges that may arise and develop strategies to overcome them.
  1. Monitoring and Adjustment
    Dieticians can monitor your progress and make adjustments to your nutrition plan as needed. They can help you to interpret blood glucose and other lab results, and adjust your plan accordingly. Additionally, they can track your weight, blood pressure, and other health parameters to ensure you are equipped with everything you need to improve your overall health.
  1. Lifestyle Modifications
    In addition to changes to your diet, a dietician may recommend lifestyle adjustments such as stress management techniques or sleep improvement methods that positively impact overall health and support better glycemic control.
  1. Long-Term Success
    Working with a dietician can help you to establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. They can help you develop a positive relationship with food and break free from restrictive diets and unhealthy eating patterns. Plus, the knowledge and skills you gain from working with a dietician can empower you to make healthier choices for years to come.

Take the next step

If you have prediabetes, don’t wait until it’s too late to take action. Working with a dietician can be one of the most effective ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. By creating a personalized nutrition plan, educating you on diet and nutrition, providing support and accountability, monitoring your progress, making other lifestyle modifications, and helping you to ultimately achieve long-term success, a dietician can guide you to a healthier future. 

Take that next step in the right direction and schedule an appointment with a Welia Health dietician today. 

Learn more

Curious and want to learn more? We invite you to attend our Prediabetes Education class for a crash course on everything you need to know about living healthy with prediabetes. Classes are scheduled twice a year.

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