Proper diet is essential after a pre-diabetes diagnosis, both in promoting health and avoiding progression into diabetes.
It is imperative that patients discuss necessary diet modifications with their doctor immediately following a pre-diabetes diagnosis to get on the right track as quickly as possible.
Many patients benefit from referral to nutritional services, so they can work with dietitians to create individualized meal plans that work for them. One key factor for pre-diabetic patients in maintaining a proper diet is monitoring their carbohydrate intake.
Pre-diabetes patients are encouraged to incorporate more low-carb foods such as non-starchy vegetables and protein from lean meats and less high-carb foods, such as starches into their diets. Portion control also plays an important role in a healthy diet.
The serving size is the most important part of food labels; always check the serving size of food items, and portion meals accordingly. Using measuring cups when preparing meals can be an extremely helpful tool for pre-diabetes patients to properly monitor carbohydrate intake.
Follow the “My Plate” method when preparing meals by filling half a medium size plate with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter of the plate with lean protein and the other quarter with a starch.
Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care physicians, endocrinologists, dieticians and other related medical professionals dedicated to educating the community about pre-diabetes, how it relates and/or progresses into diabetes and providing individualized treatment to improve the health and quality of life of their patients.
Jenifer Kayan is a registered dietician at Cone Health’s Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, N.C.
Jenifer graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nutritional sciences from University of Connecticut in 2008 and completed a dietetic internship at East Carolina University in 2009.