Finding out you have pre-diabetes can be overwhelming. Not only is it scary, but you'll have to also come to terms with the lifestyle changes that will need to occur. Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes means that your blood sugar levels are too high, usually due to your body not processing sugar in the same way that it used to.
Thankfully, these changes really can make all the difference. According to Mayo Clinic, it is possible to reverse pre-diabetes—meaning it doesn't always have to lead to type 2 diabetes. All it takes is making a few lifestyle changes.
Part of reversing this diagnosis is maintaining a healthy weight, including more physical activity, and changing your diet. In order to learn more about some helpful diet changes, we spoke to a few dietitians on a few drinking habits to practice in order to reverse pre-diabetes. Then, for more tips on pre-diabetes, make sure to check out 6 Best Recipes to Make If You're Pre-Diabetic.
Increase your water intake.
Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is helpful for reversing pre-diabetes, as well as maintaining good health overall.
"Increasing your water intake can help to reverse prediabetes in two primary ways," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements. "One, you are likely replacing sugar-laden beverages, like sodas and juice, with water. This will significantly cut down on the amount of sugar and empty calories you take in throughout the day. Second, water helps to stabilize and control blood sugar, which will lead to fewer spikes and long-term highs, which inevitably results in a lower A1c and overall blood glucose."
Drink your coffee black.
You may want to think twice if you're someone who enjoys specialty coffee drinks or adding a ton of cream and sugar to your cup.
"Black coffee doesn't necessarily improve blood glucose, but cutting out the sugar and cream you are likely using can," says Best. "This simple step, which may feel big at the moment, can significantly cut down on your blood sugar spikes and overall highs. For many, losing a few pounds can also improve their insulin resistance and lower their A1c, so by cutting out the empty calories found in sugar and creamers, you can also aid in reversing prediabetes in this way."
Choose sparkling water instead of soda.
There's nothing good to be said about drinking soda. It's loaded with empty calories and sugar, and regular consumption of soda has been known to increase the risk of disease, including diabetes.
In fact, research has shown that those who drink soda on a daily basis can increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 26%.
"Cutting out soda is one of the easiest lifestyle changes to make in order to reverse your prediabetes diagnosis," says Best. "This beverage is filled with sugar and empty calories that only lead to glucose spikes and weight gain, both of which contribute to prediabetes. By replacing soda with carbonated or flavored water, you will be taking a step in reversing your prediabetes diagnosis."
Add apple cider vinegar to water.
Along with changing your diet and exercise routine, you can use apple cider vinegar to help manage your blood sugar levels before you eat.
"Drinking apple cider vinegar in your water before you eat may help stabilize your blood sugar after eating," says Andrea Memon, RDN, CD, LD. "One meta-analysis on the effects of vinegar consumption on glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus showed that vinegar consumption resulted in 'significantly better fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels.'"
Limit sugary alcohol consumption.
If you've been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are too high. Because of this, you'll want to watch your sugar intake as much as possible, including the beverages you consume.
"Cocktails and mixed drinks can be full of sugar, which means that a night out can cause a sugar overload just from drinking," says Allison Gross, RDN and founder of 4Q Method. "If you really want a cocktail, try limiting yourself to just one."