Insulin resistance, which often has no outward symptoms, is a hallmark of both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. When muscle, fat and liver cells ignore insulin’s signals, blood sugar levels rise. Diabetes doesn't develop overnight: Insulin resistance with normal blood sugar levels is usually the first step. Without lifestyle changes, that often proceeds to prediabetes. That means you have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. If blood sugar continues to rise, though, you likely will develop diabetes within 10 years.

 

Avocado, not cheese.

Both offer taste and texture to a salad or sandwich, but avocado is rich in health-boosting unsaturated fats, whereas cheese has saturated fats associated with insulin resistance.

 

Olive and canola oils, not butter.

No, butter, which is loaded with saturated fat, is not back--especially when it comes to managing diabetes. Sauté vegetables in olive oil or non-GMO canola oil instead, and swap out 4 tablespoons of butter for 3 tablespoons of oil in baking.

 

Barley, not white rice.

This superstar grain is rich in beta-glucan, a fiber that helps your body use insulin better.

 

Oats, not cornflakes.

Oats also provide beta-glucan, which helps you use insulin and process glucose.

 

Cinnamon, not sugar.

Some studies suggest that this sweet spice improves glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, include lots of herbs and spices in your diet. Like other plants, they contain a treasure trove of disease-fighting phytochemicals.

Know your risk!

How much are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? Take the test.