Diane May Nutrition Blog

What To Do If You You Have Prediabetes

March 12th, 2016

If you have been diagnosed with pre diabetes, it is important to know what to do.  New research published in the Journal Of The American Board Of Family Medicine  found that pre diabetes has been under diagnosed and leads to missed opportunities  to teach people about important lifestyle modifications that they can and should make to help prevent diabetes.  Most people with pre diabetes have no symptoms, so it is important to get these numbers checked at your physical and to know your numbers. Who is at greatest risk of developing pre diabetes?

  • People age 45 or older
  • African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islanders
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • Are overweight
  • Physically inactive
  • Have high blood pressure or if you take medicine for high blood pressure
  • Have low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
  • Are a woman who had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • Have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

There are a number of ways to diagnose pre diabetes, but I will use A1C  and fasting glucose for this discussion.  The A1C test measures glucose control over a three month period.  This test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Red blood cells are constantly being created and are dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Therefor, the A1C test shows the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. These are the numbers you need to know:

  • Normal A1C- less than 5.7%
  • Pre diabetes- 5.7%-6.4%
  • Diabetes- 6.5% or higher

You should also know that your fasting glucose should be under 100 mg/dl.  If your fasting glucose is 100-125mg/dl you are at risk.

Having pre diabetes does NOT mean you are destined to develop diabetes as long as you make the appropriate lifestyle changes. So what can you do?

  • Lose 5-10% of your total body weight if you are overweight.  Getting to a healthy weight is the greatest thing you can do to prevent the onset of diabetes. Eating a low fat, heart healthy diet and removing refined carbohydrates is a great lifestyle choice. A Registered Dietitian can assist with diet planning.
  • Move your body. Moderate exercise such as walking for 30-60 minutes a day five days a week can make a huge difference. Choose activities you enjoy such as dancing, swimming, tennis-just move!
  • If you are at high risk, your physician might prescribe Metformin (Glucophage) to assist in reducing the risk of developing diabetes. Metformin is a medication that makes insulin work better.

Healthy lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 58%.  Feel empowered to make positive changes that will have a lifelong impact on your quality of life!

Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas

From EatingWell:  March/April 2009



Makes: 6 servings, about 1 cup each


Active Time: 50 minutes


Total Time: 50 minutes


12 ounces dry sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or dry bay scallops (see Note)


Bay Scallops Regular

4 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari, or soy sauce, divided

4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well (see Tip)

2 teaspoons grated or minced garlic

3 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced snow peas, (1/2 inch thick)

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish



Toss scallops with 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce) in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place a large, high-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until the quinoa begins to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Do not stir.) Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in snow peas, cover and let stand for 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons canola oil, the remaining 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce), vinegar and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and snow peas, scallions and bell pepper; toss to combine.

Remove the scallops from the marinade and pat dry. Heat a large skillet over medium-high until hot enough to evaporate a drop of water upon contact. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil and cook the scallops, turning once, until golden and just firm, about 2 minutes total. Gently stir the scallops into the quinoa salad. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.


Note: Be sure to buy “dry” scallops, which are scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP. Scallops that have been treated with STP (“wet” scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are mushy, less flavorful and won’t brown properly.

Tip: Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.


Per serving: 326 calories; 15 g fat (1 g sat, 8 g mono); 19 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 4 g fiber; 713 mg sodium; 511 mg potassium.


Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (35% daily value), Magnesium (31% dv), Folate (25% dv), Iron (15% dv).