How to Reverse Prediabetes and Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Learn about the symptoms, risks, and techniques for reversing prediabetes

Tania Sultana
By Tania Sultana
Jovan Mijailovic
Edited by Jovan Mijailovic

Published March 6, 2024.

A table topped with foods that reverse prediabetes.

Prediabetes is a state where the blood glucose levels remain high but don't cross the threshold for diagnosis. By staying in this state for too long, you risk progressing to type 2 diabetes, which can lead to risks like cardiovascular disease. [1]

This article will explore how you can work toward a healthier life, from recognizing subtle prediabetes symptoms and understanding diagnosis methods to learning dietary tips for prevention.

Prediabetes symptoms

Prediabetes is often asymptomatic, but some people can experience:

  • Increased thirst [2]
  • Frequent infections [2]
  • Slow-healing wounds [3]
  • Fatigue [2]
  • Blurred vision [4]
  • Dark, thick, and velvety patches of skin, known as acanthosis nigricans [5]

Some women may experience additional prediabetes symptoms like longer periods, urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness, and lower sex drive. [6]

» Want to prevent type 2 diabetes? Learn why insulin is the key to metabolism


Prediabetes is diagnosed through impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). According to one review which looked at over 7,000 publications, the global prevalence of IGT in 2021 was 9.1% and is projected to increase to 10% by 2045. For IFG tests in the same year, the prevalence was 5.8%. [7]

The American Diabetes Association also considers the A1c test. It checks for blood glucose levels over the past three months, showing percentages in the results. A normal prediabetes A1c range is below 5.7%. [8]

Activities to reverse prediabetes

Physical activity can cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in high-risk populations. Stress can also be a contributor to and consequence of it, so management strategies like like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help. [9, 10]

How long does it take to reverse prediabetes?

There's no definite timeline for when your prediabetes will be reversed. The progress of reversal depends on your consistency, commitment, motivation, response to treatment, and severity of the condition.

Checking your HbA1c regularly also helps your doctor track the progress in managing prediabetes, which can keep you motivated to reach your goals, potentially helping you avoid medication in the long run.

» Gain insight into blood tests and their impact on your longevity

Foods to reverse prediabetes

Try the following foods to achieve a healthy diet and manage your blood sugar levels:

  • Whole grain and high-fiber fruits and foods like brown rice, quinoa, beans, and peas are potent sources of fiber. They slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which can prevent glucose spikes after a meal. [11]
  • Lean proteins like chicken, fish, tofu, and lentils can stabilize glucose levels if taken moderately. [12]
  • Polyunsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, fish, and eggs can positively affect insulin sensitivity, reducing the chance of type 2 diabetes. [13]

Consider limiting the following foods in your diet to reverse prediabetes:

  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice, and pasta can make it harder for the body to use insulin; a hormone that helps to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. [14]
  • Saturated fats like fried dishes, butter, cream, and lard can cause insulin resistance—a precursor to type 2 diabetes. [13]

» Read more about how carbohydrates affect your health

Taking control of your health

A consistent healthy lifestyle is integral in reversing prediabetes. It involves a personalized diet, medications, and exercise. Visit a healthcare professional regularly to track your blood sugar levels, weight changes, and other symptoms.

You can also use InsideTracker to measure a variety of biomarkers associated with metabolism—including glucose, insulin, and HbA1c. By using InsideTracker, you can establish a healthy baseline and identify areas where you need improvement.

InsideTracker doesn't treat and diagnose medical conditions. If you have any health concerns, visit a qualified healthcare professional.