Understanding all the complexities surrounding diabetes can be a challenge. While diabetes cannot be cured, it can be managed — and its progression from prediabetes to diabetes can be prevented, or at least slowed.

Steps towards prevention 

Medical nutrition therapy can be very effective. MNT, as it is known, is a nutrition-based treatment provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), ideally one who is part of your health care team. MNT sessions with an RDN include nutrition education and therapeutic and counseling services.

How can you prevent or delay diabetes, even if you are at risk? Diet and lifestyle are key. If you are overweight (a risk factor for diabetes), eating healthfully, maintaining at least a moderate amount of physical activity and losing a small percent of weight can reduce your odds significantly.

Seeking expert advice

Since no two people are the same, a registered dietitian nutritionist — especially an RDN who also holds the credential certified diabetes educator, or CDE — can work with you to develop a practical, achievable eating plan that helps to lower your diabetes risk and is right for you.

More and more doctors — recognizing that RDNs have more food and nutrition expertise than any other health professional either have relationships with RDNs or will refer you if you ask. Many health insurance plans cover RDN visits; check with your provider.

The expert advice of a registered dietitian nutritionist can help you understand how food affects your health as you modify your lifestyle to manage diabetes or lower your risk.