Last updated on September 7th, 2023
In the realm of health and wellness, understanding the significance of a nutritious diet cannot be ignored at any cost. For individuals diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels, making informed dietary choices is paramount. Fortunately, there exists a wealth of nutrient-rich foods that can be included in a prediabetes diet. These food for prediabetes potentially help in reversing its progression. In this article, we delve into a comprehensive prediabetes diet plan, highlighting the key foods, along with prediabetes foods to avoid. We also provide you with a sample diet plan for prediabetes. By incorporating these dietary recommendations into your lifestyle, you can take proactive steps towards better health and a more stable metabolic future. Here is the content table:
Role of Diet in Prediabetes
A lot of factors are responsible for increasing the risk of prediabetes. Genetics is the most common cause, particularly if there is a history of diabetes in the family. However, several other factors play a huge role in the development of ailment; physical inactivity, race, ethnicity, and being obese are other potential risk factors.
In prediabetes, glucose from food starts accumulating in the bloodstream as insulin fails to move the glucose into the body cells. So, the prediabetes diabetic diet has a big role play here.
People believe carbs are the reason for prediabetes. However, the quantity and type of carbs that are taken in a meal are what affect the levels of blood glucose. A diet crammed with refined and processed carbs that get digested rapidly may result in higher spikes in blood glucose. These kinds of prediabetes foods to avoid. Thus, if a person keeps a regular check on his or her carb consumption, blood glucose spikes can be prevented. Prediabetes food list should be such that they shouldn’t increase blood sugar levels on consumption. Rather they should help in controlling and reversing prediabetes.
When a person consumes more calories than his or her body requires, they get stored as fat. This can result in weight gain. Body fat, particularly in the belly region, is associated with insulin resistance. This is a simple answer to why many individuals with prediabetes are obese.
Read More: What is Prediabetes and its Causes?
Start Eating More Veggies
Vegetables should occupy a good portion of a prediabetes diet. Go for non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, spinach, kale, etc. Veggies contain a good amount of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and are low on calories. Eating veggies will keep you fuller for longer. Vegetables are good high fiber foods for prediabetes. However, remember to avoid or limit starchy veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, etc.
Switching to Fibre-rich meals
High fiber foods for prediabetes patients provide numerous benefits. Fibre is a great option to make the person feel fuller for longer. It adds bulk to the diet, making bowel movements easy. If a person eats fibre-rich foods, he or she is less likely to overeat. In a prediabetes diet fibre is an integral part as it helps to control sugar levels. In addition, fibre-rich foods avoid the “crash” that may originate from consuming high-glucose food. These are good for prediabetes diets. Examples can include:
- Whole grains, such as quinoa or barley
- Beans and legumes
- Whole-grain cereals
- Fruits and vegetables that have edible skin
Read More: How to Reverse Prediabetes Permanently?
Choosing Foods According to their GI
The glycemic index is a tool that determines how a particular food impacts your sugar level. It is a scale of 1 to 100, where foods below 55 are categorised as low GI foods. Medium GI foods are between 55 to 70, and above 70 are high GI foods. Foods with a high glycemic profile spike your blood sugar rapidly. Therefore, in the prediabetes food chart, we advised avoiding high GI foods. Or taking them in measured amounts and pairing them with low-GI foods. Generally, foods high in carbs impact your blood sugar rapidly, so avoid them. Low GI foods that are rich in fibre content are recommended for a prediabetes diet plan. Foods such as:
- Rolled Oats
- Dry fruits
Take Care of the Portion Sizes
Paying attention to portion sizes plays a big role in a prediabetes diet plan. Reckless, unregulated eating will result in adding unnecessary calories, which can be very harmful to overweight pre-diabetics. A 2018 study analysed the consumption of a low-calorie Indian diet for prediabetes individuals. It found that people consuming low-calorie diets had fewer body complications in comparison to high-carb diets.
It is recommended to consume not more than 45% to 60% of daily calories in the form of carbs. This division will strike a balance with other nutrients and maintain daily prescribed calories. The best way to manage portions is through mindful eating. Check the nutritional value of foods before you consume them. Have food when you are hungry and avoid those cravings. Simple tips for portion control in a prediabetes diet are:
- Eat slowly
- Intake of foods rich in dietary fibre
- Control cravings
- Choose foods mindfully
Read More: Can Type 2 Diabetes be Reversed Permanently?
Eating Fruits Good for Prediabetes
Fruits are natural sources of sugar that can be enjoyed if consumed in moderation. In a prediabetes diet, the portion size of fruits can be limited to 1 cup or less. The quantity also depends upon the sugar levels.
Lower-sugar fruits, like apples, berries, or kiwi, can be preferred. To delay the rate of glucose entering your bloodstream, fruit can be paired with any protein source. These can be like a handful of nuts or seeds, plain yoghurt, etc.
Protein helps in delaying the rate at which the carbs enter the bloodstream. This helps in keeping the blood glucose levels steadier. Consumption of protein in every prediabetes diet can help a person feel full and decrease the urge to snack.
Read More: 15 Foods To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Go for Lean Proteins
A prediabetes diet with low amounts of trans or saturated fats but high in protein can be a great addition to the prediabetes food list. Lean proteins have minimal impact on your sugar levels. Therefore, they are the top foods to eat in prediabetes. They help deter sharp spikes and crashes, which is crucial for managing prediabetes. Adequate protein intake supports muscle health and prevents muscle loss, which can become an issue as people age or when managing prediabetes through diet and exercise. Moreover, protein intake through a prediabetes diet may enhance insulin sensitivity, which is critical for individuals with prediabetes.
- Beans and legumes
- Egg alternatives or egg whites
- Soybean products, like tofu and soy
Lean proteins help curb cravings and reduce the desire for high-sugar or high-carb foods, assisting in better blood sugar level management.
Water is a vital part of any healthy and balanced diet. Drinking water can help dilute the accumulation of glucose in the blood, assisting in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Therefore, in a prediabetes diabetic diet, water will have a big part to play. People with prediabetes are at a higher risk of dehydration. This is due to increased urination and thirst associated with elevated blood sugar levels. Drinking water helps mitigate this risk. Therefore, in a prediabetes diet plan, there should be at least 3 to 3.5 litres of water. If a person is prediabetic, water is an ideal alternative as compared to sugary drinks, juices, or sodas.
Drinking Alcohol in Moderation
For healthy living, the term moderation is a must. Alcohol intake is no exception. A lot of alcoholic drinks are dehydrating in nature and, therefore, a big no in a prediabetes diet. And some cocktails are composed of high sugar levels that give a great spike to a person’s blood sugar.
It is recommended that females have only one drink per day. In comparison, males must restrict themselves to not more than two drinks per day.
Also, remember to keep a drink as simple as possible. Never add sugary juices or liqueurs to the drink. A glass of plain water must be kept in hand so as to prevent dehydration. However, individuals looking to reverse prediabetes naturally should choose to avoid alcohol. Alcohol has no place in a prediabetes diet plan.
Read More: Top 10 Homeopathic Medicine For Diabetes.
Prediabetes Foods to Avoid
Below are some prediabetes foods to avoid if you are looking to control or reverse prediabetes:
Foods and beverages with a good amount of added sugars have no place in a prediabetes diet. These include sugary drinks, candies, mithai, and cookies. Check labels for hidden sugars in packaged foods.
Read More: How to Stop Sugar Craving Naturally?
Limit foods made from refined grains, like white bread, white rice, and sugary cereals. These foods are the top prediabetes foods to avoid. This is because they can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Avoid sugary drinks like sodas, canned fruit juices, and energy drinks, as they can contribute to rapid blood sugar spikes.
Steer clear of processed snacks in a prediabetes diet. These include chips, crackers, and sweetened granola bars, which often contain unhealthy fats and sugars.
Read More: Is Mushroom Good for Diabetes Patients?
Cut back on fatty cuts of red meat, sausages, and processed meats. These are not included in a prediabetes diet plan as they are acidic in nature. Acidic foods can contribute to inflammation and also increase insulin resistance.
Sample Diet Plan for Prediabetes
Here is our carefully curated sample diet plan for prediabetes patients, which you can try. This prediabetes food chart will surely help you in tackling prediabetes.
|Option 1||Option 2||Option 3||Option 4||Option 5|
|Early Morning Drink||Methi dana water||Neem water||Amla jamun juice in water||Tulsi water||Dalchini water|
|Breakfast||Vegetable mixed besan cheela
|Moong dal idli/dosa
|Amla jamun juice in water||Vegetable upma
|Lunch||Cooked Brown Rice +
Vegetable Salad +
Any curry of your
1 Katori Each
Pulao + Sprouts
1 Katori Each
|Jowar Roti 2 +
Vegetable Salad +
Egg Bhurji + Any
Vegetable Sabji of
1 Katori Each
|Multigrain Roti 2 +
Salad + Paneer
Sabji or Curry
1 Katori Each
|Bajra Roti 2 +
Egg Curry + Any
1 Katori Each
|Any seasonal fruit
|Coconut water with chia seeds
|Trail mix (Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds)
1 spoon each
|Dinner||Foxtail Millet Pulao
2 + Vegetable
Salad + Any
dal and Sabji
of your choice!
|Mixed Dal Dosa 2
+ 1 Spoon Coconut
Chutney + 1 Katori
|Grilled / Roasted
Fish or Chicken
100g + Cooked
In conclusion, adopting a balanced and nutritious prediabetes diet plan is crucial for managing prediabetes effectively. The prediabetes diet plan emphasises consuming whole foods, lean proteins, high-fibre carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Incorporating a variety of low glycemic fruits and non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help stabilise sugar levels and promote weight loss. Portion control and regular physical activity are also essential components of the plan. If a person is inactive, his or her insulin resistance can increase. However, if you have any doubts or problems regarding choosing a prediabetes diet or its management, our knowledgeable health experts at Breathe Well-Being can help you out. We will curate dietary adjustments that suit your body. With the changes we will suggest you will be able to choose a healthier lifestyle. Moreover, these changes will help you prevent the progression of prediabetes into full-scale type 2 diabetes and improve your overall well-being. Choose Life! Choose Breathe Well-Being!
Read More: What Is Type 2 Diabetes Management?
Can Prediabetic Eat Salt?
Salt does affect your sugar levels directly. However, you do not include too much salty foods in a prediabetes diet. Salt contains sodium, and too much sodium raises blood pressure. An increase in blood pressure then affects your sugar levels negatively.
What Vegetables Should I Avoid if I am prediabetic?
In a prediabetes diet, starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, butternut squash, etc. are to be avoided. These veggies contain high amounts of carbs, which are not good for a prediabetes patient.
What Fruits Are OK for Prediabetes?
Fruits rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and flavonoids and with medium to low GI are good for a prediabetes diet. Fruits such as berries like jamun, strawberry, blackberry, etc. Other fruits you can include are apples, pears, peaches, and some citrus fruits.
What Foods Should a Prediabetic Avoid?
Prediabetes foods to avoid include simple carbohydrates, sugary products, processed snacks, and foods containing trans and saturated fats. Refined carbs like maida, rice, sugary items like mithais, pastries, aerated sodas, drinks, and starchy veggies. All these are to be avoided.
Can Prediabetes Eat Rice?
Rice has no place in a prediabetes diet. For individuals looking to control or reverse prediabetes, rice is a big no. The main reason is its high glycemic index and carb content. However, you can include brown rice which has more fibre content or mix white rice with low GI foods. The key to including rice is portion control and moderation.
Is it possible to cure prediabetes completely?
As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), prediabetes is reversible. It can be controlled by following certain lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, and medication.
How many times a day can a prediabetic take food?
It is recommended that a prediabetic can eat 3 properly portioned meals recurrently all over the day. These meals must not be above 6 hours apart.
Which foods are not to eat when borderline diabetic?
These may include:
- Fried foods
- Processed meats
- Solid fats (butter)
- Refined grains white bread, pasta, rice)
How much sugar can a pre-diabetic have daily?
According to the nutrition guidelines for prediabetes, it is recommended to limit the amount of added sugar in food and beverages to 10% of calories per day.
What is a good breakfast for prediabetes?
Healthy breakfast ideas for pre-diabetics are many, some can be:
- Scrambled eggs: a healthy breakfast containing lots of protein to keep the energy up without spiking blood glucose levels.
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal
- Veggie Daliya Bowl
- Cereal with Yogurt and Berries
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.