Last updated on September 27th, 2022
Diagnosis of pre-diabetes is just like an alarm bell. This indicates that the person is on his or her way toward developing diabetes type 2. Diabetes is an ailment that considerably enhances the risk of heart problems such as stroke or heart attack and even early death. But the good news is that “diabetes isn’t certain”. Researchers state incorporating certain lifestyle modifications can avoid or interrupt the onset of diabetes. Read this blog to know about the pre-diabetic diet and list good foods for prediabetes.
The major objective is to decrease carb consumption by opting for more complex carbs and practising regular exercise to burn them off. In this article, you can read about what foods to avoid during the prediabetes, what to eat instead, and what to eat in moderation to avoid the occurrence of prediabetes.
Consumption of certain foods + avoiding others greatly helps decrease your blood glucose!
Pre Diabetic Diet – A Complete Guide of Good Food For Prediabetes
It’s logical to panic when a person hears the “D” word from his or her doctor. However, prediabetes and diabetes are quite controllable health problems. The person can live his or her normal life following some adjustments. So, if anyone is diagnosed with prediabetes (a signal that the blood glucose levels are a little skewed), don’t panic! There is nothing to feel overwhelmed. Using proper measures, the blood glucose levels can still be moved in a healthy direction. Learn about the dietary advice for prediabetes, what not to eat if prediabetic, how to control prediabetes with diet and exercise, and much more in this article.
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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.
People believe carbs as the reason for prediabetes, but 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. Thus, if a person keeps a regular check on his or her carb consumption, blood glucose spikes can be prevented.
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.
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Monitor Food’s GI
All the associated risk factors for prediabetes can’t be controlled; however, a few can be mitigated.
Lifestyle modifications noticeably assist a person in maintaining balanced blood glucose levels and keep them in a healthy weight range.
Also, carbs can be kept within the glycemic index (GI). The GI is a tool that determines how a specific food affects blood sugar.
Pre Diabetic Food Menu
Foods high on the GI scale tend to raise the blood sugar more rapidly and vice-versa. High fiber-containing foods are low on the GI. Refined, processed foods and low fiber and low-nutritious foods are high on the GI.
Refined carbs such as white rice, white bread, soda, or juice have a high glycemic index. These get digested hastily in the stomach. Thus, one must limit the intake of these foods whenever possible if a person has prediabetes.
Is brown rice ok for prediabetes? Foods with a medium GI are fine for consumption. Examples may involve whole-wheat bread and brown rice.
Foods with a low GI are the best for blood sugars. Thus, the following items can be included in the diet:
- Non-starchy veggies, such as carrots and leafy greens
- Oats (not instant oatmeal)
- Sweet potatoes
- Pasta (if possible whole wheat)
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Cut the Fat Out
Also, make a note to limit the consumption of saturated fats to lower the risk of developing high cholesterol as well as cardiac problems, together with prediabetes.
Consumption of mixed meals is just a perfect way to lower a food’s given GI. For instance, if a person wishes to consume white rice, he or she can add vegetables and chicken to it. This helps in slowing down the digestion of the grain and reduces sudden spikes.
Also Read: Diet for Type 2 Diabetes
Why are More Fiber-rich Foods Necessary?
Fiber comes with numerous benefits. Fiber is a great option to make the person feel fuller and for longer. It adds bulk to the diet, making bowel movements easy.
If a person eats fiber-rich foods, he or she is less likely to overeat. In addition, fiber-rich foods avoid the “crash” that may originate from consuming high glucose food. These good foods for prediabetes give you a big boost of energy, but make you feel tired shortly after.
Examples can include:
- whole grains, such as quinoa or barley
- beans and legumes
- whole wheat pasta
- whole-grain bread
- whole-grain cereals
- fruits and vegetables that have an edible skin
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Make Smart Substitutes
Start with whole-grain bread, brown pasta, or brown rice. The complete focus must be on “whole” and include at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Do experimentation with other grains and starches including barley, quinoa, buckwheat, yams, or sweet potatoes.
Enjoy Fruits in Moderation
Fruits are natural sources of sugar that can be enjoyed if consumed in moderation. Its portion size can be limited to 1 cup or less depending upon the sugar levels.
Lower-sugar fruits, like apples, berries, or kiwi, can be preferred. For delaying the rate of glucose entering your bloodstream, fruit can be paired with any protein source like a handful of nuts or seeds, plain yogurt, a boiled egg, or a cheese stick.
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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 meal can help a person feel full and decreases the urge to snack.
It’s a good idea to choose protein sources like:
- beans and legumes
- chicken without skin
- fish, like cod, haddock, or tuna
- egg alternatives or egg whites
- low-fat Greek yogurt
- soybean products, like tofu
- turkey without skin
About 1 gram of fat and 35 calories per ounce are known to be present in very lean cuts of meat. High-fat meat options like spareribs are found to contain more than 7 grams of fat plus 100 calories per ounce.
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Why Consume Lean Meats?
Meat is free of carbs, but it can provide significant amounts of saturated fat in the diet. A lot of fatty meat when taken can result in high cholesterol levels.
A prediabetic diet with low amounts of saturated fat and trans fat can be a great help in decreasing the risk of heart problems. Thus, it’s advisable to avoid cuts of meat with visible fat or skin.
Minimize Sugary Drinks
Sugary sodas must be completely avoided as they offer calories only, no nutritive value. Thus, water is the best choice to quench thirst.
Think Before You Drink
For healthy living, the term moderation is a must. Alcohol intake is no exception. A lot of alcoholic drinks are dehydrating, 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 can have only one drink per day, while 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.
Drinking Enough Water
Water is a vital part of any healthy and balanced diet. It keeps a person free from becoming dehydrated. If a person is prediabetic, water is an ideal alternative as compared to sugary drinks, juices, or sodas.
Diet + Exercise, a Great Combination for Prediabetics
Exercise is also a vital element of any healthy lifestyle, particularly for people with prediabetes. If a person is inactive, his or her insulin resistance can get increased, as per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). With exercising, the muscle starts making use of glucose for energy and makes the body cells work more efficiently with insulin.
It is recommended to exercise at least 5 days a week for half an hour. Exercise must not be exhausting or overly complicated. Taking an aerobic class, walking, dancing, riding a bicycle, all come under mild physical activities. Get Moving!!!
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Schedule blood sugar tests for diabetes on a regular basis to ascertain that the parameters are in check. This also helps in identifying how effective a person’s lifestyle is in normalizing blood glucose levels. It is also a great help for the doctors in deciding the most suitable treatment course for the person.
Prediabetes is a caution that the body is hassled about maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. If the person helps a bit, the condition will get corrected itself and the person can live a healthy, happy, and active life.
Some Important Food Tips for People with Prediabetes
- It’s important to take care of mealtimes. The time of food intake is very important. Avoid skipping meals, this can increase hunger pangs, and the person tends to overeat later.
- Diabetics should not eat late at night. Consuming food at night is related to raised glucose levels in people with prediabetes. Thus, it is suggested to make lunch your major meal and consume nothing 3 hours before bedtime.
- Consume three to five servings of veggies per day to regulate the levels of blood pressure.
- Avoid skipping the breakfast meal. It is recommended to consume breakfast within two hours of when a person gets up. This helps in keeping the blood sugar under control for the rest of the day.
- It’s also a good idea to consume food when a person feels hungry.
- Recruit the help of a concerned nutritionist or a registered dietitian if a person needs help regarding meal planning.
Rethinking the diet pattern to lower the diabetes risk doesn’t indicate giving up the favorite foods. It simply means consuming less of them. The first rule to prevent prediabetes risk is to cut back on simple carbs like sugar, sweet beverages, fruit punches, etc. This helps prevent carbs from rocketing the levels of blood glucose. Thus, maintaining a healthy body goes a long way in avoiding many big and small health concerns. Implementing a healthy lifestyle can make an enormous difference in the impact of prediabetes and anyone can thrive in eradicating it.
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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
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
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.