Best Diet Plan For Prediabetes – Diet plans for prediabetes has a huge role in the prevention and management of diabetes. Diet is the basis of everything, therefore it must be done effectively and positively. If you want to fight prediabetes, then it is important to target the underlying factors that are causing this diabetes-like condition.
What is prediabetes?
A prediabetes diagnosis can be alarming. This condition is marked by abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) most often due to insulin resistance. This is a condition in which the body doesn’t use insulin properly. It’s often a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people with prediabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With prediabetes, you may also be at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
However, a prediabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get type 2 diabetes. The key is early intervention — to get your blood sugar out of the prediabetes range. Your diet is important, and you need to know the right kind of foods to eat.
How diet relates to prediabetes
There are many factors that increase your risk for prediabetes. Genetics can play a role, especially if diabetes runs in your family. However, other factors play a larger role in the development of disease. Inactivity and having overweight are other potential risk factors.
In prediabetes, sugar from food begins to build up in your bloodstream because insulin can’t easily move it into your cells.
People think of carbohydrate as the culprit that causes prediabetes, but the amount and type of carbohydrates consumed in a meal is what influences blood sugar. A diet filled with refined and processed carbohydrates that digest quickly can cause higher spikes in blood sugar.
For most people with prediabetes, the body has a difficult time lowering blood sugar levels after meals. Avoiding blood sugar spikes by watching your carbohydrate intake can help.
When you eat more calories than your body needs, they get stored as fat. This can cause you to gain weight. Body fat, especially around the belly, is linked to insulin resistance. This explains why many people with prediabetes also have overweight
Eat More Veggies
Plant-based fiber fills you up without raising blood sugar. Vegetables are also full of nutrients. Aim for at least 3-5 servings a day. That’s ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw. You can choose fresh, frozen, or canned. But be sure to go for the low- or no-sodium kind. Fill half your plate with colorful, nonstarchy vegetables. Examples include carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and leafy greens like spinach or kale.
Cut Back on Starchy Vegetables
These have more carbohydrates than their nonstarchy counterparts. But they have healthy nutrients, too. If you use the plate method, give them a quarter of the space. Starchy vegetables include white potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and winter squash like acorn or butternut.
Snack on Fruit
These plant-based sweets have sugar, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. Fruit is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Aim for two to three servings a day. That could be one small apple or ½ cup of strawberries. Ask your doctor if you should opt for low-sugar choices. That includes berries, kiwi, melons, and oranges. Try pairing your fruit with healthy proteins like natural nut butter, Greek yogurt, or almonds.
Choose Whole Grains
Unlike refined grains, whole grains have all their original fiber and other nutrients. You can eat them for breakfast or as a side dish for lunch or dinner. They come in lots of forms, including oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread or pasta, and quinoa. You can even make cookies with whole-grain flours. If you buy a packaged product, make sure you see the word “whole” before grain on the label.
Add More Nuts and Seeds
Grab a handful of any kind you like. Just make sure they’re unsalted. And stick to the serving size, about an ounce. Nuts and seeds have healthy fats, but they’re also high in calories. Good choices include walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and cashews.
Add Some Protein
Try including protein with all your meals and snacks. It helps you feel full and slows how fast carbohydrates go into your bloodstream. That’s important when it comes to keeping your blood sugar steady. Sources include fatty fish and seafood, plant-based protein like beans and lentils, eggs and low-fat dairy, and lean meats.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
These beverages spike blood sugar because they don’t come with other nutrients — like fiber and protein — to slow down the digestion process. If you have prediabetes, it’s a good idea to limit or skip the following 100% fruit juice, soda, and sweetened coffee drinks. Try to avoid energy or sports drinks, mixed alcohol cocktails, and lemonade or sweet tea. Experts aren’t sure how artificial sweeteners affect people with prediabetes. Ask your doctor if they’re OK for you.
Limit Added Sugars
Read the Nutrition Facts label to see how much added sugar is in a packaged food or drink. You can use the 5-20 rule: 5% daily value (DV) or less means it’s a low source of sugar. If it’s 20% DV or higher, then you’ll want to put it back. You’ll find added sugar in lots of processed foods, such as cookies, candy, and cakes. It’s also in flavored oatmeal, ketchup, and jelly.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Try to eat within 2 hours of when you wake up. That may help control your blood sugar later in the day. In general, it’s a good idea to eat when you feel hungry. That’s because you might overeat or grab something easy — and possibly less healthy — if you go a long time without food.
Talk to a Dietitian
You don’t have to figure all this out on your own. Ask your doctor to refer you to a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). That’s a trained professional who’ll help you make simple dietary changes based on your lifestyle.
Explore Healthy Eating Patterns
If you’re looking for a specific eating plan, a Mediterranean or plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet may help. The DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet is also an option.
What About the Glycemic Index (GI)?
The GI ranks food according to how much it spikes your blood sugar. In general, experts don’t think it’s a great tool for people with prediabetes. It can be really confusing. And you might leave out foods that are healthy. Instead, it’s better to make sure your meals and snacks are a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. If you’re not sure how to do that, ask your doctor or dietitian.
7-day prediabetes meal plan
Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal with cinnamon, blueberries, and chopped walnuts
Lunch: Grilled vegetable sandwich on whole-grain bread
Dinner: Skinless chicken breast, roasted sweet potato, spinach salad with vinaigrette
Breakfast: Tofu scramble with vegetables, side of sliced oranges
Lunch: Tuna salad made with low-fat Greek yogurt and mustard over leafy greens, side of whole-grain crackers
Dinner: Whole-grain pasta with marinara and chicken or plant-based meatballs, side salad
Breakfast: Low-fat Greek yogurt with strawberries and slivered almonds
Lunch: Skinless turkey on a whole-grain wrap with avocado, lettuce, and tomato
Dinner: Tofu and broccoli stir-fry over quinoa
Breakfast: Avocado toast on whole-grain bread with one hard-boiled egg
Lunch: Chickpea and barley stew, apple on the side with skin left on
Dinner: Seared shrimp with pesto zucchini noodles
Breakfast: Whole-grain English muffin with peanut butter and sliced apple
Lunch: Greek salad with feta and chickpeas
Dinner: Chicken and black bean burrito bowl with lettuce, salsa, and guacamole
Breakfast: Sweet potato egg white hash with bell peppers and onion, side of half a grapefruit
Lunch: Whole-wheat pita pocket with hummus and vegetables
Dinner: Vegetarian chili topped with sliced avocado
Breakfast: Overnight chia seed pudding made with unsweetened almond milk and vanilla extract, and topped with strawberries
Lunch: Almond butter sandwich with a side of carrot, celery, and bell pepper sticks
Dinner: Grilled salmon over curried lentils, side of steamed or roasted cauliflower