Pre Diabetes Diet Sheet Nhs


The pre diabetes diet sheet NHS is the ultimate guide to managing your weight and keeping it stable. It includes detailed information on how we can help you to achieve a long and healthy life, based on a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. The guidelines for diet and exercise were designed to encourage people with diabetes to adopt a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

The Diabetes Diet is a diet where you control your blood sugar levels. Achieving a healthy weight and regulating blood sugar levels require an individual to eat a variety of different foods and take medications as prescribed by their doctor. But before you start picking up that sugary snack or reaching for that chocolate bar what does the NHS advise?

keep in mind that following the nutrition plan will mean eating less of the foods that increase your blood sugar and more of the healthy plant-based foods that might help in reducing those levels. I know a useful method that can be helpful to you. you can do a lot to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes but first what is pre-diabetes?

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What Is Pre-Diabetes?

What is pre-diabetes? Pre-diabetes is a term that refers to blood glucose (sugar) levels that are above the normal range but are not as high as levels in Type 2 Diabetes. People who have pre-diabetes are at significantly more risk of developing diabetes.

Our body needs food and nutrients for energy and to keep healthy. Starchy and sugary foods
provide our bodies with the nutrient carbohydrate. When we eat this carbohydrate-containing
foods are broken down in digestion and release glucose into the bloodstream. The body uses
this glucose to make energy.

In order for the body to make energy from glucose a hormone called insulin, which is released from an organ in the body called the pancreas, is needed. Insulin acts like a key opening up the body’s cells to allow glucose to enter in and be converted into energy.

In pre-diabetes either people are not producing enough insulin, the insulin is not working properly
(insulin resistance), or a combination of the two. If someone is overweight this can increase their
insulin resistance, making it difficult for their body to cope with glucose released from carbohydrate

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 into your cells.

People think of carbohydrates as the culprit that causes prediabetes, but the amount and type of carbohydrates consumed in a meal are what influence 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.

How will I know if I have prediabetes?

Prediabetes is diagnosed following a blood test because you are unlikely, at this stage, to be presenting symptoms. However, if you are over 45 years old or overweight, have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, have a sedentary lifestyle, have in the past been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or PCOS, or are of a certain ethnicity, you may be more of likely to develop the condition. If you meet one or more of these criteria and are concerned, contact your GP for further guidance.

Why is prediabetes bad for my health?

If you’ve been told you are prediabetic, this is a warning that you are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and as a result, are more likely to have heart disease or a stroke. It’s estimated that 12.3 million people in the UK are in this category. Being at risk doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop type 2 diabetes, but it does mean that without changes to your diet and lifestyle you are more likely to.

If you do develop type 2 diabetes, it can significantly impact the quality of your life and reduce your life expectancy. That’s because people with persistently high blood sugar are at risk of damaging their blood vessels and overtime this may lead to issues such as kidney failure, blindness and serious nerve damage.

That said, there are lots of things you can do to reduce your risk or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

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How does diet play a role in prediabetes?

Research suggests that the amount and type of carbohydrate we eat plays a significant role in whether we develop prediabetes. This is because all carbs are broken down by the body to glucose for energy, the amount of glucose in the blood at any point in time is carefully controlled by the hormone insulin. However, as we age, eating a consistently poor diet, doing little exercise, smoking and our genetics can all make insulin less effective at doing its job.

Many of us think of sugary foods like biscuits, cakes, jam and chocolate when we think of managing diabetes, but starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes will also influence our blood sugar. That’s because all types of carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels, although some have a slower effect than others. These slow-releasing foods are a better choice and are typically referred to as low-GI foods, they include foods rich in fiber like whole grains, beans and pulses.

Understanding the glycaemic index (GI) of foods can be helpful in managing your blood sugar levels, but it is only one tool. Adopting a healthy, balanced diet that includes your five a day (more if possible), lean protein, some fat, and foods that are low in sugar and salt will also support your ability to manage your blood sugar.

What are the key components of the prediabetes diet?

There is no specific diet for prediabetes, but there are some important modifications you can make to your diet. These include:

  • Eat more whole fruit and vegetables, especially the non-starchy variety like green leaves, broccoli and asparagus. Other useful inclusions are those rich in a compound called nitrate, these include celery, rhubarb and beetroot – including these may help reduce blood pressure and improve circulatory health.
  • Make wholegrains your staples, such as jumbo oats, barley, rye, wholewheat flour, wholegrain rice, especially basmati or wild rice.
  • Choose lean sources of protein. These help keep you full and reduce the urge to snack – examples include chicken breast, fish and seafood, legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Include some dairy such as yogurt and cheese, or fortified plant-based alternatives.
  • Minimize refined ‘white’ carbs, sugar, sweetened drinks and starchy veg like potatoes.
  • Minimize red and processed meats, aiming to keep within guideline amounts.
  • Minimize the saturated and trans fats in your diet, focusing instead on the heart-healthy fats in oily fish, nuts and seeds, as well as fruit like olives and avocado.

Don’t forget:

  • Wise up on portions – it may be useful to weigh out your pasta and rice until you can gauge the appropriate quantity for a serving.
  • Cook clever – avoid over-cooking foods like rice and pasta, instead create more ‘resistant starch’ by cooking, cooling and thoroughly reheating carbs such as rice, pasta and potatoes.
  • Plate up perfectly – fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter with lean protein and the final quarter with whole grains.

What else should I do if I have been told I have prediabetes?

As well as adopting a healthy, balanced diet, there are a number of other things you can do to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Being physically active.
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • If you’re a smoker, stop.

Pre-Diabetes Diet Sheet Nhs

A pre-diabetes diet sheet NHS is a diet plan that you follow before you develop diabetes. Dieting before you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes has been shown to reduce the future risk of developing diabetes

Although it is becoming increasingly more popular for people to be tested for pre-diabetes and then treat right away, there is no guarantee that this will work. However, by changing your eating habits now, you can prevent the development of the condition altogether.

You can’t control all risk factors for prediabetes, but some can be mitigated. Lifestyle changes can help you maintain balanced blood sugar levels and stay within a healthy weight range.

Watch carbs with the glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) is a tool you can use to determine how a particular food could affect your blood sugar.

Foods that are high in the GI will raise your blood sugar faster. Foods ranked lower on the scale have less effect on your blood sugar spike. And those with high fiber are low on the GI. Foods that are processed, refined and void of fiber and nutrients register high on the GI.

Refined carbohydrates rank high in the GI. These are grain products that digest quickly in your stomach. Examples are white bread, russet potatoes, and white rice, along with soda and juice. Limit these foods whenever possible if you have prediabetes.

Foods that rank medium on the GI are fine to eat. Examples include whole-wheat bread and brown rice. Still, they aren’t as good as foods that rank low on the GI.

Foods that are low on the GI are best for your blood sugar. Incorporate the following items in your diet:

  • steel-cut oats (not instant oatmeal)
  • stone-ground whole wheat bread
  • nonstarchy vegetables, such as carrots and field greens
  • beans
  • sweet potatoes
  • corn
  • pasta (preferably whole wheat)

Food and nutrition labels don’t reveal the GI of a given item. Instead, make note of the fiber content listed on the label to help determine a food’s GI ranking.

Remember to limit saturated fat intake to reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol and heart disease, along with prediabetes.

Eating mixed meals is a great way to lower a food’s given GI. For example, if you plan to eat white rice, add vegetables and chicken to slow down the digestion of the grain and minimize spikes.

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Portion control

Good portion control can keep your diet on a low GI. This means you limit the amount of food you eat. Often, portions in the United States are much larger than the intended serving sizes. A bagel serving size is usually about one-half, yet many people eat the whole bagel.

Food labels can help you determine how much you’re eating. The label will list calories, fat, carbohydrates, and other nutritional information for a particular serving.

If you eat more than the serving listed, it’s important to understand how that’ll affect the nutritional value. Food may have 20 grams of carbohydrates and 150 calories per serving. But if you have two servings, you’ve consumed 40 grams of carbohydrates and 300 calories.

Eliminating carbohydrates altogether isn’t necessary. Recent research has shown that a lower carb diet (less than 40 percent carbs) is associated with the same mortality risk increase as a high carbohydrate diet (greater than 70 percent carbs).

The study noted minimal risk observed when consuming 50 to 55 percent carbohydrates in a day. On a 1600-calorie diet, this would equal 200 grams of carbohydrates daily. Spreading intake out evenly throughout the day is best.

This is in line with the National Institutes of Health recommendation of 45 to 65 percent of calories coming from carbohydrates daily. Individual carbohydrate needs will vary based on a person’s stature and activity level.

Speaking to a dietitian about specific needs is recommended.

One of the best methods to manage portions is to practice mindful eating. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. Sit, and eat slowly. Focus on the food and flavors.

Eating more fiber-rich foods

Fiber offers several benefits. It helps you feel fuller and longer. Fiber adds bulk to your diet, making bowel movements easier to pass.

Eating fiber-rich foods can make you less likely to overeat. They also help you avoid the “crash” that can come from eating high-sugar food. These types of foods will often give you a big boost of energy, but make you feel tired shortly after.

Examples of high-fiber foods include:

  • beans and legumes
  • fruits and vegetables that have an edible skin
  • whole grain bread
  • whole grains, such as quinoa or barley
  • whole grain cereals
  • whole wheat pasta

Cut out sugary drinks

A single, 12-ounce can of soda can contain 45 grams of carbohydrates. That number is the recommended carbohydrate serving for a meal for women with diabetes.

Sugary sodas only offer empty calories that translate to quick-digesting carbohydrates. Water is a better choice to quench your thirst.

Drink alcohol in moderation

Moderation is a healthy rule to live by in most instances. Drinking alcohol is no exception. Many alcoholic beverages are dehydrating. Some cocktails may contain high sugar levels that can spike your blood sugar.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women should only have one drink per day, while men should limit themselves to no more than two drinks per day.

Drink servings relate back to portion control. The following are the measurements for an average single drink:

  • 1 bottle of beer (12 fluid ounces)
  • 1 glass of wine (5 fluid ounces)
  • 1 shot of distilled spirits, such as gin, vodka, or whiskey (1.5 fluid ounces)

Keep your drink as simple as possible. Avoid adding sugary juices or liqueurs. Keep a glass of water nearby that you can sip on to prevent dehydration.

Eat lean meats

Meat doesn’t contain carbohydrates, but it can be a significant source of saturated fat in your diet. Eating a lot of fatty meat can lead to high cholesterol levels.

If you have prediabetes, a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat can help reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s recommended that you avoid cuts of meat with visible fat or skin.

Choose protein sources such as the following:

  • chicken without skin
  • egg substitute or egg whites
  • beans and legumes
  • soybean products, such as tofu and tempeh
  • fish, such as cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, tuna, or trout
  • lean beef cuts, such as flank steak, ground round, tenderloin, and roast with fat trimmed
  • shellfish, such as crab, lobster, shrimp, or scallops
  • turkey without skin
  • low-fat Greek yogurt

Very lean cuts of meat have about 0 to 1 gram of fat and 35 calories per ounce. High-fat meat choices, such as spareribs, can have more than 7 grams of fat and 100 calories per ounce.

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Drinking plenty of water

Water is an important part of any healthy diet. Drink enough water each day to keep you from becoming dehydrated. If you have prediabetes, water is a healthier alternative than sugary sodas, juices, and energy drinks.

The amount of water you should drink every day depends on your body size, activity level, and the climate you live in.

You can determine if you’re drinking enough water by monitoring the volume of urine when you go. Also, make note of the color. Your urine should be pale yellow.

What does the NHS advise?

The National Health Service is not only a service in each of the four countries of the United Kingdom but also an organization. In England, its main responsibilities lie with the Secretary of State for Health through the NHS Commissioning Board. Each country has its own health service, each having evolved differently. The history of the NHS continues to affect the way in which it provides health care services.

The NHS provides the following diet advice for people with diabetes: 

  • Eat plenty of starchy carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (low GI)
  • Increase the amount of fibre in your diet
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions per day
  • Cut down on fat and saturated fat in particular
  • Choose foods with unsaturated fat instead – such as vegetable oils, reduced fat spreads, oily fish and avocados
  • Choose low-fat dairy products
  • Choose lean meat – such as skinless chicken
  • Avoid fatty or processed meat
  • Eat fish at least twice a week and ensure you have oily fish at least once a week
  • Eggs and beans are other good sources of protein
  • Cook food by grilling, baking, poaching or steaming instead of frying or roasting
  • Avoid fatty or sugary snacks – such as crisps, cakes, biscuits and pastries
  • Eat snacks such as fruit, unsalted nuts and low-fat yogurts
  • Cut down on sugar
  • Eat less salt – have less than 6g of salt (2.4g of sodium) per day
  • Cut down on alcohol
  • Don’t skip breakfast
  • Keep hydrated – aim to drink between 1.6 and 2 liters of fluid each day

Should I base meals on starchy carbohydrates?

The NHS advises people, including those with diabetes, to base meals around food with starchy carbohydrates such as:

  • Potatoes
  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread

The problem with this advice is that even starchy carbohydrates with a low GI can have a pronounced effect in raising blood glucose levels.

Starchy carbohydrate may be problematic for many people with type 2 diabetes as carbohydrate requires greater insulin production than fat or protein does. Research studies have shown that greater insulin production increases the effect of insulin resistance.

Should I eat less saturated fat?

The problem with the NHS’s recommendation to eat less saturated fat is that it makes no distinction between different sources of saturated fat.

Saturated fat should be regarded as a healthy form of fat as long as it comes from natural sources such as:

Rather than condemning saturated fat, the NHS should instead advise people to cut down on ‘processed sources of fat’, which include:

  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Crisps
  • Chops
  • Pastries

Note that many of these foods are high in calories because they are packed with vegetable oil.

Should I eat low-fat products?

Whilst the NHS has taken great trouble to coerce the public to buy low-fat dairy, research studies have shown eating full-fat dairy to be just as healthy, if not more healthy.

A notable point about products labeled as low-fat is that many of them have added sugar, salt, or other unnatural additives to replace the fat.

Should I eat fruit?

As long as not eaten in excess, fruit is a healthy part of the diet.

Caution should, however, be taken with fruit juice as it has a high sugar content and raises blood glucose levels very quickly.

Food Fact – Dietary Advice for Pre Diabetes

Pre-diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and are at a higher risk of having heart disease. Making and maintaining lifestyle changes is the most effective way of reducing the risk of pre-diabetes progressing to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Steps towards managing pre DM

  • Manage your weight
  • Eat well
  • Avoid or stop smoking
  • Reduce waist measurement (less than 80cm for women / less than 94cm for men)
  • Increase physical activity

Manage your weight If you are overweight, losing some weight will help to reduce your blood glucose level. Try to lose weight by cutting down on fatty foods and keeping as active as possible. Aim for weight loss of at least 5% (where appropriate) to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, by reducing your energy (calorie) intake.

Eat well

  • reduce your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and sugary foods
  •  increase your intake of wholegrain and high-fiber foods
  • reduce your fat intake, especially saturated fat,
  •  reduce salt intake
  • if you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation
  • eat regular meals with a small (fist-sized) portion of carbohydrate at each meal
  • eat five (handful-sized) portions of fruit and vegetables per day
  • avoid skipping meals and space your breakfast, lunch and evening meals out over the day, as this helps control your appetite and your blood glucose levels
  • reduce red and processed meats

Include starchy carbohydrates at each meal

Carbohydrates provide us with our main source of energy. They are also a source of vitamins and fibre so are an important part of our diet. Most carbohydrates are digested and absorbed as glucose into the bloodstream – some very quickly (sugary foods) and some more slowly (starchy foods) – at each meal resulting in a rise in blood glucose levels. Try to include the slowly absorbed starchy carbohydrates as these do not affect your blood glucose levels as much.

Better choices include:

  • pasta
  • basmati or easy cook rice
  • grainy bread such as granary, pumpernickel, and rye
  • new potatoes, sweet potato and yam
  •  porridge oats, All-Bran and natural muesli
  • pulses, e.g. lentils, kidney beans and baked beans.

The high-fibre varieties of starchy foods will also help to maintain the health of your digestive system and prevent problems such as constipation. All these different types of carbohydrates will be digested into sugar so limiting portion size is important.

Dairy and alternatives

Aim to include 3 servings of milk, yogurt, cheese, or the calcium-enriched non-dairy alternatives (eg soya/rice/nut milk) each day to ensure you have enough calcium in your diet.

Vegetables and fruit

Aim for at least five portions of vegetables and fruits each day (a portion is approximately 1 handful or 80g). Vegetables are lower in carbohydrates and calories than fruit but still high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, so aim to get most of your portions from vegetables or salad. Fruits are high in natural sugars so it is important to spread the portions out throughout the day and have fruit in place of less nutritious sweet foods such as biscuits/cakes/puddings.


Limit processed foods that are high in fat but low in nutritional value eg cakes, chocolates, pastries, biscuits, deep fried takeaway foods. Try Heart healthy oils which are found in the Mediterranean-style diet: olive oil, rapeseed oil, nuts, seeds, and oily fish. Oily fish such as fresh/tinned/ frozen salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, pilchards and sardines, contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Aim for 2 portions per week.

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 Meat, fish, eggs, beans/pulses, soya/Quorn/tofu provide the body with protein which is important for growth and repair. Include 2-3 servings (a serving is palm-sized) each day.


Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. A lot of the salt in our diet comes from ready-made, processed foods. Try to reduce the level of salt in your diet by using fewer tinned, pre-packaged and convenience foods, especially ready meals, soups, sauces, crisps and cured meats. Check food labels to choose options that are lower in salt.


If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation No more than 14 units per week (a standard pint of beer/lager/cider =2 units, 1 small (125ml) glass of wine = 1 ½ units, 1 single (25ml) spirits = 1 unit). Try to have some alcohol-free days each week.


Have 8-10 glasses of fluid daily. Water is the best drink, but tea, herbal teas, coffee, no added sugar squash and diet fizzy drinks can all count towards the 8-10 glasses. Alcohol does not have to be avoided but should be consumed in moderation.

Is the NHS advice sensible?

Whilst a number of these points are undoubtedly sensible, some of the recommendations have been criticized by patients and some leading UK healthcare professionals.

The following points are sensible:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables
  • Have sufficient fiber in your diet
  • Cut down on sugar
  • Cut down on processed meat
  • Eat fish regularly
  • Cut down on energy-dense, processed food – such as crisps, cakes, biscuits and pastries
  • Cut down on alcohol
  • Cut down on salty processed foods

However, some of the recommendations may inadvertently lead to poorer diet choices.

The recommendations for people with diabetes to eat plenty of starchy carbohydrates and avoid fat from meat and dairy could lead to poorer blood glucose control, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes.

Benefits of Low Carb Diet

Low carb diet is known to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Achieving low in carbohydrates forces your body to burn stored fat. However, other benefits include controlling blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and reducing cancer risks. A lot of research confirmed that Low Carb Diet is better if it is compared to a low-fat diet.

If you have been thinking about starting a low-carb diet, then it could be useful for you to know some of the proven benefits of this type of diet before you take the plunge. Here we provide you with a comprehensive guide that outlines all the benefits of a low-carb diet. Take a look!

1. Prevention or management of type II diabetes:

Studies report an increased risk of type II diabetes with diets rich in carbs, particularly refined carbs. 

Maintaining stable blood glucose levels is critical for preventing diabetic complications. Therefore, limiting the consumption of carbohydrate-containing foods will minimize the quantity of glucose entering the bloodstream. 

This explains why this diet has traditionally been used in the prevention and treatment of type II diabetes.

Recent research suggests that following a low-carb diet consistently results in improved blood glucose management and weight loss. It also suggests that the low-carb diet has a high adherence rate after 12 months, implying that it is a long-term sustainable diet.

2. Help loses weight while reducing your hunger:

As a ketogenic diet emphasizes fats over carbohydrates, it suppresses your appetite, which means you won’t be hungry as frequently. This indirectly aids in quick weight loss

People who follow a low-carb diet tend to lose weight faster than those who follow a low-fat diet.

Carbohydrates increase the production of insulin, the body’s primary fat-storing hormone. By lowering the quantity of insulin in your bloodstream, your body will be prompted to burn its existing fat reserves rather than create new ones.

Low-carb and keto diets are heavy in fats and proteins, which have been reported in studies to lower appetite and reduce calorie intake. 

Many studies have suggested that low-carb diets cause fast weight reduction in the first 6 to 12 months. Weight reduction is not just due to water loss but also due to fat loss. In terms of long-term diet maintenance, research suggests that a low-carb diet is the most efficient approach to losing weight and keeping it off.

3. Reduce triglyceride levels:

Low-carb and keto diets help reduce a variety of risk factors for heart diseases. They have an important role in lowering the levels of triglyceride in the blood, which is a well-known and significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. 

Triglycerides are a form of lipid (fat) present in the bloodstream. When you eat, your body converts any extra calories into triglycerides, which are then stored in your fat cells to be used as energy between meals. 

Eating more calories than you can burn, especially from high-carbohydrate meals, causes triglyceride buildup and increases your risk of heart disease.

4. Increase good cholesterol levels:

It is clear that low-carb diets boost high-density lipoprotein, a type of cholesterol. Before you assume that cholesterol is harmful, consider that this is healthy cholesterol that should be present in your body because it lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

To maintain high levels of this healthy cholesterol, it is necessary to consume a low-carbohydrate and good-fat-rich diet.

5. Improve cognitive performance:

Consuming a lot of carbs implies loading your body with sugars, which it will then consider as the first option when attempting to convert anything to utilize as energy. This causes the classic sugar crash.

As your sugar levels aren’t stable, your brain has difficulties managing what it needs to be focused and awake. 

Some studies report that a low-carb diet may even be beneficial in preventing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in youngsters because lower sugar consumption helps control the body’s energy levels and boosts the brain’s capacity to focus.

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