The Best Diet for Prediabetes: What to Eat and Avoid

Are you worried about your pre-diabetic health? Here’s the best diet plan that can help you manage prediabetes – learn what to eat and avoid to stay healthy. You deserve to take control of your condition and find the right food choices!

Quick facts: Best Diet For Prediabetes

  • ✅ According to the American Diabetes Association, a low-calorie, low-fat diet rich in fiber is beneficial for prediabetes.
  • ✅ According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, prediabetics should focus on reducing added sugars.
  • ✅ According to the Mayo Clinic, eating nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats is recommended for prediabetics.
  • ✅ According to WebMD, prediabetics should limit their intake of processed and sugary foods.
  • ✅ According to the American Heart Association, regular physical activity is beneficial for prediabetics.
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    Prediabetes is a term used for people at high risk for Type 2 diabetes. The condition is marked by elevated blood sugar levels, but not sufficiently high enough to qualify as diabetes. While the cause of prediabetes isn’t completely understood, it’s closely linked to poor diet and lack of exercise.

    Eating a balanced diet and exercising more are two key ways to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Foods that should be avoided include those with added sugars, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, processed meats and alcoholic drinks. Recommended foods include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins like fish, chicken and beans as well as healthy fats such as olive oil or avocados. Eating smaller portions at meals also helps balance blood sugar levels while also keeping one from overeating.

    What is Prediabetes?

    Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and can be prevented with lifestyle changes.

    Good nutrition, exercise, and weight management are essential in preventing the onset of prediabetes. Eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds; limiting processed and sugary foods; avoiding saturated fats; and maintaining portion control will help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels while reducing your risk of developing prediabetes.

    Additionally, exercising regularly can improve insulin sensitivity which helps reduce the risk of developing prediabetes or managing it if you’re already diagnosed.

    Remember that prevention is key when it comes to prediabetes – by eating healthy and exercising regularly you can keep your blood sugar levels balanced and ward off prediabetes for good!

    Understanding the Glycemic Index

    The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how quickly the carbohydrates in food break down into glucose and enter the bloodstream. High GI foods, like those with added sugar, can cause spikes in blood sugar that often lead to cravings and an increase in appetite.

    To help manage prediabetes, it is important to be mindful of the glycemic index of the foods you eat. Low GI foods take longer to digest and stabilize your blood sugar levels, helping you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Examples of low GI foods include oatmeal, whole grain breads and pastas, beans, and some fruit and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or squash.

    Eating these types of foods can help regulate your blood sugar levels over time. Avoiding high GI foods such as candy, soda, white breads or white rice can also help maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent further development of prediabetes-related illnesses.

    Eating for Prediabetes

    Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the key to managing prediabetes. A prediabetes diet should focus on whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while limiting added sugars, refined grains, and processed foods. By following this diet, you can not only control your blood sugar levels but also maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of complications, and improve your overall health.

    Let’s take a closer look at what to eat and avoid if you have prediabetes:

    Foods to Eat

    If you have prediabetes, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins can help you make the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

    Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other important nutrients that help support your overall health. Try to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

    Whole grains provide valuable fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals and other healthy plant compounds. To satisfy your hunger cravings between meals try choosing whole grains such as steel cut oats or quinoa over refined white flour products like whitebread or pasta.

    Eating lean proteins will give you the energy you need to stay active throughout the day without adding extra calories. Some great lean protein sources include chicken, fish and beans.

    Eating certain types of fats like omega-3 fats can also provide added health benefits like reducing inflammation. Aim for eating two servings of omega-3 fatty fish (such as salmon) each week.

    Foods to Avoid

    For those with prediabetes, eating right is essential to managing the condition and reducing the risk of further health complications. Foods high in added sugars, saturated fat, and salt should be avoided or limited as much as possible. Processed meats, fried foods, high-sodium condiments (like steak sauces or soy sauce), and foods with refined grains also should be limited as much as possible. Furthermore, drinkers of sweetened beverages should consider switching to diet substitutes that are low in calories but still contain artificial sweeteners.

    Other foods to avoid include white flour and white rice, both of which have a high glycemic index. Eating too many carbohydrates can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Low-fat dairy products may help reduce both cholesterol and blood glucose levels; however, full-fat dairy products are recommended for growing children since their bodies need more calories than adults’ do. Avoiding processed snack foods (chips, crackers) can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels while avoiding overeating—an important part of managing prediabetes.

    Meal Planning

    Meal planning is an important part of managing your prediabetes. It will help you to structure your meals and snacks so that you can control your blood sugar levels. Doing this will also help you to stick to healthy eating habits, as you will have an idea of what to eat every day in advance.

    Let’s look at some tips on creating a meal plan for prediabetes and what foods to eat and to avoid:


    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s even more crucial for people looking to manage prediabetes. Eating a balanced breakfast can help reduce blood sugar spikes throughout the day and provide other essential nutrients that support overall health.

    For example, incorporating foods high in fiber and protein can help slow digestion and keep blood sugar levels stable for longer periods of time. A few healthy breakfast ideas include:

    • Oatmeal with almonds
    • Fruit smoothies mixed with yogurt or nut butter
    • A protein-rich egg scramble

    Avoid sugary cereals, breads, and pastries as these processed carbohydrates can quickly raise blood sugar levels. Adding activities like yoga or a brisk walk after breakfast can also help support stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.


    When it comes to meal planning for people with prediabetes, having a variety of nutritious and tasty lunch recipes is key. Incorporating nutrient-rich ingredients like fresh veggies, legumes, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help reduce the risk for developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Additionally, these foods can also help manage blood sugar levels.

    When planning your lunch meals for the week it’s best to focus on balanced dishes with plenty of fiber and protein-based foods. A good rule of thumb is to make sure each meal includes at least three food groups from the ChooseMyPlate food pyramid guidelines.

    Some tasty ideas for prediabetes-friendly lunches include:

    • A veggie wrap with hummus
    • Roasted turkey breast over a bed of quinoa salad
    • Parsley and cilantro chicken tacos with white beans and salsa
    • Black bean burrito bowl topped with avocado and tomato salsa
    • Grilled vegetables over brown rice pasta

    Eating a well-rounded lunch will be essential in keeping blood sugar levels in check while still being able to enjoy delicious meals.


    When planning your dinner meals it’s important to include lean proteins, healthy fat sources and complex carbohydrates. A great way to build a healthy plate is by using a plate method – such as the ‘MyPlate’ system.

    Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, brussels sprouts and broccoli. Add around one-quarter lean proteins such as skinless poultry, fish or tofu; and one-quarter complex carbohydrates like quinoa or grains. It is essential to include healthy fats from foods such as avocados, olive oil, seeds and nuts.

    If you’re cooking for friends try adding some legumes for extra fibre and variety. If you’re eating out be sure to ask questions about how food is prepared so you can make an informed choice about what goes in your dish.

    Exercise and Lifestyle Changes

    Exercise and lifestyle changes are essential components of prediabetes management and prevention. Physical activity helps the body regulate glucose more efficiently, while healthy lifestyle choices help to reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

    The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults with prediabetes aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. Activities such as walking, biking, jogging, swimming, dancing, and strength training can all be beneficial for those with prediabetes.

    In addition to physical activity, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and get plenty of sleep. Eating healthy snacks throughout the day also helps to regulate glucose levels. Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake are also essential steps that can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in those with prediabetes.


    The best diet for prediabetes is one that is high in fiber, low in sugar, and contains a variety of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Eating several small meals throughout the day can help keep your blood sugar levels consistent. It’s also important to limit foods high in fat and carbohydrates and to avoid added sugars.

    Making healthy lifestyle changes and following a nutritious diet can help reduce blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, regular physical activity can help improve insulin sensitivity, reduce body fat, and lower cholesterol levels. All of these factors contribute to better health for those with prediabetes.

    FAQs about: Best Diet For Prediabetes

    Q: What is prediabetes?

    A: Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.

    Q: What is the best diet for prediabetes?

    A: The best diet for prediabetes is one that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods and limits refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, and added sugars. Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help manage prediabetes.

    Q: What lifestyle changes do I need to make to manage prediabetes?

    A: Making lifestyle changes is key to managing prediabetes. These changes include eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. It is also important to limit alcohol consumption and avoid smoking.

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