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Pre-Diabetes Diet Quick Guide: Do’s and Don’ts – HealthifyMe

Written by hana

Prediabetes or borderline diabetes refers to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. It is somewhat of a gray area between normal blood sugar levels and diabetes levels. For this reason, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes, especially if it is not diagnosed or treated. The good news is that prediabetes is only a warning sign, and you can improve or even reverse prediabetes.

Certain lifestyle changes can reverse prediabetes. While many of them are related to exercise and medication, your diet also plays an important role. A pre-diabetes diet is all about making the right food choices and portion control to help you lose weight and make sure your blood sugar doesn’t skyrocket. So let’s take a closer look at the foods that are the building blocks of a diabetic diet.

Components of a pre-diabetes diet

A study showed that a lifestyle intervention targeting diet and exercise reduces the risk of developing prediabetes for up to ten years. Develop a low-cost and easily accessible pre-diabetes diet to normalize blood glucose levels. Since overweight and obesity are lifestyle-related risk factors for prediabetes, the diet should support healthy weight loss. Besides the positive effect on insulin, losing weight can help regulate blood sugar consistently.

Check out the types of foods to include in a pre-diabetes diet:

Eat more fiber

High-fiber foods keep you full longer after a meal, reducing the likelihood of overeating. This means that you will never be in the danger zone of overindulging in calorie-dense snacks. Fiber also digests and absorbs it more slowly, which leads to a slower rise in blood sugar, thus preventing a rapid rise in sugar. Steel-cut oats, stone-ground whole-wheat bread, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables can help you reach the recommended amount of fiber per day.

Increase your protein intake

You need to reduce added sugar and carbohydrates. But your body still needs energy, and this is where you should rely on eating protein and healthy fats. Try incorporating high-fat protein into the diet. You can use eggs, fatty fish, skinless poultry, or low-fat dairy products. If you are a vegetarian, look for plant protein such as lentils, beans, nuts, soybeans (and their products) etc. Including lean proteins instead of those rich in saturated fats can help reverse the spike during prediabetes. The recommended portions are to include protein from your plate, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.

Low glycemic index foods

A food’s glycemic index score reflects how quickly it raises blood sugar. Therefore, choose foods with a low glycemic index, such as non-starchy vegetables, leafy greens, olives, raw carrots, whole-wheat pasta, and sweet potatoes.

functional foods

Functional foods are naturally occurring foods with additional medicinal benefits beyond basic nutrition, including regulating blood sugar levels. Aside from everyday foods, try mixing a handful of functional foods into your snacks and meals.

Some functional foods suitable for diabetic patients are:

  • cinnamon
  • chia seeds
  • Turmeric
  • flaxseed
  • apple cider vinegar
  • garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil

HealthifyMe Note

The more fiber in your diabetic diet, the longer it takes to digest those foods, which is what you want! Lean proteins should also be included and saturated fats replaced with healthy fats. Because protein helps stabilize blood sugars, we highly suggest eating protein at every meal.

Foods to avoid

Reduce your intake of refined sugar

Sugar is one of the elements that leads you to the unhealthy state of prediabetes. Therefore, all sweetened drinks should be avoided, including sodas, energy drinks, flavored milk, and many additionally sweetened juices. These flavored drinks contain many sweeteners and empty calories that are harmful to blood glucose levels.

Avoid junk and processed foods

Processed and junk foods are very low in fiber and nutrients, which are absorbed more quickly in the digestive system. It causes a sharp rise in blood sugar. Avoid or reduce packaged snack foods, fast food, white bread, pasta, and rice.

fatty foods

It is necessary to avoid all products containing trans fats – especially fried products, which contain a large amount of cholesterol. Thus, avoid packaged chips, crackers, fast food products, and pasta sauces.

Sample pre-diabetes meal plan

When creating a diabetic meal plan, there are a few general rules. First, only half of the calories should come from carbohydrates. Second, pair carbs with protein and fat to slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes. With that in mind, here’s a one-day diabetic meal plan:

  • breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon, berries and chopped walnuts
  • Afternoon snack: Low-fat Greek yogurt with sliced ​​almonds
  • lunch: Scramble tofu with vegetables and whole grain bread
  • Evening snack: Green tea or lemon with apple slices
  • Dinner: Grilled skinless chicken breast with brown rice and spinach salad

Basic tips to follow

Creating a pre-diabetes diet plan is not as difficult as it may seem. Remember, it’s not that you have to completely cut out the foods you love. Instead, it’s about including more healthy, nutrient-dense foods and providing higher fats for special occasions.

Plan for a sustainable diet

Oftentimes you plan a strict low-fat, low-carb diet. But it gets hard on your body, and eventually you give up. So instead, prepare a meal according to your daily nutritional requirements and take one step at a time. It will help you follow the diet longer and may eventually become your preferred eating style. Tracking and customizing nutrition according to your lifestyle and food preferences is made easier with a HealthifyMe subscription.

portion control

Portion control, and especially the splitting of carbohydrate-containing foods, is vital to reversing prediabetes. The idea is to control the number of carbohydrates you eat at one time. Practicing portion control also promotes weight loss, which helps reverse prediabetes in people who are overweight. It’s very simple. Simply use the plate method and small dinnerware. Small plates and bowls can subconsciously make us see the large portions. The opposite is true when using larger slabs.

drink more water

Choosing water over sugary drinks may not seem like much of a problem, but it helps cut down on a lot of extra calories and added sugar intake. In addition, adding citrus fruits, cucumbers, or herbs such as mint to the water adds more flavor and makes drinking the water more enjoyable.

HealthifyMe Note

Paying attention to your diet becomes very important if you have prediabetes, which pushes you towards a balanced and healthy diet. Make sure you are eating the right amount of nutrients in the right way. Eating out may be a tasty and convenient meal for you, but when it comes to diabetes and blood sugar control, one of the best things you can do is eat more home-cooked meals.


Making small, incremental changes in your food choices can improve your blood sugar indicators and reduce your risk of prediabetes. While on a diabetic diet, you can continue to have the flavors you love. Prediabetes is reversible as long as you know how to break down high-calorie foods and carbohydrates more appropriately. However, it slowly scaled back. Just like anything else, your food choices can be a tough habit to break. The holistic approach is to make small changes that will make a big impact in the long run. Focus on eating more fiber and lean protein, including being more active.

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