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August 9, 2022

Diet for Prediabetes

Numerous factors which can be modified increase your risk of prediabetes, such as inactivity and being overweight. Therefore, your diet is key.

People assume carbohydrates are the main culprit causing prediabetes, but the type and amount of carbohydrates consumed is what influences blood sugar. Refined and processed carbohydrates digest quicker so these cause higher spikes in blood sugar. 

Often, people with prediabetes struggle to lower their blood sugar levels after meals so taking care of what carbohydrates you consume can help.

Good diets for prediabetes are low carb, keto, Mediterranean, or low calorie. When you consume more calories than your body needs, they are stored as fat which is associated with insulin resistance. Especially if the fat is stored around the middle.

Lifestyle changes can help maintain and control blood sugar levels and a healthy weight.

Glycaemic index (GI) 

You can work out how foods could affect your blood sugar levels by using the GI. If a food is high on the GI, it will raise your blood sugar faster. If it is low on the GI, it will make less of a difference to your blood sugar level.

High-fibre foods rank low on the GI, whereas processed and refined foods with little to no fibre rank high. Refined carbohydrates, which are grain foods that digest quickly, such as white bread and white rice, also rank highly.

High-ranking foods should be avoided, but medium-ranking foods are okay to eat.

Foods that are low on the GI are best for your blood sugar, such as steel-cut oats, non-starchy vegetables, and sweet potatoes.

Consuming mixed meals will lower a food’s GI, for example, having white rice with vegetables and chicken will slow the digestion of the rice.


Portion control can help ensure your diet is low on the GI, involving limiting how much food you consume.

The labels on food can help you understand how much you are eating, and the nutritional values, including calories and fat, for a serving.It’s important to understand that if you eat more than the serving size, the nutritional value of what you have eaten will increase.

You do not need to cut out carbs as studies have shown that a low-carb diet is linked to the same mortality risk as a high carbohydrate diet.It is recommended to spread out your carbohydrate intake throughout the day. The National Institutes of Health [1] recommend that 45 to 65 per cent of your calories come from carbohydrates. 

Try practicing mindful eating. Eat when you are hungry and then stop when you feel full. You should sit down, eat slowly, and focus on what youare eating.

Eat more fibre 

Consuming fibre helps you feel fuller for longer and adds bulk to your diet which makes bowel movements easier.

Eating high-fibre foods means that you are less likely to overeat and helps you avoid ‘the crash’ after consuming too much sugar.

Try to eat more high-fibre foods including beans, whole grains, and fruit and vegetables with a skin you can eat. 

Drink less sugary drinks

Drinking water instead of sugary drinks is recommended because sugary drinks provide ‘empty calories’ that turn into quickly digesting carbohydrates.

There can be up to 45 grams of carbohydrates in one 12 ounce can of fizzy drink.

Drinking alcohol 

Moderation is always a healthy way to live, including drinking alcohol.

Alcohol can be dehydrating and some drinks, like cocktails, contain a lot of sugar that will spike your blood sugar levels.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans[2][3] advise that women limit themselves to one drink a day and men limit to two drinks a day.

If you do drink, try to keep it simple by avoiding sugary drinks and juices. You should also try sipping water to avoid dehydration.

Avoid fatty meats 

If you have prediabetes, a diet with little saturated and trans fats is recommended to reduce the likelihood of heart disease.

Eating fatty meats regularly can cause high cholesterol levels.

Try to avoid eating meat with visible fat, instead, consume more protein from:

  • A lean cut of meat
  • Soybean producs, such as tofu and tempeh
  • Beans and legumes
  • Egg substitute or egg whites
  • Fish, such as cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, tuna or trout

Drink lots of water

Water is an essential aspect of a healthy diet and, if you haveprediabetes, water is a better option than sugary drinks.

You should drink enough water to avoid dehydration. This can bedetermined by keeping an eye on the amount of urine when you go and the colourof your urine – it should be pale yellow. 

Exercise is also a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, especiallyif you have prediabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetesand Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)[4] inactivity has been associated with increased insulin resistance.

To stop prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes, earlymedical intervention is key. If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, youcan work with your doctor to come up with a diet plan to help.






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