If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is a warning sign that you need to take action to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. One of the most effective ways to do this is by adopting a healthy prediabetes diet plan. In this article, we will take a closer look at what you should eat and what you should avoid if you have prediabetes.
What is Prediabetes?
Before we dive into the prediabetes diet plan, let’s first understand what prediabetes is. Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that around 88 million American adults have prediabetes, and around 84% of them don’t even know they have it.
Prediabetes is a warning sign that you need to take action to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. If left untreated, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes, which is a chronic condition that can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
What Causes Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environment. Some of the risk factors for prediabetes include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Having a sedentary lifestyle
- Having a history of gestational diabetes
- Being over 45 years old
- Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels
Prediabetes Diet Plan
Adopting a healthy prediabetes diet plan is one of the most effective ways to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. A prediabetes diet plan should be rich in nutrients, low in calories, and low in unhealthy fats and sugars.
Foods to Eat
Here are some of the best foods to include in your prediabetes diet plan:
High Fiber Foods
Foods that are high in fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Some of the best high fiber foods to include in your prediabetes diet plan are:
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, barley)
- Fruits (apples, berries, pears, oranges)
- Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots)
- Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
Healthy fats can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. Some of the best sources of healthy fats to include in your prediabetes diet plan are:
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews)
- Seeds (chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds)
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
Lean protein can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote satiety. Some of the best sources of lean protein to include in your prediabetes diet plan are:
- Skinless chicken breast
- Turkey breast
- Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
Foods to Avoid
Here are some of the foods you should avoid or limit in your prediabetes diet plan:
Sugary Foods and Beverages
Sugary foods and beverages can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and should be avoided or limited in your prediabetes diet plan. Some of the worst offenders are:
Refined carbohydrates can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and should be avoided or limited in your prediabetes diet plan. Some of the worst offenders are:
- White bread
- White rice
- Cereals with added sugars
Saturated and Trans Fats
Saturated and trans fats can increase insulin resistance and inflammation, and should be avoided or limited in your prediabetes diet plan. Some of the worst offenders are:
- Fried foods
- Processed meats (sausages, hot dogs, bacon)
Sample Prediabetes Diet Plan
Here is a sample prediabetes diet plan that you can use as a guide:
- 1 slice of whole wheat bread
- 1 scrambled egg
- ½ cup of berries
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 apple
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter
- Grilled chicken breast
- 1 cup of roasted vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
- ½ cup of brown rice
- 1 cup of sliced cucumber
- ¼ cup of hummus
- Baked salmon
- 1 cup of sautéed spinach
- ½ cup of quinoa
- 1 small Greek yogurt
- ½ cup of mixed berries
A healthy prediabetes diet plan can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and improve your overall health. Remember to focus on nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods and avoid or limit sugary, refined, and high-fat foods. If you have any questions or concerns about your prediabetes diet plan, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider.
- What is the best exercise for prediabetes?
- Aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming is the best exercise for prediabetes.
- Can prediabetes be reversed with diet and exercise?
- Yes, prediabetes can be reversed with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- Can prediabetes turn into type 2 diabetes?
- Yes, if left untreated, prediabetes can turn into type 2 diabetes.
- Can I eat fruits if I have prediabetes?
- Yes, you can eat fruits if you have prediabetes. Just make sure to choose fruits that are low in sugar and high in fiber.
- Should I take medication for prediabetes?
- Depending on your individual situation, your healthcare provider may recommend medication for prediabetes. However, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise should always be the first line of defense.