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The Prediabetes Diet is recommended for those diagnosed with Prediabetes, with refers to the phase that occurs before a person develops full-blown diabetes. Blood glucose levels are higher than normal but they are not high enough for the person to be classified as diabetic.
Almost 26 million Americans have prediabetes and up to 70 percent of them will eventually become type 2 diabetics. It is also a risk factor for many health problems including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
- Brain disorders
In The Prediabetes Diet Plan nutritionist, Hilary Wright, lays out a program for getting your blood sugar under control and reversing prediabetes.
Prediabetes Diet Basics
Research shows that when healthy lifestyle changes are implemented in the early stages of prediabetes health risks can be minimized or avoided altogether.
In order to reverse the effects of prediabetes the following risk factors must be addressed:
- Physical inactivity
- Cigarette smoking
- Low fiber/high glycemic index diet
- High intake of saturated fats
- Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages
Perhaps the most important issue relates to consuming the right types of carbohydrates in the correct amounts.
Two Approaches for Managing Carbs
You have two options for keeping control of your carbohydrate intake. The approach you choose will depend on whether you are more comfortable making general changes or prefer a structured diet.
1. The Balanced Plate Approach
This method works well for people who are just getting started with healthy eating. For each meal you will compose a plate of:
- 50 percent non-starchy vegetables – helps you feel full, provides more nutrients for less calories, blunts insulin response, reduces the risk of heart disease cancer and many other health problems.
- 25 percent lean protein– include plant sources. Holds hunger at bay for longer.
- 25 percent healthy carbohydrates – Limit fruit intake to one serving at a time – 2 or 3 servings a day.
- A dab of healthy fat – enhances flavor and helps with absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.
2. Carb-Counting Approach
On this plan you figure out your carb budget for the day based on your daily calorie requirements. You then determine how to best distribute them over the day in your meals and snacks.
Regardless of the method you choose the key to success is spreading out your carbohydrate intake into smaller portions over the course of the day. This helps maintain your blood glucose level in a steady range.
There are three days of meal plans for four different calorie levels: 1500, 1700, 2000 and 2300.
Recommended Diabetes Preventing Foods
Chicken breast, turkey breast, fish and seafood, lean meat, fat-free milk, non-fat yogurt, tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, whole grain bread, sweet potato, apples, cherries, raspberries, grapefruit, spinach, tomato, lettuce, avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil.
Prediabetic Diet Meal Plan
1 cup old-fashioned oats (cook in water)
¾ cup cubed pineapple
Whole wheat pita pocket
2 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese
4 ounces salmon
Exercise Further Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, especially for people with prediabetes. It plays an important role in weight management, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease risk.
Ideally you should do 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity.
Moderate exercises consist of brisk walking, cycling, resistance band training or playing tennis. Vigorous activities can include aerobic dancing, swimming laps and weight lifting.
Costs and Expenses
The Prediabetes Diet Plan: How to Reverse Prediabetes and Prevent Diabetes through Healthy Eating and Exercise retails at $15.99.
- Explains the science of blood glucose regulation and insulin function.
- Includes information about how to test for prediabetes.
- Does not require a strict low carb diet.
- Offers two different approaches for managing carbohydrates in the diet.
- Provides information about nutritional supplements for prediabetes.
- Emphasizes importance of a positive attitude and emotional balance.
- Only contains three days of meal plans and does not include recipes.
- Some individuals with prediabetes may require assistance from a qualified health professional to effectively manage their condition.
- Requires either calorie counting or portion control.
A Practical Guide to Improve Health
This prediabetes diet offers a practical guide to managing and reversing prediabetes with diet and exercise.
By implementing the recommendations it may be possible to avoid this condition from developing into full blown diabetes. It also can reduce the risk of a variety of other health risks that are associated with prediabetes.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011). National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 201. link
- Weiss, R., Dufour, S., Taksali, S. E., Tamborlane, W. V., Petersen, K. F., Bonadonna, R. C., … Caprio, S. (2003). Prediabetes in obese youth: a syndrome of impaired glucose tolerance, severe insulin resistance, and altered myocellular and abdominal fat partitioning. The Lancet, 362(9388), 951-957. link
- Benjamin, S. M., Valdez, R., Geiss, L. S., Rolka, D. B., Narayan, K. V. Estimated Number of Adults With Prediabetes in the US in 2000 Opportunities for prevention. Diabetes care, 26(3), 645-649. link
- Tabák, A. G., Herder, C., Rathmann, W., Brunner, E. J., Kivimäki, M. (2012). Prediabetes: a high-risk state for diabetes development. The Lancet, 379(9833), 2279-2290. link
Last Reviewed: January 14, 2018