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Prediabetes

Carbohydrates and Prediabetes Diet – Is It Possible?

With all the talk about carbs and blood sugar, what should you do about carbohydrates when planning your prediabetes diet? Are all carbs bad?
Carbohydrates and Prediabetes Diet - Is It Possible?
Author
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

Carbs and Prediabetes Diet


With all the talk about carbs and blood sugar, what should you do about carbohydrates when planning your prediabetes diet? Are all carbs bad, or are there good ones? Should you go for a low-carb, or even a very low-carb ketogenic diet? The best approach is one that includes healthy carbs, while also easy and comfortable for you to follow along. Carbs and a prediabetes diet is possible, but it needs to be taken in moderation.

Smart Carb Tips for a Prediabetes Diet

Do you remember the fat-free diet fad from a few decades ago? The theory was that all fats are bad,[1] but it turns out that some fats are bad, and some are good. Similarly, all carbohydrates are not created equal, and Lark supports a healthy carb approach. Here are some guidelines.

  • Firstly, choose good carbohydrates.[2] Look for high-fiber sources, such as vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and high-protein sources, such as dairy products. Beans and nuts have both protein and fiber.
  • Additionally, limit bad carbohydrates, and be sure to keep an eye out for added sugars and refined starches. [3]
  • Finally, watch your portion sizes. Aim for 15 to 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal. There are 15 grams in a slice of bread, a ½ cup of cooked beans, pasta, grains, and starchy vegetables, or a small serving of fruit.[4]

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Can I Eat Carbs If I Have Prediabetes?

Yes, but moderation is key! Also be sure to consider the source of the carbohydrate, because if you are eating french fries, that’s not a nutritional source! Look for foods rich in other nutritional aspects, such as fiber. Carbohydrates and prediabetes do not have to be separate, but just consumed in moderation!

Glycemic Index and Prediabetes

A glycemic index diet for prediabetes can help lower blood sugar. Be sure to keep an eye on the foods you eat using that helpful link.

The glycemic index is a measure of how fast and how much eating a certain food with carbohydrates makes your blood sugar levels rise.[5] Only foods with carbohydrates have a glycemic index, and a higher glycemic index diet is usually less healthy for prediabetes.[6]

Foods that have a lower glycemic index tend to be higher in fiber, protein, and/or fat.[7] On the contrary, foods with a lower glycemic index tend to be higher in sugars and/or refined starches. Cooking and other forms of processing raise the glycemic index. You can find a glycemic foods list here.


Sample Prediabetic Menus with “Good” Carbs

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

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Height 64
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Diabetes Prevention Program for Diet Support


A prediabetes diet is easier to follow when you have support. A digital Diabetes Prevention Program such as the Lark app can help you stick to your prediabetes diet and the rest of your healthy lifestyle changes. [8]

You may be eligible to get Lark DPP and get started on your prediabetes diet and health goals. Find out today!