Foods to Avoid on a Prediabetic Diet | Lark Health

Foods to Avoid on a Prediabetic Diet

Foods to Avoid on a Prediabetic Diet

Foods to Avoid: High Glycemic Foods Examples
Fried foods: extra calories, unhealthy fats, refined starches, sodium
French fries and hash browns; fried chicken; doughnuts; potato chips
Sugary foods: added sugars, extra calories, sodium (often)
Cake; cookies; ice cream; pie; pastries; candy
Processed foods with added sugars: sugar, extra calories
Sugar-sweetened cereals, oatmeal, and snack bars; canned and frozen fruit with sugar; flavored yogurt; ketchup and other sugary condiments; tomato soup
Red meat: unhealthy fat
Steak; pork chops; ground beef and pork (especially fatty); brisket; gyro
Processed meat: nitrates, sodium, unhealthy fat
Bacon; ham; sausage; hot dogs; salami; pepperoni
Refined starches
White bread, rolls, buns, pita, bagels, and English muffins; white pasta, rice, crackers, and pretzels
Sugar-sweetened beverages
Soft drinks; energy and sports drinks; flavored tea and coffee beverages
Alcoholic beverages: high in calories, interferes with insulin action, and can lead to eating unhealthy foods
Beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks

Along with losing weight, eating the right foods can improve your blood sugar control. Fiber,[4] protein, and healthy fats stabilize blood sugar as they slow digestion and absorption of the foods you eat. Certain nutrients may reduce insulin resistance and help reverse prediabetes.

Your prediabetic diet targets other risk factors for diabetes. On the whole, the same eating patterns that can help lower blood sugar can have benefits such as lowering blood pressure, triglycerides, and “bad” LDL cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and hypertension. 

Foods to Choose on a Prediabetic Diet

Foods to Choose: nutrients for prediabetes Examples
Non-Starchy Vegetables: fiber, potassium, low-calorie
Fresh lettuce and salad greens; tomatoes; celery; cucumbers; onions; snow peas; mushrooms; broccoli; spinach; brussels sprout; eggplant; zucchini; bell peppers…etc.!; frozen vegetables (no salt added)
Seafood: protein, healthy fats, potassium
Salmon; shrimp; tuna; crab; clams; mackerel; herring; tilapia; pollock
Legumes: * fiber, protein, potassium
Split and black-eyed peas; lentils; beans such as kidney, black, garbanzo, and pinto beans; soybeans and soy products, such as tofu, edamame, and soy milk; meat substitutes
Whole Grains:* fiber
Whole-grain bread, cereal, and pasta; oatmeal; brown rice; whole-grain barley, farro, and quinoa; air-popped popcorn
Starchy Vegetables: * fiber, potassium
Sweet potatoes; potatoes; winter squash; green peas; corn; pumpkin
Plant-based fats/oils: healthy fats, fiber (except oil), protein (in peanuts, nuts, and seeds)
Olive oil; avocado; natural peanut and nut butters; peanuts; nuts; seeds; flaxseed; vegetable oils
Reduced-fat dairy: protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D
Plain yogurt; skim milk; fat-free cottage cheese; low-fat cheese
Fruit: * fiber, potassium
Peaches; cantaloupe; berries; apples; pears; oranges; tangerines; watermelon; frozen fruit (no sugar added)
Hydrating beverages: water, low-calorie
Water; decaffeinated black coffee and unsweetened tea without cream; water with mint, lime, lemon, or cucumber

 *High in carbohydrate, so watch portion sizes!

Avoiding other foods can also help control prediabetes. Sugar and refined starches can spike your blood glucose (that is bad!), but it is not just about the carbs. Unhealthy fats,[6] processed meats,[7] and even sodium from salty foods[8] can increase insulin resistance.



Sample Prediabetic Menus

Day 1

Meal or Snack Foods
Oatmeal with ½ cup of oats and skim milk or unsweetened soy milk. 1 cup of sliced strawberries.
1 cup of snow peas with 2 tablespoons of hummus.
Wrap: tuna salad made with 3 oz. tuna, 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, ½ oz. of chopped walnuts, diced celery and onion, Dijon mustard, and pepper; all in a small whole-grain tortilla.
½ cup of non-fat cottage cheese plus 1 small diced pear.
3 oz. skinless baked or grilled chicken breast plus 1 large zucchini in slices, brushed with 1 tsp. olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary, baked.


Day 2

Meal or Snack Foods
½ whole-grain bagel with 2 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of walnuts. Cinnamon optional.
Hard-boiled egg.
Chicken soup made with low-sodium broth and containing 3 ounces of cooked, diced skinless chicken breast, ½ cup diced cooked sweet potato, and 1 cup of non-starchy vegetables of your choice, such as carrots, zucchini, turnip, and onions.
½ apple plus 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
Turkey burger on a whole-grain bun. Use 3 oz. lean ground turkey and top with lettuce, tomato, and mustard. 1 cup of carrot sticks.


Day 3

Meal or Snack Foods
4 scrambled egg whites tossed with 1 cup fresh spinach and 2 oz. of lean ground turkey, plus 1 orange.
2 oz. of all-natural turkey breast wrapped around 1 cup of cucumber spears. Mustard optional.
Salad with fresh spinach leaves, 3 oz. cooked diced chicken breast, 1 peeled tangerine in wedges, grape tomatoes, and diced red onion (optional). Top with
½ cup low-sodium, fat-free refried beans topped with 1 oz. shredded, low-fat cheddar cheese.
3 oz. baked salmon plus ½ cup cooked brown rice, and a lettuce-based side salad with light dressing.

 Diabetes Prevention Program for Diet Support

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

The DPP has a curriculum that is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is designed to take up to a year to complete. In that time, you can learn about weight loss, healthy eating, and physical activity to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Lesson content includes strategies for overcoming barriers such as lack of time, losing motivation, and eating at restaurants.

With Lark DPP on your smartphone, you can:

  • Chat 24/7 with your health coach.

  • Track your weight loss, and log your food and physical activity.

  • Get personalized feedback on what you eat and your activity.

  • Pull your health coach out of your pocket whenever you want to chat.

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


toru izumida

New York, US