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2020's Best Prediabetic Diet with Plan and Recipes
What is the best prediabetes diet? That may be a burning question on your mind if you have been recently diagnosed with prediabetes, or if you have known about it for a while now and are at risk for developing diabetes.
Even if you have not been told that you have prediabetes, you could be worried about it, since 90% of the people are unaware that they have it. You are at higher risk if:
- You are over 45 years old
- Do not get much exercise
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Are African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
What's more is that you are at risk if you are overweight, have high "bad" LDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, or low "good" HDL cholesterol. What these have in common is that you can improve them with diet.
Most people with prediabetes eventually develop diabetes, but here's a secret: it doesn't always have to happen. Just because you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in large part by following a healthy diet for prediabetes – no gimmicks necessary.
Awareness of prediabetes could be the best thing that ever happened to you. It gives you the chance to find a prediabetic diet that works for your health and for your lifestyle. Once you decide to make those healthy changes, you are more likely to succeed with a support system that works for you, and a health app could be what you need for information and accountability.
Prediabetes Diet Plan
A prediabetes diet plan can help your blood sugars get closer to or even within healthy ranges. In prediabetes, your blood sugar is higher than normal, but still lower than in diabetes. Your doctor may tell you that you have prediabetes if you have:
- Fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dl,
- An oral glucose tolerance test of 140 to 199 mg/dl, or
- Glycated hemoglobin (A1c) of 5.7 to 6.4%.
While you have some insulin resistance, your body is still producing and responding to insulin – and that's great news. It means you can put together a nutritious plan that follows pre-diabetic diet recommendations, and expect better health.
Find out how to control blood sugar, and how blood sugar can fluctuate throughout the day.
Best Diet Plan to Reverse Prediabetes
A great thing about prediabetes is that it is often reversible. In most cases, you do not even need medications. All you may need are the right diet plan, additional healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising and avoiding smoking, and a lot of dedication and patience.
There is no single best diet or meal plan for prediabetes. If you ask 100 people, "What is the best diet for prediabetes?," you may get 100 different answers – and they may all be correct. Your plan should help you control your weight, provide the nutrients and healthy foods you need to lower risk of developing diabetes and other chronic diseases, and fit into your lifestyle so that you can make it work for the long term.
The goals for the "best" prediabetes diet
Extra pounds are among the most significant modifiable risk factors for prediabetes and diabetes, and the prediabetes diet plan that you choose should help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. While a "healthy" BMI is considered to be under 25 kg/m2 (that is 155 lb. for a 5'6" woman and 179 lb. for a 5'11" man), it may not be necessary to get under that weight to lower your risk. Losing as little as 5% of your body weight – or 8 to 10 lb. if you weigh 160 to 200 lb. – can decrease diabetes risk.
Aside from weight, certain nutrients are linked to improved health and lower diabetes risk. These dietary patterns can slow any progression of prediabetes.
- Increasing consumption of vegetables, fruits, and beans
- Eating more whole grains instead of refined
- Choosing olive oil
- Limiting sweets, refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, starchy vegetables, and unhealthy saturated fats from fried foods and fatty meats
If you do not follow a diabetes friendly diet plan, it will not work. Any diet, no matter how nutritionally perfect, needs to fit into your lifestyle. Your pre-diabetic diet meal plan needs to:
- Include foods you love to eat.
- Allow for indulgences and special occasions, so you can satisfy the occasional craving and fit in a party or work event without going off your diet plan or feeling guilty.
- Rely on "regular" foods and ingredients that your local supermarket carries.
- Require you to spend only the amount of time in the kitchen that you want, rather than requiring gourmet recipes for all three meals.