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Foods to Avoid on a Diet for Prediabetes

Natalie
Stein
October 15, 2018
Foods to Avoid on a Diet for Prediabetes
Lark

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Foods to Avoid on Diet for Prediabetes

Foods to Avoid Examples
1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Soft drinks (sodas), sweetened iced tea, flavored hot and cold coffee drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit punch and juice drinks with less than 100% fruit juice
2. Refined Grains
White bread, bagels, pita, buns, rolls, and English muffins, white pasta, rice, pearled barley, refined cereal
3. Fried Foods
French fries and hash browns, onion rings, doughnuts, churros, fried chicken and fish, chicken nuggets, fried shrimp, fritters
4. Sugar-Sweetened Breakfast Cereals and Cereal Bars
Honey Nut Cheerios, cornflakes, most children’s cereals, granola, raisin bran, most chocolate, fruit, honey, and cinnamon-flavored cereals, granola bars, cereal bars
5. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt
Most low-fat or full-fat, fruit-flavored yogurt, often “fruit-on-the-bottom” and/or “all-natural,” yogurt smoothies
6. Desserts and Candy
Pies, cookies, cakes, brownies, muffins, ice cream, frozen yogurt, chocolate and other candy bars, hard candies, tarts, pastries, cobblers, turnovers
7. Unhealthy Fats
Butter, lard, shortening, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, fatty meats, poultry skin
8. Red and Processed Meats
Steak, pork chops, ground beef, bacon, salami, luncheon and deli meats including turkey breast and ham, pepperoni, sausage, hot dogs, bologna, beef and turkey jerky
9. Salty Processed Snacks
Potato chips, tortilla and corn chips, white crackers and pretzels, cheese puffs
10. Dried Fruit and Fruit Juices
Raisins, dates, dried apricot, apple, pear, papaya, and cranberries, trail mix with dried fruit, fruit punch with 100% fruit, grape, orange, apple, pineapple, and other 100% juices and juice blends


Along with losing weight, eating the right foods can improve your blood sugar control. Fiber, 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

Meal or SnackFoodsBreakfast

Oatmeal with 1/2 cup of oats and skim milk or unsweetened soy milk. 1 cup of sliced strawberries.

Snack

1 cup of snow peas with 2 tablespoons of hummus.

Lunch

Wrap: tuna salad made with 3 oz. tuna, 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 oz. of chopped walnuts, diced celery and onion, Dijon mustard, and pepper; all in a small whole-grain tortilla.

Snack

1/2 cup of non-fat cottage cheese plus 1 small diced pear.

Dinner

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.

 *High in carbohydrate, so watch portion sizes!

Avoiding certain other foods can also help control prediabetes. According to Harvard School of Public Health, sugar and refined starches are types of carbohydrates that can spike your blood glucose (that is bad!), but it is not just about the carbs. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommending limiting unhealthy fats and fried foods.

Sample Menus for a Prediabetes Diet

Day 1

Meal or SnackFoodsBreakfast

Oatmeal with 1/2 cup of oats and skim milk or unsweetened soy milk. 1 cup of sliced strawberries.

Snack

1 cup of snow peas with 2 tablespoons of hummus.

Lunch

Wrap: tuna salad made with 3 oz. tuna, 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 oz. of chopped walnuts, diced celery and onion, Dijon mustard, and pepper; all in a small whole-grain tortilla.

Snack

1/2 cup of non-fat cottage cheese plus 1 small diced pear.

Dinner

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 SnackFoodsBreakfast

1/2 whole-grain bagel with 2 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of walnuts. Cinnamon optional.

Snack

Hard-boiled egg.

Lunch

Chicken soup made with low-sodium broth and containing 3 ounces of cooked, diced skinless chicken breast, 1/2 cup diced cooked sweet potato, and 1 cup of non-starchy vegetables of your choice, such as carrots, zucchini, turnip, and onions.

Snack

1/2 apple plus 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

Dinner

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 SnackFoodsBreakfast

4 scrambled egg whites tossed with 1 cup fresh spinach and 2 oz. of lean ground turkey, plus 1 orange.

Snack

2 oz. of all-natural turkey breast wrapped around 1 cup of cucumber spears. Mustard optional.

Lunch

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

Snack

1/2 cup low-sodium, fat-free refried beans topped with 1 oz. shredded, low-fat cheddar cheese.

Dinner

3 oz. baked salmon plus 1/2 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!

About Lark

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