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Making a Tasty Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

Starting and maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make. As the American Diabetes Association points out that a healthy diet can even help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. This is especially on my mind of late, as my brother-in-law was recently warned to scale back his diet to prevent being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We needed help narrowing down a few recipes he could make and enjoy that would help him stay pre-diabetic. Of course, I was more than happy to make and try the best out there. You might be surprised; these are some great healthy options out there, so I’ve put together this pre-diabetic diet food list just for you or someone you love to help them stay healthy.

I think starting off with a list is the best way to go. After all, when people hear the word “diet”, they tend to think of restrictions that will prevent them from being able to enjoy their favorite foods. Fortunately, in this case, “diet” doesn’t actually mean you’ll have to forgo everything flavorful in your life. After all, there’s no better time than the present to start eating healthier.

Picking Your Proteins

food groups Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

Let’s start off with one of the most popular food groups, Protein! For most people, the word “protein” brings meat to mind, although there are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives as well. Meats won’t give you any issues in terms of carbohydrates, but they can contain a lot of fat that you’ll want to avoid.

Consuming excess unhealthy fats can lead to a number of health issues, such as prediabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Thankfully, there are a lot of lean proteins and lean meats you can enjoy for all the flavor without the nutritional downfalls.

For meats, I would suggest adding the following to your pre diabetic diet food list:

  • Chicken
  • Lean beef cuts
  • Turkey

For non-meat proteins, these next few foods are great options as well:

  • Beans
  • Greek yogurt
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Soybean-based foods (like tofu)

Last but not least, fish, shellfish, and eggs are also amazing sources of protein!

The Importance of Fiber in Your Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

fiber-rich foods Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

Eating fiber-rich foods is a must. Not only does fiber help your body manage blood sugar, but it can even help reduce hunger levels. Both of these benefits working together can do a lot for your overall health and happiness.

The benefits of fiber are also realized later on when it’s time to go to the bathroom. Not only can fiber help relieve constipation, but it will also make routine bowel movements easier.

Like proteins, you have plenty of options to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Avocado
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Chia seeds
  • Cereals made with whole grains
  • Kiwi
  • Legumes
  • Peas
  • Pistachios
  • Passionfruit
  • Quinoa
  • Raspberries
  • Sunflower kernels
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grain breads

Carb Concerns To Keep In Mind With a Pre Diabetic Diet Food List


When it comes to prediabetes or diabetes, counting carbs will quickly become your best friend. The nutrition labels on foods can be helpful to track these numbers, but you won’t always have food labels to rely on. Whether you’re enjoying holiday meals with family or heading out for a bite to eat, there are times when you’ll simply have to know which choices are the healthiest if you want to minimize your carb intake.

Aside from carbs, you should also prioritize your intake of healthy fats over unhealthy ones like saturated fats or trans fats. Options like olive oil and canola oil are great for this, especially if you’re having trouble giving up fried foods.

The Best Foods for Your Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

chicken Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

You can easily judge foods by their glycemic index (GI). Foods with a lower GI will have a limited effect on your blood sugar, whereas foods with a high GI will quickly raise your blood sugar.

Foods under 55 are considered low, while “Medium” runs from 56 to 69. Above that, a food is considered “high” GI. These are the foods you should avoid when possible.

There’s no need to despair, though, as there are plenty of low GI foods that I’m sure you love! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Coconut
  • Grapefruit
  • Green beans
  • Hummus
  • Leafy greens
  • Lettuce
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Oat bran
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Plain yogurt
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sourdough bread
  • Tacos

The Alright Items for Your Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

Pre Diabetic Diet Food List popcorn

Next up are the medium GI foods. These foods aren’t outright bad for you, but they’re not quite as healthy as the low GI foods. Still, you can enjoy these foods—despite the slightly increased risk—in moderation.

Just remember that the GI rating alone doesn’t necessarily make a food “healthy”. While a food might have a low or medium GI rating, it could have other drawbacks—such as high levels of salt–worth considering.

That said, here are some medium GI foods you might like:

  • Boiled beets
  • Bran bread
  • Brown rice
  • Condensed Milk
  • Corn
  • Corn chips
  • French fries
  • Grapes
  • Hamburgers
  • Honey
  • Ice cream
  • Maple syrup
  • Orange juice
  • Pancakes
  • Pea Soup
  • Pineapple
  • Popcorn
  • Potato chips
  • Soda
  • Sorbet
  • Sweet potato
  • Udon noodles

The Occasional Options


Last but not least are the high GI options. This list contains a lot of tasty snacks, but it also includes sugary drinks, high-fat items, and other types of foods you should generally avoid if you have a low insulin sensitivity.

If you do decide to enjoy an item or two from the list, it’s a good idea to balance things out when possible. For example, before popping your high GI white bread into the toaster, find something with a low GI rating—like plain yogurt—to pair it with and help balance out your meal.

Alright, here are some of the high GI foods you’ll want to watch out for.

  • Coconut water
  • Corn flakes
  • Fava beans
  • Fruit juice
  • Gatorade
  • Jelly beans
  • Potatoes
  • Pretzels
  • Rice milk
  • Sweetened yogurt
  • Watermelon
  • White rice

Things to Consider When Creating Your Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

Pre Diabetic Diet Food List

Knowing which foods are a good option is part of the battle, but there’s a bit more to consider when trying to create your pre diabetic diet food list. Really, this is less of a “diet” change and more of a “lifestyle” change, so you should try and approach it from that angle.

With that sort of “all-inclusive” approach in mind, let’s quickly go over a few other things that I think will help you maximize your daily diet.

Portion Control

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Whether you’re eating something healthy like chicken or something “fun” like Mozzarella sticks, portion control is important to maximizing your meals. For prediabetics, the ideal proportions can be broken down into three separate categories.

Nonstarchy vegetables should take up about 50% of your plate. 25% should be healthy carbs, and the remaining 25% should be lean proteins. If you can design your meals with these proportions in might then it should be easy to make every meal a good choice.

Routine Exercise

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It’s always a good idea to include physical activity in your daily routines. Whether you’re spending time outdoors or going to the gym, getting exercise is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. After all, diet alone won’t get the results you want. Diet and exercise go hand in hand, especially when you’re trying to avoid weight gain.

For the average adult, 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week should be enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Prefer higher-intensity workouts? Then you can limit your weekly sessions from 75 to 150 minutes.

Beyond that, just try not to sit too much. Try to get up and stretch every thirty minutes when possible.

Water & Alcohol Considerations

alcoholic drink

A glass of wine can help you nod off to sleep when you finally lay your head down on the mattress. Still, like all things, moderation is key. This is especially true when it comes to alcohol. Besides many alcoholic drinks containing carbs and sugar, it’s just generally a good idea to limit intake for health reasons.

For men, up to two drinks is “acceptable”. For women, the recommended limit is one drink per day. Bear in mind that these limits are based on standard drink sizes, which your favorite drinks could easily exceed.

There is one thing you can drink as much as you want: water! Sure, it’s not particularly exciting, but I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better if you increase your daily water intake. Not sure if you’re drinking enough water? Well, there’s an easy way to tell.

Is your urine a palish yellow? If so, then you’re drinking enough water. If not, then you’ll want to increase your daily water intake.

Finishing Thoughts

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With an estimated 96 million adults in the United States dealing with prediabetes (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s obvious that diet is an important issue. In fact, over 80% of people don’t even know that they have.

If you’re unsure, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor. If you do find out you have prediabetes, consider consulting with a registered dietitian to make your own pre diabetic diet food list. While referring to this article is a great way to start your journey, there may be other risk factors you’ll need to consider beyond high blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Still, I hope this article has been helpful to you. Whether you’re prediabetic, diabetic, or not, we can all try to eat a little healthier. Have any favorite foods or go-to meals? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week, everyone!

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Are bananas OK for prediabetes?

While you should definitely keep proper portion sizes in mind, bananas are perfectly fine for prediabetics.

What food can diabetics eat freely?

There isn’t any one designated food that diabetics can eat freely. Ideally, one should shoot for a balanced diet every day. That said, feel free to switch up the foods to ensure eating is enjoyable.

How can I flush sugar out of my system fast?

If you’re wondering how to quickly flush sugar out of your system then I have some good news for you: all you need is water! Simply drink a lot of water and you’ll quickly flush the sugar out of your system.

What happens when you stop eating sugar for 14 days?

There are a number of benefits to abstaining from sugar for 14 days. During this time period, you’ll reduce the number of calories you’re consuming, boost your metabolism, potentially lose water weight, benefit from improved digestion, potentially gain clearer skin, have higher energy levels, experience reduced inflammation, and notice your body begin to regulate blood sugar levels more efficiently.

What fruit has the least amount of sugar and carbs?

Avocados have the least natural sugars and carbs that you’ll find in commonly eaten fruits.

What fruit has very little carbs?

Despite having a high GI score, watermelon has a very low glycemic load. Being made primarily of water, this helps make watermelon the lowest-carb fruit. The perfect snack for weight loss!

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