Prediabetes
130 Case Studies
92 Member Stories
1522 Research

A dietitian can assist you to create a prediabetic plan - or simply, a healthy eating plan. The plan will help you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight, and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats.


What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes means your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes are really prone to progress to type 2 diabetes. For people with prediabetes, the long-term harm of diabetes especially to your own heart, blood vessels, and kidneys - may already be starting.


Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It's a warning sign. Even though around 84 million American adults have prediabetes, 90% don't know they have it. Prediabetes puts you at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Prediabetes affects adults and children. The same lifestyle changes that can help prevent progression to diabetes in adults can also help bring children's blood sugar levels back to normal.


Pre-diabetes is also known as borderline diabetes which occurs when your blood sugar levels are in a range higher than normal but not considered to be diabetic. It is an alarming situation for the prediabetic people who are likely to develop diabetes after some time. But it's not necessarily true, and one can manage it or reverse the pre-diabetic condition through dietary modification. A doctor may tell you that you are prone to get diabetes after some time if your fasting blood sugar level ranges 100 to 125 mg/dl, and if glycosylated hemoglobin falls between 5.7 to 6.4%. Apart from these an oral glucose tolerance test range between 140 to 199 mg/dl is also considered to be prediabetic.  


The excellent news is that in the event you have prediabetes, diet and lifestyle changes can help you make adjustments to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health difficulties.

See: Herbs to lower high blood pressure

What is the glycemic index?

The Glycemic Index (GI) indicates how your body reacts to a particular food when consumed and how it can affect your blood glucose levels. It's a relative ranking of carbohydrate in food compared to a standard amount of glucose. 


The glycemic index is a measure of time taken by the blood sugar levels to rise in the body, immediately after consuming food. This means food with a high glycemic index can make your blood sugar (glucose) rise quickly when compared to the foods with low glycemic index, which are digested, absorbed and metabolized slowly into the body causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose levels and therefore insulin levels.


There are lists of such "high" and "low" glycemic index foods that have helped patients with diabetes on how to manage their food intake to keep their blood glucose levels under control. 

See: Pre-diabetes Diet Plan for Vegetarians

Prediabetes diet plan basics

Create your healthy-eating strategy

Your prediabetes diet is merely a healthy-eating plan which will allow you to control your blood glucose. Here is help getting started, from meal preparation to counting carbohydrates. A prediabetic diet only means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and adhering to regular mealtimes. A prediabetic diet is a healthy-eating plan that is naturally rich in nutrients and low in calories and fat. Key elements are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In actuality, a diabetes diet is the best eating plan for most everyone.


So, why do you need to develop a healthy-eating plan anyway? In case you have prediabetes, your physician will probably recommend that you find a dietitian to assist you to create a healthy eating plan. The plan will help you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats.


When you consume extra fat and calories, your body generates an undesirable increase in blood glucose. If blood glucose is not kept in check, it may result in serious problems, like a high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) that, if persistent, may cause long-term complications, such as nerve, heart and kidney damage.


You can help keep your blood sugar level in a safe range by making healthy food choices and monitoring your eating habits. For many people with prediabetes, weight loss can also make it much easier to control blood sugar and provides a host of other health benefits. If you need to shed weight, a prediabetes diet gives a well-organized, nutritious way to attain your goal safely.


What does a diabetes diet involve? A prediabetes diet is based on eating three meals per day at regular intervals. This helps you better use the insulin that your body generates on its own. A registered dietitian can help you put together a diet based on your health targets, lifestyle, and tastes. They can also speak with you about how to improve your eating habits, like choosing portion sizes that match the requirements for your size and activity level.

See: Ayurvedic Treatment for Prediabetes & Diabetes Type 2

Prediabetes diet plan ideas

The pre-diabetic condition can be managed effectively without taking any medication and is often found to be reversible. One may stick to a right pre-diabetic diet plan, along with some modifications in lifestyle choices such as incorporating exercise or going for a walk and avoiding smoking which may also require a lot of dedication and patience in order to manage the prediabetic condition.


It's hard to determine or decide on a single best diet plan for pre-diabetic condition due to multifactorial reasons which include your age, how quickly your body digests the food, physical fitness and activity level, your body mass index, composition of food in terms of fiber,  fat, carbohydrates, and protein in the particular food, how refined the food is, and what else was eaten with the food. All the foods may seem okay to you unless you consult a nutritionist who can guide you best on your pre diabetic diet plan. Some important dietary constituents that can help regulate your blood sugar levels when incorporated into your diet include. 


a) Dietary Polyphenols, Mediterranean Diet, Prediabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes: A Narrative Review of the Evidence.[1].

Dietary Polyphenols -  Polyphenols are rich in antioxidants and their daily intake in diabetes-like condition can help reduce the risk of T2D in humans.  Abundant evidence suggests that Polyphenols exerts anti-inflammatory effects and may influence glycemia through different mechanisms, including the inhibition of glucose absorption in the gut and the improvement of insulin resistance. It also helps fight oxidative stress that may cause damage to the pancreatic beta cells.

Source- Polyphenol-rich fruits like apples, pears, grapes, berries and vegetables, and chocolate, green tea, whole grains, dry legumes, nuts, and olive oil.


b) Nutritional Recommendations for Individuals with Diabetes.[2].

Low glycemic diet - It’s difficult for a prediabetic or even a normal person to stay away or sustain themselves from having foods that are devoid of carbohydrates. As foods containing carbohydrates can satisfy your satiety center and gives you a feeling of fullness. But the intake of excessive carbohydrates or foods that have a higher glycemic index makes it difficult to bring the levels of blood sugar in control. 

Carbohydrate Intake from whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits,  and dairy products should be taken by a person who is diagnosed with the pre-diabetes condition as these foods tend to have a low glycemic index and are slowly absorbed by the body and raise the blood sugar levels slowly.  Carbohydrate sources that contain sugars, added fats,  or sodium must be avoided.


c) The DASH diet and insulin sensitivity.[3].

The DASH diet - DASH diet is the  Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It has been found that having high blood pressure raises the risk for diabetes which in turn raises your risk of kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. DASH diet suggests having the right amounts of potassium, magnesium, and fiber along with nitrate-rich root vegetables like beets, carrots, and turnips, fruit, and low-fat dairy products, may have the potential to prevent type 2 diabetes. Consuming nitrate-rich sources promotes vasodilation of the blood vessels by increasing the body’s available nitric oxide (NO) resulting in decreased blood pressure. Research studies have shown that following a DASH diet can bring favorable changes in the levels of glycosylated hemoglobin A1c, lower fasting blood glucose levels and insulin levels having the potential to prevent type 2 diabetes. The DASH diet plus weight management can also promote greater insulin sensitivity.


d) DPP - Diabetes prevention program.  The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Description of lifestyle intervention.[4].

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Research Group.[5].

DPP was being designed, by collecting evidence from a number of observational studies all of which suggested that modest changes in lifestyle could lower the risk of diabetes.DPPP prevention program suggests changes in nutrition, physical activity, managing stress, and fitting your healthy choices into your and your family’s lifestyle. It has also been found through investigational studies that intervention of DPPP might reduce the risk of developing diabetes by increasing the levels of oxygen uptake by around 10%.


See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS

Studies in diet plan for prediabetes

Metabolic changes after a hypocaloric, low-glycemic-index diet in obese children.[6].


The study evaluated the role of high and low-glycemic-index diet in 22 obese children who were at a higher risk of developing diabetes. The children were divided into parallel-group where one group with 11 children were randomly allocated to receive hypocaloric Lower Glycemic Index diet (GI: 60), remaining children (n=11) received a hypocaloric high glycemic index (HGI) diet (GI: 90). The intervention continued for 6 months. Parameters like Anthropometric and biochemical range were measured at baseline and after 6 months of intervention. The results of both groups showed a significant decrease in  BMI, blood pressure, BMI Z-score,  and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. However, children receiving  LGI diets produced a significant decrease in waist circumference,  triglyceride concentrations, and homeostasis model assessment. The study demonstrated that a hypocaloric LGI diet has beneficial metabolic effects when compared to a hypocaloric HGI diet in obese children.


See: Yoga for Diabetes

Summary

Being aware that you are suffering from prediabetes can provide you with the best chance to reverse it. You can choose a variety of foods and other dietary modifications that can work for your prediabetic condition. These healthy changes can act more likely as a support system and help you succeed in overcoming the prediabetic condition naturally without any need for medication. The right weight, the right nutrition, and the right lifestyle are the most important steps that can help you fight not only prediabetic condition but also other metabolic disorders. However, it's always good to consult your dietitian on what type of prediabetic food is best suited for their body in order to achieve the maximum results in less time.

References

1. Guasch-Ferré, Marta & Merino, Jordi & Sun, Qi & Fitó, Montse & Salas-Salvadó, Jordi. (2017). Dietary Polyphenols, Mediterranean Diet, Prediabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes: A Narrative Review of the Evidence. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2017. 1-16. 10.1155/2017/6723931. 

2. Silvis, N. (1992). Nutritional recommendations for individuals with diabetes mellitus. South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde. 81. 162-6. 

3. Hinderliter, Alan & Babyak, Michael & Sherwood, Andrew & Blumenthal, James. (2010). The DASH diet and insulin sensitivity. Current hypertension reports. 13. 67-73. 10.1007/s11906-010-0168-5. 

4. Ratner, Robert. (2006). The Diabetes Prevention Program Research. An update on the Diabetes Prevention Program. Endocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. 12 Suppl 1. 20-4. 

5. Ratner, Robert. (2006). The Diabetes Prevention Program Research. An update on the Diabetes Prevention Program. Endocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. 12 Suppl 1. 20-4. 

6. Parillo, Mario & Licenziati, Maria & Vacca, M & Marco, D & Iannuzzi, Arcangelo. (2011). Metabolic changes after a hypocaloric, low-glycemic-index diet in obese children. Journal of endocrinological investigation. 35. 629-33. 10.3275/7909. 

7. Liese, Angela & Nichols, Michele & Sun, Xuezheng & D'Agostino, Ralph & Haffner, Steven. (2009). Adherence to the DASH Diet Is Inversely Associated With Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: The Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study. Diabetes care. 32. 1434-6. 10.2337/dc09-0228. 


Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email