Prediabetes Diet : Guidelines

In order to eat the best prediabetes diet for you to stop diabetes, there are some basic guidelines you need to know.

There are three basic food groups: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are  broken down into sugar and need to be approached with caution by the pre-diabetic. By definition, people with prediabetes metabolic syndrome have a metabolism that does not tolerate carbohydrate foods.  If you want to stop prediabetes and prevent diabetes, it is usually best to proceed with a lower carbohydrate prediabetes diet.

It is essential to have all three food groups in your diet to have good nutrition. You should strive to incorporate some of all three groups in each meal with carbs coming primarily from vegetables.

The amount and type of carbohydrates one should eat is a source of controversy and active research.  Most of your carbohydrate calories should come from vegetables.  This is an important key to weight management, and especially important for those with pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome.

Nutrientology does not support the old USDA food pyramid.  The current food plate is a step in the right direction, but it needs work. Follow the Nutrientology blog for further information and discussion on this topic.

Healthy carbohydrates. During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates, such as vegetables, nuts, other smaller seeds, and fruits. Many advocate whole grains, legumes (beans and lentils) and low-fat dairy products, however there is some controversy over these products. Not all grains and legumes are the same, and the preparation of theses foods can affect their nutritional value.  Dairy also tends to be controversial.  For example, low-fat dairy removes fats important for health. (see the Nutrientology blog for further information and discussion)

Fiber-rich foods. Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber can decrease the risk of heart disease, help control blood sugar levels and help maintain a healthy gut. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits and nuts.  Again, many advocate legumes (beans and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran, however wheat is controversial because of its high gluten content.  For example, non-celiac gluten intolerance is a dietary consideration.  (follow the Nutrientology blog for further information and discussion)

Eat heart-healthy fish and other low-fat meats. Fish and chicken are good “foundation meats.”  Cod, tuna and halibut are high in protein. Lean cuts of meat and poultry are also good protein sources. Fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fats, which promote cardiovascular health. Avoid fried fish and there is some concern about fish with potentially high levels of mercury, such as swordfish, shark and king mackerel.  Others believe this is not significant, and that the benefit of eating any fish outweighs any mercury risk.

“Good” fats. Foods containing monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats — contained in such foods as avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, extra virgin olive oil and many meats — can help regulate your cholesterol levels. Some saturated fat is also an important consideration by many although this too is a point of controversy that is better discussed in the Nutrientology blog.  Avoid processed and fast foods as part of a prediabetes diet. For one thing, they contain high amounts of refined vegetable oils mixed with refined grains. The high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in the American diet is a source of concern, although this appears to be largely due to inadequate omega-3.

Eat a wide variety of foods with a wide variety of color.  A colorful plate is usually a good indication that you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, meats, and other forms of protein such as nuts and some dairy products if tolerated.

Eat the right amount of food to support a healthy weight.  If you are eating real food, your body will feel full without having to eat mega-calories.

Choose foods high in fiber such as vegetables and fruit rich in nutrients, and to a much lesser extent grains (if tolerated). You need 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day as part of a good prediabetes diet. Sufficient fiber helps to improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels. There is soluble and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fibers are found mainly in fruits (choose those with a low-glycemic index) and vegetables.  Fibrous foods are especially good for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome because they help to slow down or reduce the absorption of glucose from the intestines. Insoluble fibers, found in vegetables, whole grains and nuts, often can help with intestinal function maintaining the lower gastrointestinal tract.  There are many supplement fibers available as well. Glucomannan is a dietary fiber available at the Nutrientology Store.

Eat at the same time each day. If you are taking a prediabetes medicine, try to eat your meals and take your medicine at the same times each day.

Learn how to read food labels and be aware of how much sugar or carbohydrates are in the foods that you are eating.  Excess carbohydrate is the enemy of someone with prediabetes-metabolic syndrome.

Consistently eat well every day to maintain steady blood sugar levels. That is not to say that you may not occasionally “cheat”, but cheat wisely.


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Follow the Nutrientology blog for more information and discussion about diet and dietary research including dietary supplementation.

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