Pre-diabetes diet (allowed, prohibited foods and menu)

The ideal diet for pre-diabetes consists of consuming foods with a low to medium glycemic index, such as fruits with peel and bagasse, vegetables, whole foods and legumes, since they are foods rich in fiber. In addition, “good” proteins and fats, such as olive oil, can be included in the diet.

By consuming these foods it is possible to control blood sugar levels and thus prevent the development of diabetes mellitus, since in the case of some people, when treatment is started as soon as prediabetes is identified, it is possible that the values blood glucose levels return to normal. For this, it is necessary that healthy eating be complemented with regular physical activity.

When the diagnosis of prediabetes is made, it is important to consult the nutritionist so that a nutritional assessment can be carried out that allows the establishment of an action strategy and an individualized eating plan, adapting to the person’s needs and objectives.

Foods to Avoid

People with pre-diabetes should regulate the amount and type of carbohydrate they consume, as these foods vary in terms of the amount of fiber, starches and sugars, interfering with the glycemic response. For this reason, the foods that should be avoided are the fast absorbing carbohydrates in the intestine and those that have a high glycemic index, such as:

  • Foods rich in white flour: white breads, cakes, cookies, snacks;
  • Foods rich in sugar: chocolate, sweets, fruit jellies, ice cream;
  • Drinks: soft drinks, industrialized juices, energy drinks, coffee or teas with sugar;
  • Others: white rice, potatoes, pasta, fast food;
  • Foods high in fat: such  as sausages, sauces, yellow cheeses, whole milk and dairy products, frying and frozen foods such as pizzas and lasagna.

In addition, it is important to remember that even healthy foods, such as fruits and natural fruit juices, should be consumed in moderation to avoid blood sugar spikes.

Foods allowed in pre-diabetes

Foods that can be eaten more easily for pre-diabetes are:

  • White meat, preferably. Red meats should be eaten a maximum of 3 times a week, and lean cut meat should be chosen;
  • Vegetables and vegetables in general;
  • Fruits, preferably with skin and bagasse;
  • Legumes, such as beans, soybeans, chickpeas, peas, beans, lentils;
  • Whole grains, such as rice, pasta, wholegrain flour, oats;
  • Oilseeds: chestnuts, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios;
  • Dairy products and their skimmed derivatives;
  • Good fats: olive oil, coconut oil, butter.

It is important to remember that pre-diabetics can eat all types of food, but they should prefer natural foods, with little flour and without sugar, as it is the frequent consumption of foods rich in simple carbohydrates that lead to an increase in blood glucose. See the glycemic index of foods.

Pre-diabetes menu

The following table shows an example of a 3-day pre-diabetes menu:

Food Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Breakfast 1 cup of unsweetened coffee + 2 slices of brown bread with 1 scrambled egg with olive oil + 1 slice of white cheese 1 cup of unsweetened skim milk + 1 medium banana, cinnamon and oat pancake + peanut butter and sliced ​​strawberries 1 cup of unsweetened coffee + 1 egg with chopped onion and tomato + 1 orange
Morning snack 1 banana in the oven with cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds 1 plain yogurt + 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds + 1 tablespoon of oats 1 large slice of papaya + 2 teaspoons of flaxseed
Lunch dinner 1 tablespoon of brown rice + 2 tablespoons of beans + 120 grams of cooked meat with onion and paprika + arugula and tomato salad with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and apple cider vinegar + 1 pear with peel 1 set of fish in the oven + 1 cup of cooked vegetables such as carrots, green beans and broccoli seasoned with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a drop of lemon + 1 apple with peel 1 chicken breast with tomato sauce + wholegrain pasta with coleslaw and carrot seasoned with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and apple cider vinegar + 1 cup of strawberries
Afternoon snack  1 plain yogurt + 1 slice of bread with cheese 1 cup unsweetened gelatin with a handful of peanuts 1 cup of coffee with milk + 2 rice crackers with peanut butter

The amounts indicated on the menu vary according to age, gender, physical activity and whether or not the person has another associated disease. Therefore, the ideal is to consult the nutritionist so that a complete assessment is made and a nutritional plan is drawn up according to the needs.

How to put together a menu for pre-diabetes

To put together a menu to prevent diabetes, one should always try to consume foods rich in fiber together with foods rich in proteins or good fats, as shown below:

Breakfast and Snacks

For breakfast it is recommended to choose to consume foods prepared with whole flours such as pancakes or breads. These carbohydrates should be eaten together with eggs, cheese, shredded chicken or ground beef, for example. This combination helps to regulate blood glucose, because the carbohydrate supplements are more difficult to digest, preventing spikes in blood sugar.

Small snacks can be made by combining 1 fruit with natural yogurt, for example, or with oilseeds, such as chestnuts, peanuts and almonds, for example. Another option is to use the fruit with 2 or 3 squares of 70% chocolate, or sweeten plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon of honey.

Main meals: lunch and dinner

Lunch and dinner should be rich in raw vegetable salad or sautéed in olive oil, which is rich in good fats. Then you can choose a carbohydrate source, such as rice or wholegrain pasta, potatoes or quinoa for example. If you want to consume 2 types of carbohydrates, you should place small portions of each on the plate, such as 1 / a cup of rice and 1/2 cup of beans.

In addition, you should consume a good amount of protein, which are mainly in foods such as meat, chicken, fish and eggs. After the meal, you should prefer the consumption of a fruit as a dessert, being a better choice than the juice, as the fruit contains fibers that help control blood glucose.

In general, food should be prepared in the oven, grilled, cooked or steamed, and it is recommended to avoid frying. In addition, it is recommended to use natural spices or herbs to season foods, such as oregano, rosemary, turmeric, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, parsley, garlic and onion, for example.

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