So you just woke up, and all you can think about is making a delicious breakfast. But wait, will what you're craving help with your prediabetes? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and fortunately there's so many ways to fit in nutritious foods and still make it delicious!
You started off the day feeling good after your prediabetes-friendly breakfast, but now it's time to think about lunch. You want to make something nutritious and delicious, but let's be honest, it has to be quick and easy too. Ain't nobody got time to spend hours making their lunch! Try out some of these simple, prediabetes-friendly recipes that will keep you full and satisfied through your busy day!
You made it! The last big meal of the day. You're probably wondering, "how could I possibly find ANOTHER prediabetes-friendly meal that is packed with nutrients and just as tasty as my breakfast and lunch?". Well, you've come to the right place. We've created some unbelievable dinner recipes that are sure to satisfy your cravings and your health goals.
Struggling with your Prediabetes diet?
Download our Glycemic Index Guide!
Learn to follow the Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index helps you pick foods that will not cause dramatic changes in blood sugar
The Glycemic Index is a number that tells you how fast or how slow your body converts carbohydrates into blood sugar. The scale ranges from 1 to 100; for a prediabetes diet, the lower the number, the better:
- 55 or less = Low (good)
- 56 - 69 = Medium
- 70 or higher = High ("bad")
Research suggests that focusing on foods with low-glycemic index carbohydrates and high fiber may protect against diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Specifically, another study found that increased fiber may improve glucose control within the cardiovascular system. You can use food labels to estimate the Glycemic Index value of a particular food. There are also efforts to add a "low GI" symbol to packaged foods.
Glycemic Index labeling is also supported by various scholarly publications. In addition to a few of our favorite example below, you can find a longer list of low Glycemic Index foods on Harvard's blog.
There are a few things to keep in mind, however. The Glycemic Index value for a specific food can vary depending on:
- How you cook it
- How old the food is
- Fat and fiber tend to lower glycemic index
- For example, the longer you cook pasta, the lower the glycemic index.
- The glycemic index increases in fruits (such as bananas, peaches, etc.) as they ripen.
As we have mentioned elsewhere, portion size is nearly as important as the specific food you eat. Within the GI framework, this is called Glycemic Load. Whereas the index indicates how quickly glucose enters the blood stream, Glycemic Load tells you how much glucose per serving could be introduced into your system.
Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load
For example, watermelon has a high Glycemic Index value (80), but a Glycemic Load of only 5 because the food has relatively little carbohydrates. You can calculate a food's glycemic load by multiplying the per-serving carbohydrate level by the glycemic index and dividing by 100. Above 20 is high, 11 to 19 is moderate, and 10 and below is considered low.
Ultimately, when building a meal plan to better regulate your blood sugar, it is important to be mindful of all three key metrics:
- The total carbohydrates in your food
- The speed with which a food will increase your blood glucose: glycemic index
- The ultimate level to which your blood glucose could rise: glycemic load
This is just a start for your prediabetes diet. See our full list of glycemic index foods.
What about the Dash Diet for prediabetes? Should I try it?
The DASH Diet was originally developed to treat hypertension. It's even in the name: Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. Over time, researchers have found that DASH methods are also effective on improving prediabetes. In addition to its benefits on hypertension, the DASH framework improves insulin resistance and obesity/weight loss. Backed by the National Institutes of Health's Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the DASH plan is highly aligned with our general tips for an effective prediabetes diet:
- Whole grains
- And low-fat dairy foods
- Meat, fish, poultry
- Limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats
Generally speaking, these foods are low in saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol, and sodium and high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. Scientists developed the DASH diet through a series of smaller, specific studies. The DASH diet prescribes the food groups above based upon your gender and age.
Learn the DASH diet's specific recommendations in our detailed blog.
Here is the OnPoint approach to helping people build a successful prediabetes diet:
- Our prediabetes meal plans emphasize eating:
- Complex carbohydrates such as beans, vegetables and high-fiber starches
- High protein meats such as chicken, fish, and pork
- Various low glycemic index foods that can help regulate your blood sugar levels
- Our plans for people with diabetes take into consideration the time and how much food you are eating, so as to avoid natural spikes or crashes in your glucose levels
- We preach moderation, helping you to find realistic and achievable ways to reach your goals.
Backed by science
Our prediabetic programs are based upon the latest science and aligned with CDC protocols
Tailored just for you
Our nutritionists build your unique plan based upon your body type, food preferences, and lifestyle
Work with experts
Our team includes certified diabetes educators (CDEs) with hands-on experience working with prediabetic clients