The American Diabetes Association defines pre-diabetes as "the state that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes." People with pre-diabetes have a high risk of developing diabetes within 10 years but can usually prevent developing diabetes if they lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through diet and physical activity. Foods for a pre-diabetic diet include healthy choices that are low in calories and fat.
Produce and Legumes
Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important component of a pre-diabetic diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. In particular, the CDC recommends plenty of dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, and plenty of orange vegetables like pumpkin, carrots and winter squash. These foods are high in fiber and vitamins, and low in calories, making them popular choices for someone on a pre-diabetic diet. Legumes such as lentils, peas and kidney, black, pinto and garbanzo beans are high in fiber. They are also sources of protein and are low in fat and high in nutrients.
Whole grains can be good food choices for people with pre-diabetes because of their fiber content. Fiber can aid in weight loss because it makes you feel full for longer. It also helps to regulate blood sugar, which is an important effect for someone with pre-diabetes who has high blood sugar. Oatmeal, whole grain cereals and whole-grain rice are whole grains. Other choices are bread products from whole-grain wheat flour, such as sliced bread, bagels, pita or tortillas.
Foods to Limit
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends reducing certain foods. To lose weight and improve health, limit unhealthy saturated and trans fat foods, including fatty meats, processed cookies and crackers, whole milk and fats such as lard, butter and margarine. Limit sugar intake by avoiding pies, cakes, candies, ice cream and other sweets. Also, limit intake of sugary drinks such as sodas, fruit drinks or sugar-sweetened tea and coffee.