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Diet for Impaired Fasting Glucose

author image M. Gideon Hoyle
M. Gideon Hoyle is a writer living outside of Houston. Previously, he produced brochures and a wide variety of other materials for a nonprofit educational foundation. He now specializes in topics related to health, exercise and nutrition, publishing for various websites.
Diet for Impaired Fasting Glucose
Fruits and vegetables are important parts of an impaired fasting glucose diet. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

A fasting glucose test is a procedure designed to measure your blood levels of glucose after you go without eating for at least eight hours. Moderately elevated results from this test indicate the presence of a condition called impaired fasting glucose, which greatly increases your risk for developing diabetes. You can help reverse an impaired glucose finding by making certain changes to your diet.

Understanding Impaired Fasting Glucose

If your doctor suspects that you have dangerously high blood glucose levels, he can order a fasting glucose test to help definitively diagnose your condition, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Typically, you will fast overnight and undergo testing during the morning. If a fasting glucose test reveals levels of glucose between 100 and 125mg per deciliter of blood, or mg/dL, you have impaired fasting glucose. The condition is also commonly known as pre-diabetes.

General Dietary Guidelines

You can help prevent pre-diabetes from progressing to full-blown diabetes by altering several aspects of your everyday lifestyle, the American Academy of Family Physicians reports at FamilyDoctor.org. With respect to your diet, recommended changes to help lower your glucose levels include substituting whole grains for processed products that contain white flour; increasing your intake of vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish and beans; and restricting your intake of sugar and other sweeteners such as molasses and honey.

Specific Recommendations

In addition to these general guidelines, FamilyDoctor.org makes specific recommendations for your intake of certain types of food. For instance, you will need to restrict your daily intake of all fats to no more than 30 percent of your total calories. Only 10 percent of your calories should come from the harmful class of fats called saturated fats. Men age 50 or younger need to get at least 38g of dietary fiber per day, while women age 50 or younger need to get at least 25 daily g. Additionally, both men and women need to limit their carbohydrate intake to 50 to 60 percent of their daily calorie total.


Regular exercise is another essential part of any plan to lower your pre-diabetes-related risks, the NDIC notes. If you are overweight, diet modifications and exercise together can help you lose significant amounts of weight; if you have pre-diabetes and lose only 5 to 7 percent of your body weight, you can lower your risks for diabetes development by almost 60 percent. If you are 60 or older, the benefits of your lifestyle modifications can lower your risks by as much as 70 percent. Typically, to gain good results from exercise, you will need to perform roughly 30 minutes of a moderate-intensity activity such as swimming or brisk walking five times per week. Always ask your doctor's advice before beginning any exercise routine.


While there is no drug officially approved for the treatment of pre-diabetes, you may gain some benefit from a medication called metformin, the NIDC reports. Still, the potential benefits from diet and exercise modifications significantly surpass those provided by medical treatment. Consult your doctor and/or a nutritionist for further guidance and advice on constructing an appropriate pre-diabetes diet plan.

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