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Foods Prediabetics Should Eat & Avoid

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Foods Prediabetics Should Eat & Avoid
Preparing a meal with family. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

If you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition characterized by impaired fasting blood glucose, you're not alone. An estimated 79 million Americans age 20 or older have this condition, according to the National Diabetes Education Program statistics. Intervention is crucial if you have prediabetes because it puts you at high risk for developing type-2 diabetes. Physicians typically recommend reducing your portion sizes and carbohydrate intake. Work with a dietitian to determine a goal carbohydrate range.

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Green-Light Foods

Whole grain bread slices.
Whole grain bread slices. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Choose high-fiber carbohydrates such as whole-grain bread, and replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats such as nuts, olive oil, avocado and fatty fish. Eat more beans and lentils, as they contain protein, carbohydrate and soluble fiber. Using salad plates as your dinner plates can help control your portion size. Consume healthy snacks such as unsweetened yogurt between meals.

Cautions for Carbos

Eat an apple over drinking apple juice.
Eat an apple over drinking apple juice. Photo Credit: gielmichal/iStock/Getty Images

Carbohydrates raise blood sugar, so you will need to reduce your intake. Avoid eating too much carbohydrate at one meal. Combine carbohydrate foods with lean protein and unsaturated fats to help balance the meal. Avoid drinking your calories. This means eating an apple instead of drinking apple juice. The fiber in whole fruit helps slow digestion. Consume starchy vegetables such as potatoes only in moderation.

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