Perhaps you’ve recently been to the doctor and heard that you are pre-diabetic. You may have to wait for a visit with a dietitian, or you may have been sent away with orders to watch what you eat. If you have found yourself in this position, there are ways to construct a free meal plan for prediabetic diet management. You will still want to meet with your medical team to discuss things like carbohydrate counting, portion control and calorie intake. Whatever the circumstance, taking advantage of these tools can help you along your path to better health and improved blood sugar numbers.
Carbohydrates Are Key
Meal plans for the pre-diabetic are not much different than those for patients with type II diabetes. Diets that are lower in carbohydrates, fat and calories, and rich in healthy foods, will suffice. As you formulate an eating plan, you might also want to ask your physician for information on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the key to better blood sugar control. Learning how to lower your carbohydrate intake will greatly benefit you as you set up your meal portions. Understanding the effect of carbohydrates on blood glucose is key, as this will prepare you as you move toward any further appointments with your doctor or dietician. Your doctor may recommend an exchange-based diet or a diet based on the glyemic index, which ranks foods by how quickly they increase blood sugar levels in the blood. Foods with low glycemic index values do not increase blood sugar as rapidly as foods with high glycemic index values. Because controlling pre-diabetes involves regulating blood sugar levels, eating low-glycemic foods may help you better control your blood sugar.
As you go about setting up your plan, consider that meals lower in calories and fat can improve your condition and even prevent it from progressing to diabetes. Calorie-wise, you should be considering a diet of 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day. Your carbohydrate intake should be 45 to 60 g per meal. Reading labels and understanding the differences in calories, carbohydrates and fats will help you plan your meals properly.
It’s important to not skip meals in order to cut calories, carbs or fats.
When planning breakfast, options for this most important meal of the day might include things like one slice of whole grain toast with margarine or low fat spread, one-half cup of oatmeal made with water or skim milk, one-half cup cottage cheese, and a small banana or natural fruit topping.
Ideas for a healthy lunch might be more difficult, especially if eating on the run or fitting the meal into a lunch hour. Consider a cup of soup with a sandwich made on wheat bread with low-fat mayonnaise. A small piece of fruit will add to the meal. Non-fat yogurt is also a healthy option for lunch.
For dinner, consider grilled meats, not fried. Add in a healthy salad with low-calorie, low-fat dressing, a dinner roll and serving of vegetables. Dessert options like sugar free pudding or gelatin will enhance your meal.
If you choose to watch your carbohydrates, choose carefully when selecting fruits, starchy vegetables, milk products, breads and grains.
Finally, as you work with your medical team on your condition, consider that a pre-diabetic diet is simply all about healthy food choices. It isn’t necessary to fall for expensive gimmicks that promise to help you lose weight or cut carbs. Anyone can benefit from wise healthy food choices, no matter what their medical condition. Always be sure to work with your team. Find out what their goals are for you in terms of blood glucose numbers, fats, calories and carbohydrates. A well thought-out food plan today can start you well on your way to better health tomorrow.
American Diabetes Association: Prediabetes