Tips For Prediabetes And Diabetes Meal Planning
WASECA, Minn. Poor diet can obviously lead to health problems and weight gain. Conversely, proper food choices help people become healthier and manage certain conditions. For those with diabetes and prediabetes appropriate monitoring and management of diet is extremely important. Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian Sue Seykora offers these meal-planning tips to help keep diabetes under control and maybe avoid it all together.
Carbohydrate counting is a meal-planning approach that focuses on the total number of carbs consumed. Itâs an easy method to follow and allows variety in food choices that fit preferences and lifestyle.
Most of the foods you eat contain carbs: breads, crackers, pasta, rice, potatoes, milk and many more. Carbs are often thought of as bad foods. In reality, your body needs carbs to create energy. The problem is that many people dont choose healthy types and amounts of carbs. People should consume healthier carbs like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. All foods even healthy foods need portion control, says Seykora.
Although there is no universal amount of carbs you should ingest, the following guidelines serve as a good starting point and can be adjusted as needed :
- Women: Three to four carb servings per meal one serving for a snack
- Men: Four to five carb servings per meal one to two for a snack
The plate method
Actions for people with prediabetes
Carbohydrates Per Day For A Borderline Diabetic Woman
If you have prediabetes, develop an exercise routine and adjust your eating habits in favor of nutritious whole grains rather than refined carbohydrates.
If you have prediabetes, your doctor will probably recommend lifestyle changes to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes 18. You may have to adjust your diet as part of those changes, and its possible that reducing your carb intake can help you lose weight to prevent the onset of the disease.
Sample Daily Meal Plan
Start by seeing where you can limit your carbohydrate consumption. If youre regularly eating simple carbs, like sugary cereal, white bread, or other processed foods, try cutting back to see how you feel.
Its important to remember that limiting carbs doesnt mean starving yourself whenever you cut something out, youll want to replace it with a high-quality, lower-carb food to keep yourself satisfied.
Unsure where to begin? Heres what an average day of low-carb eating might look like.
How Many Carbs Per Day For A Diabetic
Did you know that one of the most commonly asked questions we get is: how many carbs per day is best for a diabetic to eat?
No doubt thats why youre here reading this as well, right?
And like many other people you may be totally confused by that question.
Thats not surprising because the amount of carbs recommended does vary depending on where you read it.
Why is this?
Well, there is no specific recommendation for the amount of carbohydrate, thats why there are so many different numbers.
However, there is good scientific evidence to suggest whats best. But unfortunately, that information is not getting out to the public as fast as it should.
Luckily though, here at Diabetes Meal Plans, we pride ourselves on sharing up-to-date evidence-based info because we want you to get the best results. And were proud to say what we share works:
Here at Diabetes Meal Plans we encourage a low carb diet because research shows that lower carb diets produce far more effective results than traditional low fat diets.
As you read on, be prepared to have some of your longheld diet beliefs shattered. But also be prepared to be amazed by the possibilities. Because with a few dietary changes, you can reverse* your diabetes and live your life anew!
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There are 3 basic food groups: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are the foods that can be broken down into sugar. It is essential to have all 3 food groups in your diet to have good nutrition.
1. Why Count Carbohydrates?Carbohydrates make your blood glucose level go up. If you know how much carbohydrates you’ve eaten, you have a good idea what your blood glucose level is going to do. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar will go up.
2. Which Foods Contain Carbohydrates?Most of the carbohydrate we eat comes from 3 food groups: starch, fruit, and milk.
Vegetables also contain some carbohydrates, but foods in the meat and fat groups contain very little carbohydrates. Sugars may be added or may be naturally present .
The nutrient term for sugars can also be identified by looking for -ose at the end of a word . Look for these on food labels to help identify foods that contain sugar.
Below are some examples of the grams of carbohydrate contained in a sampling of common food products:
To make things easy, many people begin to carbohydrate count by rounding the carbohydrate value of milk up to 15.
In other words, one serving of starch, fruit, or milk contains 15 grams carbohydrate or one carbohydrate serving. Three servings of vegetables also contain 15 grams. Each meal and snack will contain a certain total number of grams of carbohydrate.
Examples of free foods:
- Jam or jelly, light or low-sugar, 2 tsp
- Sugar free syrup, 2 tsp
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Grams Of Carbs Per Day For Prediabetics
Here are some common numbers for the recommended carb intake for prediabetics per day. As you can see, they vary quite a bit!
- Under 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day: very low-carb ketogenic diet.
- 130 grams: Adequate Intake .
- 150-200 grams per day, or 30-40% of total calories on a 2,000-calorie diet: the American Diabetes Associations description of a standard low-carb diet.
- 244 grams per day: average daily intake of Americans over 20 years old.
- 300 grams per day, or 60% of total calories on a 2,000-calorie diet: the daily value that you see on nutrition labels.
- They can help you lose weight.
- They can discourage sugary foods.
- They can discourage low-nutrient, refined starches, such as white bread and pasta, and potatoes.
- They can help lower blood sugar, especially in the short term.
- They can discourage processed foods.
- They can be hard to follow over the long-term.
- They can be high in unhealthy choices, such as fatty and processed meats, butter, and cream.
- They can exclude healthy foods, such as whole grains, beans, and fruit.
- They could raise cholesterol or cause harm to your kidneys or bones.
The Truth About Carbohydrates And Weight Loss
Weight loss is often recommended for people with diabetes, as it has been proven to significantly , blood glucose, and blood pressure.
The foundations for weight loss are simple. Increasing physical activity, and managing daily calories to keep a slight caloric deficit provide steady and consistent weight loss.
However, theres currently a lot of conflicting information about how the ratio of carbohydrates in your diet affects your weight loss, including frequently recommended diabetes diets based on fewer carbs .
However, theres currently a lot of conflicting information out there about reducing carbohydrates vs. low-carb diets Paleo or ketogenic diets.
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How Much Sugar Can A Person With Diabetes Have
If you have diabetes, you may have been told to watch your sugar intake or even eliminate sugar altogether. But does that truly mean you can never ever eat any sugar? Or is there a way for you to enjoy a sweet treat every now and then?
Here we look at how sugar impacts your blood sugar. Read on to learn tips to identify hidden sugars, choose better carbs, and work with your doctor to stick to a diabetes-friendly diet.
Today we have a post from our guest blogger, Brent Wilson, who is a registered and licensed dietitian and certified diabetes educator with the INTEGRIS Diabetes Education Center. He completed the Coordinated Program of Dietetics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
A young woman recently came to me with an interesting question. She was athletic and trim but had just been diagnosed with prediabetes. She wanted to know: How can this happen to a slim, healthy person like herself?
Its a terrific question.
Iâm going to answer the question first, and then Iâm going to explain why. It is possible to be thin and become prediabetic. It is also possible to be obese and never get diabetes. It depends on our genes. Anyone who develops diabetes has a gene that allows insulin resistance to happen. Our genes load the gun but more importantly, our lifestyle pulls the trigger.
What Is A Carbohydrate Controlled Diet
A carbohydrate controlled diet is a diet in which carbohydrate intake is either limited or set at a particular value.
Setting carbohydrate intake at set values or limits can be used by people with diabetes help stabilise blood glucose levels.
Examples of carbohydrate controlled diets include:
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Using The Plate Method
Some people with type 2 diabetes use a less formal method of gauging how many carbs to eat. Called the plate method, it doesnt require any counting at all. Instead, you simply imagine dividing your plate in half. Then divide one side in half again.
Fill the large section with nonstarchy veggies. Fill one small section with grains, starchy veggies, or cooked beans and peas, and the other with meat or another protein food. Add a cup of low-fat milk and a piece of fruit, and youve got a balanced meal.
How Many Carbs Do Physically Active Diabetic Men Can Eat
Physically active men can have 30 to 75 gr of carbohydrates in their diabetic diet.
In this example, the patient has a very active, physical job. He is 35 and has type 1.5 diabetes . He is on one long-acting insulin and two oral agents. This individual is doing well with his lifestyle and also goes to the gym five times a week and works out one hour on those five days. I would tell this individual that my conservative goal for him could be as low as 30 grams of carbs per meal if he wants to go really low carb. This approach also will help reduce the number of diabetic medications. So, If youre very active and youre working out you must have some carbohydrates. Glucose is what your muscles are burning. If you do not eat any carbs youre going to have significant fatigue with exercise.
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Common Sources Of Added Sugars
There’s lots of added sugar in cookies, sodas, jams, and sweetened breakfast cereals. Yet plenty of “healthy” foods have sugar, too. They may even contain more sugar.
Here are a few examples:
- Flavored yogurt: 26 grams per 6 ounces
- Granola bars: 7 to 12 grams per 70-gram bar
- Jarred spaghetti sauce: 11 grams per half-cup
- Peanut butter: 5 grams per tablespoon
- Protein bars: 23 to 30 grams per 80-gram bar
- Russian salad dressing: 3 grams per tablespoon
- Sweetened apple juice: 39 grams per 12 ounces
- Vanilla almond milk: 14 grams per cup
Luckily, many of these foods have sugar-free versions so you can enjoy them without worry. But don’t confuse the terms “low fat” with “low sugar” or “no sugar added.” Low-fat foods and natural ingredients can still have added sugars.
Verywell / JR Bee
Great Now Which Foods Have Carbs
Generally, the foods with the highest carbohydrate counts are grains, starchy vegetables, sugar, and processed foods.
Low-carb foods include leafy vegetables, lean meats, dairy, oils, nuts, and seeds. These foods wont spike your blood sugar and will help your energy levels feel more even throughout the day, especially when eaten consistently at every meal.
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A Sedentary Lifestyle And Carbs For Diabetics
Lets say youre a 60-year-old man, retired. Youre mostly at home especially with this virus going on, youre not doing anything. You dont want to go outside etc. Assume that you are already overweight or obese then you should really not eat more than 45 grams per meal at all. If you want to really control your diabetes with fewer medications then you should go down to 30 grams or below per meal for healthy carbs. For a sedentary woman in the same situation goal is 15 to 30 carbs maximum per meal. With medication help, these goals can definitely be relaxed. It all depends on how you want to manage your diabetes.
Diabetic patients can find a lot of carbohydrate alternatives for healthy eating. So, you can definitely avoid things with flour and highly processed carbs. Actually, if you avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates that are in the market today you will have very few reasons from natural sources to spike your blood sugar. Fruits for example will have much less effect on your blood sugars.
Carbs Per Day For Prediabetes
If you have prediabetes, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations by losing 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight to prevent the onset of diabetes 18. The best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy diet and follow a safe, effective workout routine. The UC Davis Health website recommends working with your doctor to figure out what your daily carb intake should be 9.
The ADA says that counting carbs is one way to manage your blood glucose levels. You can use the glycemic index, or GI, which measures how much a carb-containing food raises your blood glucose levels. Opt for low-GI foods that measure 55 or below rather than high-GI foods that measure 70 or higher.
A good rule of thumb is to limit your intake of refined carbs and opt for complex carbs instead. Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta and sugary breakfast cereals have been processed to remove fiber and other nutrients. Processed sugars, like high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar, are also categorized as refined carbohydrates.
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How Much Is Enough
The American Diabetes Association recommends getting about 45% of your total calories from carbs. You should spread out your carb consumption throughout the day. Typically, that works out to about 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 10 to 25 grams per snack, eaten twice a day between meals. But ask your healthcare provider for guidance on more specific goals for you.
Achieving those goals doesnt happen by accident. Youll need to plan your meals more carefully than someone without diabetes. Fortunately, there are several methods of meal planning to make the process easier. Your healthcare provider can help you choose the best method for you, based on your preferences and needs.
Pros And Cons Of Counting Net Carbohydrates
Counting net carbohydrates is an excellent way to fine-tune your diabetes management, but it might not be for everyone. Here are some pros and cons of approaching this way of eating:
- Eating this way promotes whole, unprocessed foods
- It incentivizes eating more fiber
- Decreases risk for hypoglycemia
- Its a less restrictive way of eating
- May not be suitable for everyones eating plan or diabetes medication regimen
- Can result in eating lots of sugar-free candies and treats that arent as healthy
- Isnt always 100% accurate for dosing
- Food labels arent always available
Lauren Plunkett, RDN, CDCES, author of Type One Determination, encourages people with diabetes to increase their intake of fiber-rich foods to enhance insulin sensitivity, lower inflammation, and promote the microbiome for a healthy body and mind.
Everyone digests and absorbs food differently. This can depend on age, the environment inside the gut, and activity level. No two stomachs are alike! Since we are unique digesters, its important to determine which food sources of fiber are most compatible with our system and blood sugar goals, whether or not we choose to subtract fiber grams from total carbohydrates.
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How Do You Use The Food Label To Count Carbohydrates
Looking at a food label, find the serving size and the total carbohydrate in that one serving. Note: Total carbohydrate includes sugar, starch, and fiber. Use the grams of total carbohydrate when carbohydrate counting.
To calculate the number of carbohydrate choices in that particular serving, simply divide the amount of total carbohydrate by 15.
Refer to the following information to assist with calculating carbohydrate choices:
- Grams of Carbohydrate 0-5
Planning Your Carb Intake
Mapping out your daily meals can provide a helpful framework for making sure you’re balancing your carb intake.
Goals to keep in mind:
- 45 to 60 grams of carb per meal
- 15 to 30 grams of carb per snack
When planning your meals, pair any carbs with a protein and fat to slow the uptake of glucose uptake by your bloodstream.
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How To Decide Your Daily Carb Intake
If you simply remove the unhealthiest carb sources from your diet, such as refined wheat and added sugars, youll be well on your way to improved health.
However, to unlock the potential metabolic benefits of low carb diets, you also need to restrict other carb sources.
There are no scientific papers that explain exactly how to match carbohydrate intake to individual needs. The following sections discuss what some dietitians believe about carb intake and weight loss.