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7-Day Prediabetes Meal Plan without Added Sugars

Meal Plan

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In this nutritious meal plan tailored for prediabetes, we focus on excluding added sugars and incorporating foods known to help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

If you’re among the 96 million Americans with prediabetes, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this meal guide is designed with you in mind. Prediabetes, characterized by higher than normal blood sugar levels not yet reaching the threshold for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, often presents with minimal symptoms and can be identified through a straightforward blood test. Regular preventive care with your healthcare provider is crucial upon a prediabetes diagnosis, with the aim of forestalling or minimizing the progression to type 2 diabetes.

The emphasis of this plan is on food choices that promote stable blood sugar levels, such as nonstarchy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins, while steering clear of items that elevate the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, like foods containing added sugars. According to the CDC, the average adult in America consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar daily, significantly surpassing the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limits of 9 teaspoons for men and 6 for women.

Given that even modest weight loss is associated with enhanced blood sugar control, as highlighted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), this meal plan is structured at 1,500 calories—a level conducive to weight reduction for most individuals. Additionally, adjustments are provided for 1,200 and 2,000 calorie intakes to accommodate varying energy requirements.

Strategies for Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels:

Incorporate Physical Activity: Striving to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, is ideal. However, even short bursts of activity can yield significant benefits. Engaging in a brisk walk lasting two to five minutes following each meal has been shown to improve blood sugar control.

Prioritize Produce: Aim to allocate half of your plate to fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on nonstarchy vegetables, during meals. Doing so not only boosts nutrient intake but also promotes satiety while assisting in blood sugar management.

Manage Stress: Prolonged stress triggers hormonal responses that can elevate blood sugar levels. Although managing stress can be challenging, making efforts to reduce stress levels can contribute to better blood sugar regulation.

Ensure Sufficient Sleep: Research published in Psychoneuroendocrinology in 2019 suggests that individuals with prediabetes are more prone to experiencing poor sleep. While the association between inadequate sleep and elevated blood sugar levels is not novel, this study underscores the importance of prioritizing quality sleep for optimal blood sugar control.

Focus on Fiber: Fiber, a type of carbohydrate that remains undigested in the body, slows down digestion and does not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Fiber intake offers a plethora of health benefits, including aiding in weight management, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Limit Added Sugars: Given that many individuals unknowingly consume excessive amounts of added sugars, reducing their intake can lead to improvements in blood sugar levels. Aim to eliminate or reduce consumption of sugary beverages like soda and juice, opting instead for water, seltzer, and diabetes-friendly beverages to minimize their impact on blood sugar levels.

Prediabetes-Friendly Food Choices:

– Fish and shellfish

– Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of beef and pork in moderation

– Eggs

– Legumes like beans and lentils

– Nuts and seeds, including natural nut butters free from added sugars

– Whole grains such as quinoa, whole wheat, brown rice, and bulgur

– Olive oil

– Avocado

– Nonstarchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts

– High-fiber fruits such as berries, apples, and pears

– Unsweetened yogurt and kefir

Meal Preparation Tips for the Week:

  1. Prepare Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato to enjoy for breakfast on days 2, 3, and 5.
  2. Make Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew to have for lunch on days 2 through 5.

(Note: The meal plan details for each day are provided in the original text and have been retained without alteration.)

 

Read Related: 11 Best Diabetes Juice for Diabetic Patient – Vedroot

Day 1

Breakfast (286 calories)

– 1 slice of sprouted-wheat toast

– 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter

– 1 cup of low-fat plain kefir

A.M. Snack (206 calories)

– 1/4 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Lunch (335 calories)

– 1 serving of Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

– 1/2 cup of blackberries

P.M. Snack (261 calories)

– 1 cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt

– 3/4 cup of raspberries

– 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts

Dinner (405 calories)

– 1 serving of Sheet-Pan Chili-Lime Salmon with Potatoes & Peppers

Daily Totals: 1,494 calories, 64g fat, 109g protein, 129g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,401mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit kefir at breakfast and change A.M. snack to 1 clementine.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 large pear to A.M. snack, increase to 4 tablespoons of chopped walnuts at P.M. snack, and add 1 serving of Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 2

Breakfast (301 calories)

– 1 serving of Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

– 1 medium orange

A.M. Snack (305 calories)

– 1 medium apple

– 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter

Lunch (396 calories)

– 1 serving of Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

– 1 large bell pepper, sliced

– 3 tablespoons of hummus

P.M. Snack (63 calories)

– 3/4 cup of blueberries

Dinner (411 calories)

– 1 serving of Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken

Daily Totals: 1,476 calories, 73g fat, 85g protein, 121g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 2,032mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1/4 cup raspberries.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice of sprouted-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter to breakfast, add 30 unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack, and add 1 serving of Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette to dinner.

Day 3

Breakfast (301 calories)

– 1 serving of Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

– 1 medium orange

A.M. Snack (250 calories)

– 1 1/4 cups of edamame, in pods

Lunch (396 calories)

– 1 serving of Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

– 1 large bell pepper, sliced

– 3 tablespoons of hummus

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

– 1 medium apple

Dinner (473 calories)

– 1 serving of Grilled Pork & Vegetables with Fresh Corn Polenta

Daily Totals: 1,515 calories, 66g fat, 99g protein, 142g carbohydrate, 38g fiber, 1,929mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 clementine and omit hummus at lunch.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice of sprouted-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter to breakfast, add 15 unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack, and add 1 serving of Traditional Greek Salad to dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast (389 calories)

– 1 cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt

– 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, toasted if desired

– 1/2 cup of raspberries

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

– 1 medium apple

Lunch (396 calories)

– 1 serving of Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

– 1 large bell pepper, sliced

– 3 tablespoons of hummus

P.M. Snack (166 calories)

– 1 cup of low-fat plain kefir

– 2/3 cup of blueberries

Dinner (452 calories)

– 1 serving of Green Veggie Bowl with Chicken & Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Daily Totals: 1,497 calories, 58g fat, 108g protein, 151g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,347mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1/4 cup of sliced cucumber plus omit hummus at lunch and kefir at P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter to A.M. snack and add 1/3 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

Day 5

Breakfast (301 calories)

– 1 serving of Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

– 1 medium orange

A.M. Snack (206 calories)

– 1/4 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Lunch (396 calories)

– 1 serving of Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

– 1 large bell pepper, sliced

– 3 tablespoons of hummus

P.M. Snack (200 calories)

– 1 cup of edamame, in pods

Dinner (378 calories)

– 1 serving of No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

– 1 serving of Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve two servings of No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna to have for lunch on days 6 and 7.

Daily Totals: 1,482 calories, 76g fat, 94g protein, 111g carbohydrate, 36g fiber, 1,954mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 clementine and reduce to 1/2 cup of edamame at P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice of sprouted-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter to breakfast and add 1 avocado, sliced, to the salad at dinner.

Day 6

Breakfast (389 calories)

– 1 cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt

– 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, toasted if desired

– 1/2 cup of raspberries

A.M. Snack (62 calories)

– 1 cup of blackberries

Lunch (358 calories)

– 1 serving of No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

– 1 medium apple

P.M. Snack (248 calories)

– 1/4 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds

– 1/2 cup of blueberries

Dinner (452 calories)

– 1 serving of Tuna Niçoise Salad

– 1-ounce slice of whole-wheat baguette

Daily Totals: 1,509 calories, 79g fat, 82g protein,

135g carbohydrate, 33g fiber, 1,349mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit almonds at P.M. snack and baguette at dinner.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 1/2 cups of edamame, in pods, to A.M. snack and add 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter to lunch.

Day 7

Breakfast (286 calories)

– 1 slice of sprouted-wheat toast

– 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter

– 1 cup of low-fat plain kefir

A.M. Snack (193 calories)

– 1 cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt

– 1/3 cup of blueberries

Lunch (358 calories)

– 1 serving of No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

– 1 medium apple

P.M. Snack (100 calories)

– 1/2 cup of edamame, in pods

Dinner (559 calories)

– 1 serving of Beefless Vegan Tacos

– 1 serving of Cucumber & Avocado Salad

Daily Totals: 1,497 calories, 79g fat, 89g protein, 139g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,766mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit kefir at breakfast and omit salad at dinner.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1/4 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter to lunch, and increase to 1 cup of edamame, in pods, at P.M. snack.

Conclusion

In summary, this 7-day prediabetes meal plan offers a practical approach to managing blood sugar levels and promoting overall health. By emphasizing whole foods, eliminating added sugars, and incorporating lifestyle strategies like exercise and stress management, individuals can take proactive steps to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. With commitment to these dietary and lifestyle changes, individuals can improve blood sugar control and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the long term.

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