Here are some recommendations for building your Prediabetes plan.

Learning you have prediabetes can be frightening. But if you make a few basic diet and exercise changes, you can get your blood sugar levels back down to normal and prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are elevated, but not high enough to qualify as type 2 diabetes.

To be diagnosed with prediabetes, you must have:

  • A fasting blood glucose—a measure of how much sugar (or glucose) is in your blood after a period of fasting—of 100 to125 mg/dL
  • A two-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) blood glucose of 140 to 199 mg/dL; this test gauges how your body breaks down sugar while drinking a sugar-based beverage over a two-hour period.
  • Hemoglobin A1C of 5.7 to 6.4 percent; this is a measure of your average blood sugar level over three months.

Twenty-five percent of people with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes within three to five years, and that percentage continues to rise with time. But making a few simple tweaks to your diet, getting regular physical activity and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight (which the first two should help with) can not only prevent the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes, it can also drop elevated blood sugar levels back to normal. In fact, the American Diabetes Association estimates that you can cut your risk for type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent by simply incorporating 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week and by losing 7 percent of your body weight (that’s only 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds).

Fight prediabetes with a two-pronged approach:


There are two main forms of exercise, and both help with prediabetes. Make sure to incorporate aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, swimming, water aerobics, and even seasonal activities like gardening, raking leaves, and shoveling snow, as well as strength training, exercises that build and maintain muscle tissue, including exercise bands, yoga, Pilates and hand weights.


Eat smart. You can maintain consistent blood sugar levels, feel satisfied and stay energized by choosing foods that are broken down more slowly by the body than refined carbohydrates. Some examples: fresh and vibrantly colored vegetables and fruit; whole grains like quinoa, millet and oatmeal; lean protein like chicken, fish, egg whites, lentils and low-fat dairy; and healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds. Another food to add to the menu is beans; they contain protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber, and are versatile enough to work into soups, stews, salads, and side dishes.

Steer clear of foods that spike blood sugar.  Unlike the stellar picks mentioned above, foods like candy, soda, sweetened iced teas and lemonades, fruit juice, dried fruits, white rice, baked goods, pancakes, bagels and white bread cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and sap energy. That being said, you’ll want to limit or avoid these items.

For meal ideas that are perfect for people with prediabetes or diabetes, check out these delicious recipes.  Also take a look at these lists of foods to include and foods to avoid for optimal blood sugar levels.