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Sample Meal Plan for Prediabetes with No Added Sugar



If you're among the 96 million individuals in the United States who have prediabetes, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this meal plan is tailored to your needs. According to the American Diabetes Association, prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet elevated enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes often presents with few noticeable symptoms and is typically diagnosed through a straightforward blood test. Consequently, it is vital to prioritize regular preventive care with your healthcare provider. When dealing with a prediabetes diagnosis, the primary objective is to prevent or postpone the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Within this meal plan, our emphasis is on foods that promote stable blood sugar levels, such as non-starchy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins. Simultaneously, we eliminate foods that heighten the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as those containing added sugars. It's worth noting that, according to the CDC, the average American adult consumes approximately 17 teaspoons of added sugar daily, which significantly surpasses the American Heart Association's recommended daily maximum of 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women. Recognizing that even a modest reduction in weight is associated with improved blood sugar control, as advised by the ADA, we've designed this plan around 1,500 calories, a level at which most individuals are likely to experience weight loss. Additionally, we have included variations for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day to accommodate individuals with different calorie requirements.


Strategies for Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels:

  • Stay Active: Strive to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, as outlined in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Even short bouts of activity, like a brisk walk lasting two to five minutes after each meal, can contribute to improved blood sugar control.

  • Prioritize Produce: Aim to have half of your plate filled with fruits and vegetables, with a focus on non-starchy vegetables. This approach enhances nutrient intake, promotes satiety, and aids in blood sugar management.

  • Manage Stress: Prolonged stress triggers hormonal responses that can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. While managing stress can be challenging, making efforts to reduce stress can help maintain healthy blood sugars.

  • Get Sufficient Sleep: Research from a 2019 study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology indicates that individuals with prediabetes often experience poor sleep. The well-established connection between inadequate sleep and elevated blood sugar underscores the significance of prioritizing quality sleep for blood sugar control.

  • Embrace Fiber: Fiber, a type of carbohydrate that the body doesn't break down, slows digestion and doesn't lead to spikes in blood sugar. Additionally, fiber offers various health benefits, including supporting weight management, enhancing heart health, and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Reduce Added Sugars: Given that many people consume more added sugars than they realize, cutting back on added sugars can be beneficial for blood sugar control. Aim to eliminate or reduce sugary beverages such as soda and juice, opting instead for water, seltzer, or diabetes-friendly drinks to minimize their impact on blood sugar levels.

Recommended Foods for Prediabetes:

  • Fish and seafood

  • Lean protein sources, including chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of beef and pork in moderation

  • Eggs

  • Legumes, such as beans and lentils

  • Nuts and seeds, including natural nut butters without added sugars

  • Whole grains like quinoa, whole wheat, brown rice, and bulgur

  • Olive oil

  • Avocado

  • Vegetables, particularly non-starchy options like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts

  • Fruits, with a preference for high-fiber varieties like berries, apples, and pears

  • Unsweetened yogurt and kefir

7 Day Sample Meal Plan for Prediabetes/ Diabetes:

Day 1:

  • Breakfast (286 calories):

  • 1 slice sprouted-wheat toast

  • 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

  • A.M. Snack (206 calories):

  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

  • Lunch (335 calories):

  • 1 serving Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

  • ½ cup blackberries

  • P.M. Snack (261 calories):

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • ¾ cup raspberries

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

  • Dinner (405 calories):

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

Day 2:

  • Breakfast (301 calories):

  • 1 serving Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

  • 1 medium orange

  • A.M. Snack (305 calories):

  • 1 medium apple

  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

  • Lunch (396 calories):

  • 1 serving Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

  • 1 large bell pepper, sliced

  • 3 Tbsp. hummus

  • P.M. Snack (63 calories):

  • ¾ cup blueberries

  • Dinner (411 calories):

  • 1 serving Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken

Day 3:

  • Breakfast (301 calories):

  • 1 serving Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

  • 1 medium orange

  • A.M. Snack (250 calories):

  • 1¼ cups edamame, in pods

  • Lunch (396 calories):

  • 1 serving Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

  • 1 large bell pepper, sliced

  • 3 Tbsp. hummus

  • P.M. Snack (95 calories):

  • 1 medium apple

  • Dinner (473 calories):

  • 1 serving Grilled Pork & Vegetables with Fresh Corn Polenta

Day 4:

  • Breakfast (389 calories):

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired

  • ½ cup raspberries

  • A.M. Snack (95 calories):

  • 1 medium apple

  • Lunch (396 calories):

  • 1 serving Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

  • 1 large bell pepper, sliced

  • 3 Tbsp. hummus

  • P.M. Snack (166 calories):

  • 1 cup low-fat plain kefir

  • ⅔ cup blueberries

  • Dinner (452 calories):

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

Day 5:

  • Breakfast (301 calories):

  • 1 serving Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato

  • 1 medium orange

  • A.M. Snack (206 calories):

  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

  • Lunch (396 calories):

  • 1 serving Cumin Chicken & Chickpea Stew

  • 1 large bell pepper, sliced

  • 3 Tbsp. hummus

  • P.M. Snack (200 calories):

  • 1 cup edamame, in pods

  • Dinner (378 calories):

  • 1 serving No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

  • 1 serving Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette

  • Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve two servings of No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna for days 6 and 7.

Day 6:

  • Breakfast (389 calories):

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired

  • ½ cup raspberries

  • A.M. Snack (62 calories):

  • 1 cup blackberries

  • Lunch (358 calories):

  • 1 serving No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

  • 1 medium apple

  • P.M. Snack (248 calories):

  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

  • ½ cup blueberries

  • Dinner (452 calories):

  • 1 serving Tuna Niçoise Salad

  • 1-oz. slice whole-wheat baguette

Day 7:

  • Breakfast (286 calories):

  • 1 slice sprouted-wheat toast

  • 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

  • 1 cup low-fat plain kefir

  • A.M. Snack (193 calories):

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • ⅓ cup blueberries

  • Lunch (358 calories):

  • 1 serving No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

  • 1 medium apple

  • P.M. Snack (100 calories):

  • ½ cup edamame, in pods

  • Dinner (559 calories):

  • 1 serving Beefless Vegan Tacos

  • 1 serving Cucumber & Avocado Salad


*This is not medical advice, work with a dietician or functional medicine practioner to find a meal plan that is best suited for your unique needs.

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