How many carbs should I have per day with prediabetes?
The recommendation you mentioned above is for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. We suggest starting out at 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal if you have diabetes, until you are able to discuss a more individualized plan with your health care team. Counting carbohydrates is a key strategy for controlling blood glucose when you have diabetes.
Prediabetes is the condition where your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as full-blown diabetes. Many healthy eating recommendations are the same for people with diabetes and prediabetes.
Counting carbohydrates is not recommended for people with prediabetes at this time. This is more important for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Research has shown that eating a lower-fat, reduced calorie diet not only helps with moderate weight loss, but it can also help to prevent or delay diabetes when you have prediabetes.
Reducing calories usually means decreasing the size of your food portions and also making healthier choices in each food group. For more information on this, see the list of tips below. Find even more information on the What Can I Eat? section of diabetes.org.
Lowering the fat in your diet may be easier than you think. Become familiar with the different kinds of fat and the food sources that we get them from at diabetes.org. Try to reduce the amount of these foods in your diet. When you do include fat, try to make sure it is from a healthy source.
Below is a list of things to focus on with prediabetes:
- Control the portions you serve. Eating less all together means eating less calories, which can lead to weight loss and other health benefits.
- Choose healthy sources of carbohydrate such as whole grains, fruit, low-fat dairy, beans, and starchy vegetables over less nutritious sources of carbohydrate like products made with refined grains, sweets, and salty snacks.
- Use a grocery list when shopping for food to help you choose more fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Instead of stressing out about the foods you're trying not to eat, focus on the foods you need to eat more of.
- Limit the unhealthy saturated and trans fats you eat and make sure most of the fat you do eat are coming from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, fatty fish, plant oils, and avocados.
- Choose lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, vegetarian protein options and lean cuts of pork or beef such as sirloin or chuck roast.
- If you drink alcohol, men should have no more than two drinks per day and women should have no more than one drink per day.
- Use healthier cooking methods without added fat (i.e. broiling, baking, microwaving, grilling, roasting, etc.). Avoid frying foods.
- Save money by limiting how much soda, sweets and chips or other snack foods you buy.
You can learn even more about preventing diabetes at diabetes.org.
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