With prediabetes, how many grams of carbs and sugar should be my limit each day?
It is very important for people who have diabetes to monitor their carbohydrate intake at meals and snacks. A lot of people with prediabetes assume that they also need to count or limit their carbs. However, the focus for people with prediabetes does not need to be the amount of carbohydrates or sugars in their diet.
When you have prediabetes, the main goal is to prevent or delay diabetes. Lifestyle changes that help with weight loss and include healthy eating and physical activity can help. Research has shown that eating a lower-fat, reduced calorie diet helps with moderate weight loss and can also help to prevent or delay diabetes.
To lower the amount of calories in your diet, you should reduce the size of your food portions and also start switching out unhealthy foods for healthier options. It is okay to have a dessert once in a while, but you should carefully control portion size since most sweets and desserts are dense in calories and fat.
Lowering the amount of 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.
Here are some tips when it comes to choosing which foods to eat:
- 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. Go to What Can I Eat? and find out how many servings of veggies, fruits, and whole grains you need each day. Work on achieving those goals.
- Buy leaner meats (such as chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of pork or beef like sirloin or chuck roast) and lower fat dairy products (like low-fat or skim milk and yogurt).
- Use healthier cooking methods without added fat (i.e. broiling, baking, microwaving, grilling, roasting, etc.). Avoid frying foods.
- Save money by limiting soda, sweets and chips or other snack foods you buy.
You can learn more about losing weight and preventing diabetes at diabetes.org. Exercise is also a critical part of diabetes prevention. You may want to check out a few of our exercise and weight management books.
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