A healthy prediabetic meal is characterized by a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, beans, whole-grains and lean meats, according to Beth Orenstein for Everyday Health. Portion control, rather than restricting favorite foods, is key for those striving to prevent or manage diabetes.
Creating healthy meal plans includes choosing items from each food group at every meal, and ensuring a rich variety of minerals, vitamins and nutrients comes from food sources, explains the American Diabetes Association. Create Your Plate is one method recommended for managing portion control at meal time. A person divides the dinner plate into three sections and allocates the largest section to nonstarchy vegetables, such as mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes. Grains and starch-based foods, including whole-grain breads, rice, pasta, sweet potatoes and corn, fill one of the smaller remaining sections. The third section is then filled with protein such as fish, seafood, lean cuts of meat, skinless poultry or eggs.
Healthy fats, including olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, are also part of a healthy meal plan, states Orenstein. Certain foods such as whole-fat dairy products should be replaced with low-fat or nonfat alternatives. Other changes prediabetics can make in their diet and lifestyle to slow or prevent the disease include drinking plenty of water, eliminating sugary drinks, avoiding or moderating alcohol consumption and engaging in regular exercise. At least 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise and strength training is recommended.