What Is a Borderline Diabetic Diet?

S. Ashraf

A borderline diabetic diet is a food plan that has been specifically designed for individuals who have been diagnosed with borderline diabetes and need to achieve better control over their blood glucose levels. Borderline diabetes, also known as prediabetes, is a condition that exists when a person has blood glucose levels that are somewhat higher than normal but not yet in the range that diabetics experience. The goal of a borderline diabetic diet is to prevent full-blown diabetes from developing by eating a diet made up of foods that will not cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly but, instead, to remain fairly constant throughout the day. A typical borderline diabetic diet consists of meals that are low in carbohydrates as well as a healthy mix of low-fat proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries can be part of a borderline diabetic diet.
Blueberries can be part of a borderline diabetic diet.

Diabetes is a disease in which the metabolism of carbohydrates is impaired, resulting in too much glucose circulating in the body. The main focus of a borderline diabetic diet is to manage carbohydrate consumption in a way that is both healthy and nutritious. All carbohydrates — whether they are simple, such as sugar, or complex, such as fruits — pose potential blood glucose problems to a person who has prediabetes. A borderline diabetic diet will limit the amount of simple carbohydrates, such as candy, cake, cookies or potatoes, and focus on the complex carbohydrates found in many fruits and vegetables.

People who have borderline diabetes should consume whole-grain breads and cereals.
People who have borderline diabetes should consume whole-grain breads and cereals.

The best carbohydrates for a borderline diabetic are those that rank low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how much different foods raise blood glucose. Green beans, broccoli, strawberries and blueberries are examples of complex carbohydrates that rank low on the index and do not cause a rapid rise in blood glucose. On the other hand, bananas and oranges rank high and should be consumed only in moderation by someone who has prediabetes.

All sugars -- even those in fruits -- must be consumed carefully by diabetics or prediabetics.
All sugars -- even those in fruits -- must be consumed carefully by diabetics or prediabetics.

A borderline diabetic diet usually will also incorporate a lot of fiber into the food plan. Getting enough fiber is important because it assists in the digestion of carbohydrates and fats, and it helps keep blood glucose levels stable. Beans, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts and bran are often part of this specialized diet.

The goal of a borderline diabetic diet is to keep the person's blood sugar levels low in order to prevent full-blown diabetes.
The goal of a borderline diabetic diet is to keep the person's blood sugar levels low in order to prevent full-blown diabetes.

It also is important for one to not totally eliminate fat from the diet. Fat slows digestion and keeps blood glucose levels from rising too rapidly. For this reason, low-fat dairy products are better for this diet than non-fat products. Most diets for borderline diabetics recommend eating low-fat protein sources such as fish, chicken and lean cuts of beef.

Most diets that are geared toward borderline diabetics call for plenty of high-quality protein, such as that found in cottage cheese and lean cuts of meat.
Most diets that are geared toward borderline diabetics call for plenty of high-quality protein, such as that found in cottage cheese and lean cuts of meat.
People who are diagnosed with borderline diabetes can benefit from a diet that is rich in lean proteins and green veggies.
People who are diagnosed with borderline diabetes can benefit from a diet that is rich in lean proteins and green veggies.
People who are borderline diabetics can benefit greatly from moderate exercise.
People who are borderline diabetics can benefit greatly from moderate exercise.
A borderline diabetic diet should focus on the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables.
A borderline diabetic diet should focus on the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables.

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Discussion Comments

Abdel

For a diabetic person, it's necessary to take care of the things that are necessary for them to take care of.

Altering the diet and physical activity can help a lot in staying healthy physically.

Mor

I find that the best way to make sure my blood sugar stays balanced is to exercise. I have to get my heart beat up by jogging or walking up a hill for at least fifteen minutes, although twenty minutes is better. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but afterwards I just don't want to eat as much. I think it is because it burns all the sugar from my blood, using it in my muscles. I like to do it in the morning, and then I don't have to worry during the day... I mean, I still have to eat right, but I don't have the same cravings as I do when I don't go for a run. Then I easily follow the diabetic diet plan during the day.

Plus, I'm losing weight, which is an unexpected benefit and will hopefully also help my wayward blood sugar.

indigomoth

Once you get used to eating a diet with a low glycemic index, you will eventually start to feel sick when you eat anything else. I can really tell now when I've eaten the wrong thing, because I become quite light headed and feel nauseated. This happens whenever I eat anything with too much refined white sugar or flour.

Unfortunately, eating the right foods afterward doesn't seem to help, I just have to wait until the feeling goes away.

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