Diet for Diabetes Prevention

Having the right diet can help to prevent or delay diabetes.


Here are the guidelines:

  • Eat a balanced diet – plate method.

    Plate Method

  • Plan three meals, plus one to three snacks daily. Eat at regular intervals to maintain proper blood sugar levels.
  • Choose foods with high fiber and unprocessed carbohydrates, such as whole grain products, legumes and fruits.
  • Lower your carbohydrate intake, but do not eliminate it from your diet. Instead, spread the intake of carbohydrates throughout the day.
  • Consume plenty of vegetables.
  • Avoid concentrated sweets in food and drinks.
  • Choose high-quality protein.
  • Choose foods low in saturated fats and avoid trans fats. Choose mostly unsaturated fats.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Avoid eating more calories than you need.
  • Consult a dietitian to help develop a meal plan that is just right for you. Medicare covers nutrition counseling for those diagnosed with diabetes. Ask your doctor for a referral.


Making Better Food Choices

  Healthy Choices –
Choose More Often
Unhealthy Choices –
Choose Less Often
Meat and Protein Skinless chicken, lean pork, sirloin steak, egg, tofu, beans, low-fat cheese Pork fat, chicken skin, short ribs, organ meat, ground beef, sausage, bacon, fried tofu
Grains and Starch Brown rice, buckwheat noodles, whole wheat bread, bean thread, Korean yam noodles, quinoa, oatmeal, beans, lentils, yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, peas, lotus root White rice, porridge, sticky rice, rice noodles, udon, sushi rice, pasta, instant noodles, instant oatmeal, fried noodles, egg roll, french fries. Pastries and Chinese buns, sponge cake, radish cake, mashed potato, fried taro cake, Chinese tamale, chips
Fresh Fruits All fresh fruit, unsweetened frozen fruit Canned fruit, candied dried fruit, fruit juice
Vegetables All fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables without sauce Canned vegetables, frozen vegetables with sauce, sweetened pickled vegetables.
Milk and Milk-like Beverages Low fat milk, unsweetened soy or almond milk, plain Greek yogurt (add your own fruits) Condensed milk, chocolate milk, sweetened soy milk, flavored yogurt, Yakult
Fat (all fats are high in calories, use moderately) Olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, avocado Margarine, butter, fried foods, vegetable oil
Beverages Water, fruit flavored sparking water, green tea, coffee Soda, boba milk tea, sweetened/packaged/bottled tea
Condiments Fresh or dried herbs, curry powder, chili powder, five spices powder, red pepper, garlic, onion, vinegar, turmeric, lemon juice, soy sauce*, fish sauce*
*high in sodium
Ketchup, char siu sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, sugary vinegary sauce, sweet and sour sauce, Korean BBQ sauce (all of these sauces are high in sugar and sodium)


Sample Menus

  American Chinese
Breakfast 1 slice toast with 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup milk 1 cup mixed grains congee with chopped spinach, 1 egg (stirred into congee), 1 cup green tea (no sugar)
Snack (optional) 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup blueberries 1 apple, 1 cup unsweetened calcium-fortified soy milk
Lunch 3 cups salad (lettuce, greens, tomato, cucumber), ½ small avocado, 2oz cooked chicken breast, 1Tbsp dried fruits, ½ cup beans, 1Tbsp olive oil and vinegar dressing 1 cup buckwheat noodles in low sodium chicken broth, 2oz lean pork, ½ cup bean sprouts, ½ cup cabbage, 1tsp sesame oil
Snack (optional) 4 crackers, 1oz low fat cheese, 1 cup black coffee 3 pieces pork siu mai, 1 cup green tea (no sugar)
Dinner 3 oz baked salmon, 2Tbsp lemon dill sauce, 1 medium baked potato (1 Tbsp low fat sour cream), 1 cup stir fried broccoli, 1 small dinner roll, Vegetable soup (tomato, onion, cabbage, carrot and peas) 1 cup brown rice, 1 small steamed chicken leg (with ginger, green onion and 1 tsp sesame oil), Stir-fried beef with choy sum (1oz beef, 2/3 cup choy sum, 2 tsp peanut oil), Vegetable soup (tomato, cabbage, carrot, mushroom and clack fungus)
Snack (optional) 1 apple, ¼ cup almonds 1 tangerine, ¼ cup walnuts