Diet Considerations and Physical Activity for Pre-Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

The medical nutrition therapy goals for pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome involve maintaining a healthy weight and physical activity to treat the underlying causes, insulin resistance and sedentary lifestyle.
Diet Considerations
Healthy eating to prevent or treat pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome includes: 
  • An abundance of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Legumes (dried beans, soy products, split peas, lentils), low fat dairy products, fish, and poultry as primary protein sources
  • Moderate amounts of fat from canola or olive oil and nuts
  • Reduced amounts of red meats and refined carbohydrates, especially sweets and high sugar beverages
  • Reduced sodium from processed foods 
Diet and Physical Activity Goals and Recommendations
Goal Specific Recommendations 
Increase physical activity 150 minutes minimum per week
Maintain a healthy weight At least a loss of 7% of initial body weight (if BMI = 25.0 kg/m2)
Decrease total fat and saturated fat Total fat not greater than 25-35% of calories; saturated fat not greater than 7% of calories
Emphasize monounsaturated fat Up to 20% of total calories
Decrease sugar and excess starch Not greater than 50-60% calories from carbohydrates, with emphasis on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
Decrease sodium Not greater than 2400 mg/day
Increase fiber Up to 25-30 g/day
Increase antioxidants Up to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day
Increase dietary Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium

Per 2000 calories:

  • Mg - 500 mg
  • Ca - 1200 mg
  • K - 4700 mg