Borderline Diabetic Diet

A borderline diabetic is someone that fasting blood sugar levels somewhere between 101 and 125 mg per dL of blood. Fasting blood sugar levels are measured in the morning, before the person has had anything to eat that day. If this is the case, to prevent the evolution of the disease, the physician will at first try and counter the disease with what is called a borderline diabetic diet. This means that he will point out certain foods that you should and foods that you should not eat.

Borderline Diabetic Diet

The condition of being borderline diabetic can roughly be translated as a state of prediabetes. Even though the blood sugar level is not high enough to consider it as a diabetic disease, without keeping it under control, prediabetes evolves.

First and foremost, if you have not already been pointed out to seek help from a physician, that is the first thing that you should do in the eventuality of your fasting blood sugar are reaching the above mentioned levels. Only with professional help can you better understand and keep under control this state of prediabetes.

Visiting the physician

Once you have set up an appointment with your physician, he will run you through some questions about your diet and your daily activities. His main concern will be making a list of the foods that you already eat and pointing out the ones you are not allowed to anymore. This may sound harsh, but we must follow some strict rules in order to remain healthy, because the risk of developing complications such as coronary heart disease is as high as for a diabetic person. He will then proceed to calculate the patient’s body mass index, in order to see if he is obese or not, and to point out the caloric intake needed for the number that was calculated. Then a personalized diet will be made. The key word is personalized, because there is no standard one. Some foods may not be tolerated by some patients, as they may be allergic to them.

Principles of nutrition

What are calories? A calorie (cal) is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1g of water 1°C from 14° to 15°C. A kilocalorie (kcal) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1000g of water 1°C. The main nutrients our body requires are:

  • Proteins which play a role in muscle and tissue repair and growth
  • Fats which are a source of energy in relation to vitamins
  • Carbohydrates which represent the main source of energy

For a healthy human, the percentages of each nutrient should be as follows:

  • 45-65% Carbohydrates (sugar, sweets, bread, cakes)
  • 20-35% Fats (dairy products, oil)
  • 10-35% Protein (eggs, milk, meat, poultry, fish)

Foods to eat and foods to avoid in a borderline diabetic diet

The most common mistake people make when dieting is depriving their bodies of nutrients. Dieting does not mean restricting food, dieting equals balance. Otherwise, our bodies will not function properly, we will lose ability to concentrate, we will not be able to endure physical activities. Balance can be obtained by following these basic principles:

  • Proteins come from both plants and meat. We have to choose those that are low in saturated fat such as beans, nuts, whole grains and lean meat.
  • Carbohydrates. Remember that they are the main energy source for our bodies. They should be obtained from certain fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. We should avoid foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta.
  • Fats come in three types – unsaturated, saturated and trans-fat. For this diet, the last two should be avoided. Unsaturated fats should be included in the diet and places to find them are lean meat, fish, nuts and vegetable oils.

Having said this, here is a list of foods your borderline diabetic diet should include:

  • steel cut oats, almonds, walnuts
  • vegetables with no starch(spinach, carrots and field greens, red peppers, onions, eggplants)
  • beans,
  • fruits that have edible skin (they are low in sugar),
  • whole wheat grains (quinoa and barley),
  • chicken or turkey without skin,
  • egg whites,
  • fish (cod, halibut, tuna, trout),
  • lean beef cuts (flank steak, tenderloin),
  • low fat yogurt and other low fat dairy products (cottage cheese, sour milk),
  • shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops),
  • berries

The list of foods you should avoid is comprised of the following:

  • white bread,
  • french fries,
  • white rice,
  • white flour,
  • canned vegetables (because they have a lot of added sodium),
  • canned fruit with added sugar,
  • fruit drinks,
  • high fat cuts of meat (ribs),
  • pork bacon and unskinned poultry,
  • whole milk,
  • regular cheeses
  • yogurts.


Being borderline diabetic does not mean you have diabetes. It means that you have a condition which you can keep under control. Seeking medical help is the first step. Following the doctor’s orders and committing to a healthy lifestyle is entirely our choice, and only by doing so we can ensure our well being.

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