Skip to main content
Get Care MyChart Find a Provider Find a Location


88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes and a large percent of those people don’t even know it. Type 2 diabetes prevention or slowing progression to type 2 diabetes is affected by the choices we make in our eating and activity. Three areas to do this is meal timing, food and drink choices, and exercise.

Meal timing. Eating breakfast can improve blood glucose control. Your body needs energy when waking and without energy(food) to break the fast, your body creates its own fuel by releasing stored glucose from your liver into your bloodstream. This causes your blood glucose to spike and can lead to poor glucose control throughout the day. The higher the blood sugar, the more insulin your body must produce, and this leads to the progression of diabetes.

Studies show that eating three meals per day is important and small, nutritious snacks in between meals are appropriate when physically hungry. If you find that you are not hungry within five to six hours of eating your last meal, portion sizes may be larger than what you need.

Food and drink choices. Achieving better blood sugar control requires eating the right foods at the right time. Listed below are ways to improve food and beverage choices to decrease your risk for diabetes.

Current eating patternOption for improvement
No breakfastBreakfast of protein/whole grain combo (whole wheat toast with egg, banana with peanut butter, oatmeal with nuts and berries)
Coffee shop drink with sugar/syrup, milk, and toppingsBlack coffee or tea – regular or decaf 
Quick, grab-n-go lunch: sub sandwich or fast-food burger on white bread, fries or chips, sodaLunch with ½ plate vegetables and fruit, ¼ lean protein, ¼ whole grain; water or milk
Last-minute dinner at a restaurant or rushed meal at homemade with boxed or pre-made items, soda, or alcoholDinner similar to lunch
Grazing snacks: chips, crackers, cookies, candy, ice creamSnacks if hungry including protein/carb combination (apple with peanut butter, whole grain crackers and cheese, vegetables and hummus, etc.)

To promote better blood glucose control, consume:

  • Plenty of vegetables and fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Protein and fiber at each meal/snack help reduce the glucose spikes

Exercise. Being physically active reduces your diabetes risk. People who achieve 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week are better able to manage their blood glucose, weight, and overall health. Any increase in activity is beneficial for glucose control.

Related articles

Woman in exercise clothing eating healthy bowl.

Protein takeover: How much is really needed per day?

Protein's superpower is its ability to satiety. Gundersen's dietitian shares protein options and how much protein you should aim to eat daily.
woman doing dumbbell curl

What exercise burns the most calories?

Discover the benefits of anaerobic and high-intensity workouts, which help burn calories and improve overall fitness. Start your calorie-burning journey today.
Nutrition and your mental health

The link between nutrition and your mental health

The foods you eat can positively impact your brain function, mood and mental health. Apply this “back to the basics” approach of focusing on simple, healthy food for the brain
Is my child getting enough fiber

How much fiber does my child need?

Learn about the importance of fiber in a child’s diet and how to incorporate high-fiber foods for kids.

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

Language Support:
Jump back to top