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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

20 Foods to Avoid If You Have Prediabetes


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If your doctor has diagnosed you with prediabetes, you may be wondering what you should do about it, how you can improve your health to avoid bigger problems in the future, and which foods you should avoid if you have prediabetes.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take that may make a significant difference—and analyzing your diet (and possibly giving it an overhaul) is an important place to start.

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to meet the criteria for diabetes. It often serves as a sort of warning, alerting you that you need to make diet and lifestyle changes right away if you want to reduce your odds of developing diabetes.

Related: How You Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Foods to avoid if you have prediabetes

Carefully monitoring your diet—and making strategic changes specially designed to keep your sugar in check—is one of the most important things you can do to lessen your risk of diabetes.

“Many, if not most, individuals with prediabetes are also carrying excess weight,” says Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, senior director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition. “So, a healthy diet that will also support gradual weight loss would be advisable—the focus should be on lean proteins, vegetables (both cooked and raw), small amounts of healthy fats from foods like nuts and avocado, and modest portions of carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains.”

Here are some foods you might want to avoid (or save for a rare treat) if you have prediabetes.

Soda and other sweetened beverages

“These drinks provide high sugar levels and non-nutritive calories,” says Jana Mowrer, MPH, RDN. “They typically spike blood sugar very quickly (if not eaten with a meal) and then drop blood sugar causing the “crash” feeling and likely contributing to more overall cravings and higher calorie consumption throughout the day.”

Candy (on a regular basis or in excessive amounts)

Just because you have prediabetes—or even diabetes—doesn’t mean you can never have a single piece of candy again. An occasional treat usually won’t hurt, especially if you monitor your sugar level and time it so you enjoy a candy treat when your sugar levels can best accommodate it. But you want to avoid going overboard and ideally pick treats that only have moderate amounts of sugar and carbs. And be careful with sugar-free treats—some artificial sweeteners contain carbs and may be high in saturated fat.

Related: 11 Sugar Substitutes for Baking

Flavored yogurts

“Many flavored yogurts have as much or more sugar than some candy bars,” Mowrer says. “This is helpful to look out for with both kids and adults.”


“While bacon may be keto-friendly, it is not prediabetic friendly,” Mowrer says. Besides the high sodium content, bacon is also packed with saturated fat and cholesterol. “Those with prediabetes are also at higher risk for heart disease,” notes Mowrer. “Monitoring overall fat intake is still helpful for a healthy diet, usually keeping total fats to under 30% of total food intake. This also helps with making sure other food categories are consumed—this can boost fiber intake, which is also helpful for prediabetes.”

High fat meats

Studies have shown that people who eat red meat on a frequent basis have a higher risk of diabetes. It’s best to limit your intake of fatty meats and choose lean meats and heart-friendly types of fish instead.

Fast food

“If one is trying to manage their overall sugars, I like to recommend eating as many meals as possible at home,” Mowrer says. “Often times, fast food chains offer meals that are higher in overall carbohydrates, fat and sodium. These three categories should be monitored and balanced within a health-supportive diet plan.”

Related: 29 Healthy Fast Food Recipes

Salad dressings

“When does a salad become not a healthy option? When it is topped with most salad dressings,” says Michelle Rauch, MS, RDN, noting that just two tablespoons of one popular brand of dressing have 340mg of sodium and 6g of added sugar. “Many salad dressings contain a long list of ingredients – many of which are unhealthy. In addition to preservatives and artificial ingredients to extend shelf life along with saturated fats for flavor, they are often loaded with sodium and added sugar. Too much of these can contribute to weight gain, blood sugar spikes, and have a negative impact on heart health.” Rauch adds that low-fat and fat-free versions tend to be higher in sodium and sugar, which are used to replace the flavor that the fats would have added.

Condiments such as ketchup, steak sauce, and barbecue sauce

“We use condiments on our food to give them an extra blast of flavor and we use it on everything including eggs, potatoes, meat, and deli meats,” says Rauch. “That ketchup on our burger or that barbecue sauce on our chicken both contain sugar and salt. If you are ‘cavalier’ about the amount you pour on, you could be adding additional calories, sugar, and sodium to your food without even realizing it.” Rauch notes that just a single tablespoon of one of the most popular brands of ketchup contains 4g of sugar and 180mg of sodium.


“I am not a fan of most cereals in general for those watching their sugars,” says Mowrer. “Typically, the serving size is small and since most Americans like to eat by volume, cereals are an area where overconsumption is common. Cereal is also usually consumed on its own or with milk and not consumed as a balanced meal with other protein sources or fat sources to help prevent blood sugar spikes.” Rauch echoes the warning about cereal, noting, “many breakfast bowls of cereal list some form of sugar or sweetener as the second or third ingredient. These cereals resemble dessert more than breakfast.”

Granola bars and breakfast bars

“Like many breakfast cereals, granola and breakfast bars can be significant sources of sugar,” says Rauch. “In fact, many can contain as much sugar, carbohydrates, and calories of some candy bars. While they might be a convenient option, for an on-the-go snack or meal replacement, they may not be as healthy as their advertising suggests. Granola and/or granola bars and breakfast bars may include ingredients such as oats or other grains, nuts, and seeds. Other ingredients such as dried fruit, jams, honey, and sometimes chocolate can be the source of sugar.”

Bottled smoothies

“Most smoothies have a sugar content that can exceed most soda,” says Rauch. “Despite containing pureed fruit, many smoothies sold in the supermarket contain fruit juices as a base, which makes it even worse. Smoothies are perceived as healthy because of their fruit and vegetable content, but they are quite the opposite. Loaded with sugar, calories, and carbohydrates—these drinks often leave you hungry as they lack fiber and protein.”

Salted snacks

Excessive sodium intake has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes, so people with prediabetes should be careful to watch the amount of salt in their diet. This means you would want to go easy on things like potato chips, salted peanuts, or salted caramel treats.

Processed foods

Bowerman notes that processed foods such as packaged cold cuts tend to have a lot of sodium and other unhealthy ingredients, so it’s best to limit or avoid them.

Canned vegetables and soups

Canned food, in general, tends to be high in sodium, as it is packaged with preservatives to give it longer shelf life. Fresh or frozen veggies and homemade soup are the best options—but if you do have to go with canned food, try looking for low-sodium or heart-healthy varieties.

hot dogs

Like bacon, hot dogs are packed with sodium and saturated fat. If you have a craving for hot dogs, look for healthier lower-sodium varieties or check out the range of homemade hot dog recipes available online.

Breaded fish

Fish that is coated in breading will typically be high in sodium and unhealthy fats—and that goes double for anything fried in fat-heavy oils. Bowerman advises opting for more heart-healthy seafood prepared in a sodium-limiting way.

Refined flour breads

Simple and refined carbohydrates—such as those in white bread—produce a quick spike in blood sugar, so Bowerman suggests choosing whole grain or wheat varieties whenever possible.

White pasta

Like white bread, white pasta is high in simple carbs that can cause blood sugar spikes. Again, opting for multi-grain alternatives is a smart choice.

Crackers made from refined flour

The refined flour can trigger a sudden blood sugar surge. You also want to avoid salted crackers that are high in sodium. A multi-grain or whole wheat cracker would be a better option.

White rice

Researchers have found that people who consume white rice on a regular basis have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Brown rice has a lower glycemic index than white rice, so is a better choice for those at risk of diabetes.

What to eat if you have prediabetes

Rauch offers suggestions for people with prediabetes or diabetes who are looking for healthier alternatives for some of their favorite foods:

  • Instead of store-bought salad dressing, try making your own. Use your favorite type of vinegar—there are many flavorful options including red wine, white wine, balsamic, and/or sherry—with an extra virgin olive oil. Another option: try using a citrus juice (lemon, lime, or orange) with a bit of olive oil. Add herbs to your homemade dressings to change it up for more variety.
  • Instead of sugar-heavy cereals, look for minimally processed options such as shredded wheat which has no added sugar, no sodium, and 6g of fiber. Puffed cereals such as puffed wheat, puffed rice, and puffed corn have little to no added sugar. Consider oatmeal such as quick-cook or steel-cut oats, but just be careful when adding dried fruit, honey, or other sweeteners not to take away from its healthy nature. Instant oatmeals are processed and often contain sugar.
  • Instead of ketchup or barbecue sauce, try a big slice of a beefsteak tomato on your burger. Another option: condiments from True Made Foods that contain no added sugar and get their sweetness from apple and vegetable purees.

Next up: Find Out 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Diabetes


  • “Eating white rice regularly may raise type 2 diabetes risk” – Harvard School of Public Health
  • Jana Mowrer, MPH, RDN
  • Michelle Rauch, MS, RDN
  • Prediabetes—American Diabetes Association
  • “Red meat, poultry and fish consumption and risk of diabetes” – Diabetologia (2020) 63:767-779
  • “Sodium (salt) intake is associated with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes” – Science Daily
  • Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, senior director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition

Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Guiding the way to thrive



Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.

That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.

Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.

Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.

Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.

14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.

“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.

“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.

“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”

Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.

“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.

The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.

“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”

The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.

“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.

“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”

The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.

So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?

“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.

“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”

The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.

Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.

“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.

“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.

“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.

“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.

“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.

“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.

“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”

To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.

Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.

Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.

She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.

“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.

“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.

“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.

“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”

14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains



By Casey Barber, CNN

Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.

The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.

What’s a whole grain?

The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.

“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”

So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.

And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.

“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.

“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”

Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.

Some whole grains to get to know

amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.

Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.

Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.

Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.

kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.

millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.

How to cook any whole grain

While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.

Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.

If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.

The CNN Wire
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Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel



I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.

The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.

It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.

After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.

Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.

This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).

My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.

I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.

An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.

After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.

It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.

They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.

There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo ​​and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.

All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.

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