Healthwise for Guys: Prediabetes

(FN1875, Jan. 2023)
Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Other Authors

Christina Steckler, Dietetic Intern (former)

Web only
Publication Sections

Quick Quiz

  1. How many adults have prediabetes?
    a. 2 out of 3
    b. 1 out of 3
    c. 4 out of 7
  2. What was the total medical cost for those with diabetes in 2012?
    a. $100,000
    b. $1 million
    c. $245 billion
  3. What is a normal fasting blood sugar level?
    a. Less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
    b. 100 to 125 mg/dL
    c. 126 mg/dL or higher

Answers; 1.b, 2.c, 3. a

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is defined as blood sugar levels that are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Diabetes is a condition when your pancreas makes insulin but the cells do not respond to it. Insulin is needed for glucose (sugar) from your food to enter the cells and give you energy.

Uncontrolled blood sugar can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and other medical conditions. Diabetes carries high medical costs and may be associated with loss of work and wages.

How common is prediabetes?

As of 2017, about one out of three adults has prediabetes. More men (36.6%) than women (29.3%) had it. Nine out of 10 people do not know they have prediabetes.

Are you at risk for prediabetes?




Do you have a sister or brother with diabetes?



Do you have a parent with diabetes?



Are you 45 to 64 years old?



Are you younger than 65 years old and get little to no exercise?



Find your height in the box. Is your weight the same or more than listed?


Weight pounds















Are you 65 years of age or older?



Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Add up your score. If your score is 2 to 8, your risk is low. If your score is 9 or higher, your risk is high. Be sure to get screened by a health-care provider.

How can I lower my risk?

You can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by losing weight, eating healthfully and being more active. If you are overweight, losing just 5% to 7% of your weight can reduce your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Create a menu plan that includes a variety of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, poultry and other proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. See www.choosemyplate.gov to learn more about your food choices.

Limit foods high in trans fat, saturated fat and sodium. Read nutrition labels to be aware of your choices.

Be mindful of your beverage choices. Drink water when you are thirsty instead of sweetened beverages.

Exercise at least 30 minutes per day five days per week. Begin slowly and work your way to 30 minutes if needed.


Key to abbreviations:

  • c. = cup
  • Tbsp. = tablespoon
  • tsp. = teaspoon
  • lb. = pound
  • oz. = ounce
  • g = gram
  • mg = milligram

Fresh Italian Pasta Salad

Fresh Italian Pasta Salad
Fresh Italian Pasta Salad

4 oz. whole-wheat penne pasta (about 1½ cups)
6 oz. frozen peas
1 c. chopped red peppers
½ Tbsp. dried basil
1 (2.25-oz.) can black olives
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped cucumbers


4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. salt
Dash ground black pepper

Cook pasta and frozen peas according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, peas, red pepper, celery, cucumbers and olives. Sprinkle the basil over the top. In a separate bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper; mix well. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss gently to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 150 calories, 3.5 g fat, 5 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 75 mg sodium.

Baked Pita Chips

Baked Pita Chips
Baked Pita Chips

6 (6-inch) whole-wheat pita breads
½ c. olive oil
Sprinkle with choice of seasoning

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut each pita into eight equal wedges. Pull each wedge into two pieces. Coat both sides of the pita wedges lightly with olive oil and place in a single layer on large rimmed baking sheets; sprinkle with seasoning. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow the crisps to cool; serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Enjoy with hummus dip. See recipes on the NDSU Extension Service website.

Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 130 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 170 mg sodium.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders*

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
¾ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 small onion, sliced
1 c. water
1/3 c. barbeque sauce
8 mini whole-wheat buns

* substitute pork loin if desired

Place the chicken in a slow cooker and sprinkle the garlic powder, pepper and chili powder on the chicken. Add the sliced onion and water and cover. Cook on low for six hours or until done. Drain the water from the slow cooker and shred the chicken with two forks, mix in the barbeque sauce and reheat for an additional 15 minutes. Assemble the sandwiches using extra barbeque sauce and other toppings if desired.

Makes four servings. Made with chicken, each serving has 240 calories, 4.5 g fat, 21 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 250 mg sodium.


See www.ag.ndsu.edu/healthwiseforguys for more information about men’s health.