Diabetes is a chronic and long-term condition which occurs when the blood glucose or blood sugar levels in the body are too high. If not controlled properly, it can lead to serious problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and other complications. Hence, it is very important to make wise food decisions, as eating the wrong food may further raise your blood sugar levels and pose life-threatening consequences!
Here is a list of 10 major foods which contain high amounts of sodium, fat, carbs, and calories, which a diabetic should definitely avoid!
1. Sugary Foods
Foods such as sweets, cakes, cookies, and doughnuts are not only made of processed sugar but are also considered as low-quality carbohydrates. These foods contain a large number of trans fats, carbs, calories, and sugar. Hence, they not only lack in nutritional value but can cause a sharp increase in the blood sugar levels.
2. Dried Fruits
Although dried fruits contain fiber and many nutrients, they are more concentrated in sugar and contain three times the carbs present in fresh fruits. Apparently, a small handful of raisins contain as many carbs and sugar as a whole bowl of grapes! Hence, it’s beneficial to avoid dried fruits and indulge in low-sugar fruits like fresh berries or peaches for optimal blood sugar control.
3. French Fries
French fries are one of the most tempting delicacies and are definitely hard to resist. But for people with diabetes, these are a big NO! French fries are loaded with sodium, carbs, saturated fat and calories. They raise the cholesterol and increase the blood sugar levels. Deep-fried foods also produce high amounts of toxic compounds, which may lead to inflammation and may also increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Consuming sweet potatoes, instead, which are rich in vitamin A and potassium, surely provides with a more nutritious alternative.
Instead of consuming white table sugar, many diabetes patients tend to switch to honey or maple syrup as a healthier alternative. Although these natural sugars are not as processed as the white table sugar, they contain sufficient amount of carbs to cause blood-sugar spikes. Hence, it’s better to avoid all forms of sugar and use low-carb sweeteners instead.
5. White Bread, Pasta, And Rice
Processed foods such as white bread, pasta, and rice tend to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. These foods are high in carbs but contain a very little amount of fiber. Hence, they significantly increase the blood sugar levels.
Replacing white rice with brown rice is, thus, a better choice as it contains more protein and fiber. According to Malkoff-Cohen, an expert in pediatric nutrition and diabetes, white rice is a refined starch with no nutritional benefits. It can also expose healthy people to a greater risk of diabetes.
Also, replacing white bread with whole-grain bread or high-fiber bread is a healthier option and can also reduce blood-sugar levels in diabetics.
Alcohol can significantly interfere with your blood sugar levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, alcohol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) shortly after drinking and for up to 24 hours afterward. It is advisable not to consume alcohol on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low, especially if you are on insulin and diabetes pills. Also, if you drink regularly, try to keep it in moderation- not more than one or two servings per day.
7. Breakfast Cereals
If you are a diabetic, eating cereals is one of the worst ways to start your day. Cereals are highly processed and contain a very high amount of carbs. They are also low in protein and fiber content, making it a risky option for the people with diabetes. Try avoiding the cereals and opt for a high-protein, low-carb breakfast of egg-white omelet and vegetables instead.
8. Soda and Soft Drinks
Soda, as well as the sugar-laden soft drinks, pose a great threat to people with diabetes. Consuming these beverages is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and increase your blood sugar levels. Also, if you are thinking of switching to diet soda, they aren’t a safe option either! They signal an insulin release, perpetuating dysfunctional physiological response.
9. Packaged Snacks:
Packaged snacks are typically made with refined flour and contain very few nutrients. They are loaded with plenty of fast-digesting carbs and trans fats that cause your blood levels to soar. These snacks also tend to increase your “bad” cholesterol and lower your “good” cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. Hence, it is better to eat nuts or whole grain bread sandwich as a healthier alternative.
10. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice are high in calories and sugar and are the worst food choices for diabetes. These beverages are loaded with fructose, which is strongly linked to insulin resistance and can also increase the risk of fatty liver and high cholesterol. People with diabetes should avoid having fruit juice, even the 100 percent fruit juice. To help control blood sugar level, consume unsweetened iced tea, water with a wedge of lemon or fiber-rich whole fruits instead.