Diabetes Diet: 6 Foods You Must Avoid

Diabetes is a scary word these days, setting a trail of diseases with serious complications, including renal problems, heart disorders, and eye disease. You must put in place a diabetes diet that helps you control the disorder and minimize its impact. You should be wise enough to be choosy about what you eat and what foods to avoid with diabetes. It is wise to limit the intake of foods that are high in sodium, saturated fat, calories, and carbs to avoid putting on unwanted weight and experiencing blood sugar spikes. Eating the wrong foods can cause blood sugar levels to soar, raising your risk of diabetes.

Know the don'ts in diabetes diet

Choose whole grains over highly processed carbohydrates. Your diabetes diet must not have refined carbs. Foods rich in carbs can aggravate the onset of all sorts of health problems while a diet loaded with whole grains and fiber can help you prevent diabetes.

Here is a list of six foods you must avoid if you are diagnosed with diabetes.

Prepackaged, Baked Goodies

You love baked stuff, but if you are looking for a good diabetes diet, you would better want to avoid these prepackaged goodies made from white flour, which are loaded with carbs, empty calories, and hidden sugars. If you still want to indulge in guilt-free eating of baked goodies, better to choose healthy ingredients, whole grains, fiber-rich oatmeal, and sugar-free sweeteners to bake a fresh batch at home. There’s nothing better than baking your favorite cookies at home, helping you keep your blood sugar levels in control.

White Rice and Pasta

Rice is a staple in many parts of the world. But a diabetes friendly recipe should avoid using white rice or for that matter white pasta – the prime reason being that these have a high glycemic index. This means your body can digest it quickly, causing a spike in blood glucose levels. You are better off making healthier food choices for a diabetes diet. You may want to switch to whole wheat or whole barley pasta and brown rice instead. Fiber-rich foods are the best diabetic foods that are digested slowly and lower your risk of a blood sugar spike.

Sugary Drinks

Most beverages are sugary drinks, which do not have any place while planning a diabetes diet. Like refined grains, they have a high glycemic load and do not come under the category of diabetes friendly foods. This means indulging in this sugary stuff amounts to guilty eating that can raise the risk of diabetes. This includes fruit drinks, juices, and fortified fruit drinks all of which contribute to high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, chronic inflammation, and higher insulin resistance, putting you at a high risk of diabetes.

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So you would be better off kicking the can.

Now you must be wondering what to drink instead if this sugary stuff is not diabetes friendly? Well, water is the best drink – a panacea for all ills.

Liquid sugar drives type 2 diabetes, heart disorders, and obesity epidemics. A growing body of research shows that artificially sweetened beverages provide calories from sugar in liquid form, which can instantly shoot your blood sugar levels. The body is not ready to handle such sugar spikes, resulting in transformation of excess sugar into fat deposits on the liver. This is a serious risk factor for type 2 diabetes, especially with the daily consumption of sugar drinks.

Red and Processed Meat

Red and processed meat increases the risk of diabetes. Research reveals that eating only one 3-ounce serving of red meat daily increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. Red meat is dark red in color before it is cooked. Pork, beef, and lamb are classified as red meat.

Red meat is loaded with saturated fat, which raises your risk of cardiovascular problems and diabetes. It is high in sodium, iron, and nitrites. Sodium not only raises blood pressure, but also causes insulin resistance along with nitrites and nitrates, impairing the functioning of pancreatic beta cells. If you have diabetes, you need to take care of your overall health. Research reveals that diabetic people consuming processed and unprocessed red meat have the highest risk of mortality.

High iron content in red and processed meat affects effectiveness of insulin, which damages the insulin producing capacity of cells. Additionally, the high level of sodium and nitrites may trigger diabetes in people at genetic risk. So, these have no place in a diabetes diet.

Sweetened Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast should be a balanced meal comprising a mix of proteins, carbs, fiber, and healthy fats. It should be low in added sugar. Try to avoid choosing cereal as your breakfast meal. Highly processed cereals have a higher glycemic index despite their fiber content, which means they are easily digested in the body, raising the risk of blood sugar spikes.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, foods rich in refined carbs raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So, minimize and if possible avoid these completely in favor of a healthy diabetes diet.

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To ensure your blood sugar stays within the normal range, it is a good idea to skip sweetened cereals and choose a low-carb breakfast instead.

Adding protein to your breakfast mix can help you manage your blood sugar. Unsalted nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can add crunch to your cereal while keeping your blood sugar levels from rising too much.

Dried Fruits

A rich source of vitamins and minerals, fruits provide your body with a nutritional boost. However, try to avoid fruits in diabetes that are rich in sugar and can raise your blood glucose levels. When fruits are dried, they lose water and moisture, which results in higher concentration of nutrients and sugar content.

Raisins have a higher concentrated sugar content and carbs than grapes. A small apple and berries can provide you with nutritional benefits, without causing any blood sugar spikes. Plan your diabetes diet to prevent the disorder from worsening and live a healthy and longer life.

In addition to the tips above, consider reading “7 Natural Home Remedies for Diabetes“.

Ravneet Kaur
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Ravneet Kaur

A health aficionado herself, Ravneet has been researching and writing on emerging health and wellness issues for over a decade. With a focus on healthy living, she has been an ardent lover of nature, who believes in holistic ways of healing. Her areas of expertise include women’s health, diet and weight management, healthy living, alternative healing, and mindful parenting. She is working with non-profits to spread awareness about healthy eating habits, fitness goals, and lifestyle disorders. Ravneet also blogs at www.parentingguide.com.
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