The Foods All Diabetics Need To Avoid
Diabetes requires daily maintenance that includes monitoring your blood sugar, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and of course staying on top of any complications with your heart, eyes, and other organs. Controlling your weight is another key aspect of managing type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight, losing weight — even just 10 to 15 pounds — can help improve your insulin sensitivity and glycemic control, reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and lower your blood pressure. A healthy diet for diabetes will help you manage your weight and lead you toward foods that have a positive effect on your glucose levels, while guiding you away from those foods that are likely to cause dangerous spikes in your blood sugar. Learn which nine foods you should steer clear of if you have type 2 diabetes.
Soda, sweets, desserts, and other foods that are made primarily of sugar are considered low-quality carbohydrates. Not only are these foods lacking in nutritional value, they can also cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar and lead to weight problems, both of which exacerbate diabetes complications. Instead of satisfying your sweet tooth with cookies, candy, cake, or soda, reach for delicious fruits, such as apples, berries, pears, or oranges. These high-quality carbohydrates contain plenty of fiber to help slow down the absorption of glucose, so they’re a far better choice for blood-sugar control.
While fiber-rich whole fruits are considered healthy carbohydrates for people with diabetes, fruit juice is another story. People with diabetes should avoid drinking juice, even 100 percent fruit juice. Fruit juice contains more nutrition than soda and other sugary drinks, but the problem is that juices have concentrated amounts of fruit sugar and therefore cause your blood sugar to shoot up. Plus, sipping fruit juice doesn’t fill you up the same way that eating a piece of fruit does. If you want a refreshing drink, go for zero-calorie plain or naturally flavored seltzer with a spritz of lemon or lime.
Although dried fruit contains fiber and many nutrients, the dehydration process causes fruits’ natural sugars to get super-concentrated. While snacking on raisins or dried apricots is better for you than eating a cookie, it’ll still send your blood sugar soaring. Skip the dried fruit and instead stick with fresh fruit options, such as grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, and peaches.
Big offenders on the low-quality carb list are refined starches like white rice and anything made with white flour, including white bread and pasta. These “white” carbs act a lot like sugar once your body begins to digest them, which means that they will interfere with your glucose levels. Replace white carbs with whole grains, such as brown or wild rice, barley, oatmeal, high-fiber cereals, and whole-grain breads.