11 Foods to Avoid With Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions among adults and children worldwide .
Why Does Carb Intake Matter for People With Diabetes?
By far, carbs are the one that affects your blood sugar the most. This is because your body turns them into glucose, which is sugar, and takes it into your bloodstream.
Starches, sugar, and fiber are all types of carbs. Fiber doesn’t raise your blood sugar, though, because your body doesn’t break it down and use it like other carbs do.
Taking the amount of usable carbs in a food and subtracting the amount of fiber will give you its “net” carb content. In this case, a cup of mixed veggies has 6 grams of net carbs, which means it has 10 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber.
1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
For someone with diabetes, sugary drinks are the worst thing to drink.
Right off the bat, they have a lot of carbs—a 12-ounce (354-ml) can of soda has 38 grams.
Both iced tea and lemonade with added sugar have 36 grams of carbs, all of which come from sugar.
Besides that, they have a lot of fructose, which is highly connected to insulin resistance and diabetes. In fact, studies show that drinking sugary drinks may raise the chance of diabetes-related conditions like fatty liver.
Also, the high fructose content in sugary drinks may change your metabolism in ways that make you gain belly fat and raise your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can be bad for your health.
One study of overweight and obese adults found that getting 25% of their calories from high-fructose drinks while trying to keep their weight led to more insulin resistance and belly fat, a slower metabolism, and worse heart health markers.
Instead of sugary drinks, drink water, club soda, or unsweetened iced tea to help keep your blood sugar levels in check and lower your risk of getting sick.
2. Trans Fats
Trans fats used in factories are very bad for you.
Making them is as easy as adding hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids to make them more solid.
Butter, peanut butter, spreads, creamers, and frozen foods all have trans fats in them. Also, food companies often put them in baked goods like muffins, crackers, and other baked goods to help them last longer.
Trans fats don’t directly raise blood sugar, but they have been linked to more inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat. They have also been linked to lower amounts of “good” HDL cholesterol and problems with how well arteries work.
Most countries have banned trans fats, which is good news. In 2015, the FDA said that they had to be taken out of all US items within three years.
Until trans fats are no longer found in food, stay away from anything that says “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients.
3. White Bread, Pasta and Rice
White bread, rice, and pasta are processed foods that are high in carbs.
People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes should avoid eating bread, bagels, and other foods made with processed flour because they raise blood sugar levels a lot.
This reaction isn’t just for wheat goods either. It was found in one study that gluten-free breads, especially rice-based ones, can also make blood sugar go up.
Fiber helps the body take longer to absorb sugar into the bloodstream, and these processed foods don’t have much of it.
Changing people with diabetes from white bread to high-fiber bread was shown in another study to lower their blood sugar levels by a large amount. They also saw drops in their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
4. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt
For people with diabetes, plain yogurt may be a good choice. But fruit-flavored ones are a whole different thing.
Flavored yogurts are typically made from non-fat or low-fat milk and loaded with carbs and sugar.
One cup (245 grams) of fruit-flavored yogurt may have 47 grams of sugar, which means that sugar makes up almost 81% of its calories.
A lot of people think that frozen yogurt is better for you than ice cream. It may have as much or even more sugar than ice cream, though.
Instead of high-sugar yogurts that can make your insulin and blood sugar levels rise, choose plain, whole-milk yogurt. It has no sugar and may help you control your hunger, lose weight, and keep your gut healthy.
5. Sweetened Breakfast Cereals
Eating cereal is one of the worst ways to start your day if you have diabetes.
Most cereals are highly processed and have a lot more carbs than most people think, even if the boxes say they are healthy.
Also, they don’t have much protein, which can help you feel full and pleased while keeping your blood sugar levels steady during the day.
For example, a half-cup dose (55 grams) of granola cereal has 30 grams of carbs that your body can use, and 41 grams of grape nuts. On top of that, each dish only has 7 grams of protein.
6. Flavored Coffee Drinks
You don’t make up for the calories you drink by eating less later, which could make you gain weight.
Also, flavored coffee drinks are full of carbs. Even “light” forms have enough carbs to make your blood sugar go up a lot.
A Starbucks 16-ounce (454-ml) caramel frappuccino has 67 grams of carbs, while a Starbucks 16-ounce (454-ml) caramel light frappuccino has 30 grams of carbs.
Pick plain coffee or espresso with a tablespoon of thick cream or half-and-half to keep your blood sugar in check and stop weight gain.
7. Honey, Agave Nectar and Maple Syrup
People with diabetes often try to cut back on sweets like candy, cookies, and pie, as well as white table sugar.
But other kinds of sugar can also make blood sugar rise. Brown sugar and “natural” sugars like maple syrup, honey, and agave juice are some of these.
These sweets aren’t processed very much, but they still have about the same amount of carbs as white sugar. In fact, most of them have even more.
Below are the carb counts of a one-tablespoon serving of popular sweeteners:
White sugar: 12.6 grams
Agave nectar: 16 grams
Honey: 17 grams
Maple syrup: 13 grams
The best thing you can do is stay away from all kinds of sugar and use natural short-carb sweets instead.
8. Dried Fruit
Fruit is a great way to get a lot of important minerals and vitamins, like potassium and vitamin C.
These nutrients are found in even higher amounts in dried fruit because the process makes the fruit lose water.
Unfortunately, its sugar content becomes more concentrated as well.
There are 27 grams of carbs in a cup of grapes, and 1 gram of them is fiber. One cup of raisins, on the other hand, has 115 grams of carbs, 5 of which are fiber.
Because of this, raisins have more than three times as many carbs as grapes. When compared to fresh fruit, other types of dried fruit also have more carbs.
9. Packaged Snack Foods
Snacks like pretzels, crackers, and other packed foods are not good.
They’re usually made with refined flour and don’t have many nutrients, but they do have a lot of carbs that break down quickly and raise blood sugar quickly.
Here are how many carbs are in a popular snack that weighs one ounce (28 grams):
Saltine crackers: 21 grams of carbs, including 1 gram of fiber
Pretzels: 22 grams of carbs, including 1 gram of fiber
Graham crackers: 21 grams of carbs, including 1 gram of fiber
Some of these foods may have even more carbs than what is written on the nutrition label.
10. Fruit Juice
A lot of people think of fruit juice as a healthy drink, but it has the same effect on blood sugar as pop and other sugary drinks.
This is true for 100% fruit juice that isn’t sweetened and for juices that have sugar added to them. Fruit juice can have even more sugar and carbs than pop in some cases.
To give you an idea, 8 ounces (250 ml) of pure apple juice and soda each have 24 grams of sugar. 32 grams of sugar are in the same amount of grape juice.
Drinking water with a piece of lemon is a much better choice. It has almost no calories and less than 1 gram of carbs.
11. French Fries
If you have diabetes, you should stay away from french fries very much.
In and of themselves, potatoes have a lot of carbs. 37 grams of carbs are in a standard potato with the skin on. Four of those grams are fiber.
However, once they’ve been peeled and fried in vegetable oil, potatoes may do more than spike your blood sugar.
It has been shown that deep-frying things makes a lot of harmful chemicals, such as AGEs and aldehydes, which may make inflammation worse and raise the risk of getting sick.
If you don’t want to stay away from potatoes completely, the best thing to do is eat a few sweet potatoes.
The Bottom Line
It can be hard to figure out which things to stay away from when you have diabetes. But it can be easy if you follow a few rules.
Staying away from bad fats, liquid sugars, processed grains, and other foods that are high in refined carbs should be one of your main goals.
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