Learn which foods to avoid with diabetes and which fruits and veggies to steer clear from, too!
The foods we eat on a regular basis is either supporting our health or destroying it. Although this is true for everyone, with a diabetes diagnosis, consistently making bad food choices with a pre-diabetes or diabetes diagnosis is usually a straight path to serious health issues. To counter the effects of diabetes, there is also a strong recommendation to leave known diabetes food offenders that are high in fat, calories and sodium on the table. Always be aware of foods to avoid with diabetes. Opt for healthy version of your favorites; you may even find some new favorites!
Diabetes advocates believe in the resilience of the human body and inspire us to explore the bounty of healthy, nutritious fare of lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies. There are some caveats, however, when it comes to fruits diabetics should not eat in abundance and even vegetables to avoid with diabetes. Although fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber just like vegetables, some are high in carbohydrates which means this should be factored into your diabetic meal plan. To prevent or minimize the debilitating complications of this disease, take a look at the following foods to avoid with diabetes.
Unfriendly Diabetic Foods
- White Flour – Some of the most dangerous foods for diabetics is refined sugar and starch that is found in breads, breakfast cereals and pasta. The carbohydrates in most white flour products have a high glycemic index that can cause dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
- White Rice – Studies shows that daily consumption of white rice can put people at a 27% higher risk of developing diabetes than those who consume whole grain products. That’s because white rice is loaded with low-quality carbohydrates and is lacking in fiber.
- White Potatoes – A medium white potato contains carbohydrates and approximately 130 calories. However, it is the preparation method and addition of salt, butter, cheese, sour cream and bacon bits that transform it from an okay food into a potentially dangerous choice for a diabetic. Keep in mind also, that white potatoes metabolize differently than their sweet potato counterpart. Starchy foods like white potatoes also consist of long glucose strings that break down rapidly in the intestine and can quickly cause a rise in blood glucose levels.
- Fried Food. Foods that are deep fried such as French fries, chicken and desert items soak up a lot of the oils in which they are cooked. They are also usually loaded with trans-fat because hydrogenated oil is typically used in the deep-frying process. Frequent consumption of fried foods has been shown to increase bad (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood, destabilize blood sugar and contribute to weight gain.
- Full-fat dairy products such as ice cream, whole milk, butter, yogurt and cream cheeses to name a few, have a high content of saturated fats that increase insulin resistance and worsen the diabetic condition.
- Sugary Drinks. These include sodas, sports drinks and fruit juices with added sugar. Drinks that have a high sugar content can cause a sudden and sharp rise in blood glucose levels that have been shown to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 18%. People who are overweight or prediabetic should also avoid sugary drinks to prevent added weight gain and the increased risk of diabetes and diabetic complications.
- Although these are fiber rich and nutritionally dense, the hydration process heightens the concentration of sugars in raisins. This transforms them into a diabetic food offender that has the potential to cause a rapid rise in blood glucose level which can be harmful for people with diabetes.
- Saturated Fats. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have a higher risk for heart disease and should limit their saturated fat intake. A new research study also confirmed that saturated fat increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Saturated fats can be found in rich cream sauces, fat back, salt pork, lard, regular ground beef, spareribs and processed meats like bacon, bologna, sausage and other similar products.
- Fruits to Avoid in Diabetes or that should be consumed in moderation include:
- Although grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C and have been shown in one study to decrease weight and insulin levels in mice, it is also known to interact with many types of medications. As such diabetics on medications should avoid this fruit or check with their doctor or pharmacist to be sure it is safe to include it into their diet.
- Bananas are packed with nutrients like potassium, tryptophan, B Vitamins, iron and fiber, However, they also contain carbohydrates, glucose, fructose, maltose and sucrose. Even a small banana approximately six inches long may contain as much as 23 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of sugar and 105 calories. Keep in mind also that the banana’s effect on glucose levels depend on the ripeness of the fruit. Ripe bananas contain less resistant starch and more sugar than a green banana. That means a fully ripe banana will cause your blood sugar to rise faster than a green banana.
- Any canned fruit packed with refined sugar.
- Vegetables to Avoid in Diabetes. Canned or pickled vegetables with lots of salt that is used as a preservative. Vegetables cooked or heavily coated in butter, oil or ghee.