Many individuals are facing food challenges and knowing what foods to avoid if you are diabetic is a great place to begin. Being diagnosed with diabetes can be devastating to many. While it is, unfortunately, more common now than it use to be, diabetes is something that can bring about a lot of fear, frustration and pain. With the right medical care and proper nutrition and health choices, diabetes is something many can actually reverse or control. In some cases, it is a diagnosis that will be there for life, but there are still better choices to make that will keep you healthier for longer.
Foods To Avoid If You Are Diabetic
First off, let's take a look at the types of diabetes there are so you will understand a bit more about the disease and why some foods are an issue. Most often, diabetics will talk about foods to avoid because they contain a lot of sugar that turns to glucose. Without the proper regulated insulin, that glucose can create elevated blood sugar levels which creates major medical problems. Obviously, insulin controls the amount of glucose your body produces. When you add more glucose (sugar) to your system than it can handle, it gets out of control. This results in higher blood glucose levels. High glucose levels create poor circulation, increase chances of heart disease and cancer, as well as have side effects like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and the potential for stroke or even seizures.
- Type 1 Diabetes typically shows in childhood and usually has nothing to do with weight, diet or exercise habits. Type 1 Diabetes is when your body is born without the ability to produce insulin properly. Without insulin, you cannot live. Alternately, too much insulin can be just as harmful to your body.
- Someone with Type 2 Diabetes is typically diagnosed later in life (although childhood diabetes is becoming more and more prominent). Type 2 Diabetes is more common in those who are overweight, have poor eating habits or poor health. While that is not always the case, the statistics say it is the trend.
- For those who have Type 1 Diabetes, insulin is typically not an option but a requirement. For those who have Type 2 Diabetes, insulin is often something brought into play much later when diet, exercise and oral medications do not control the issues.
Refined Sugars. Since insulin is all about glucose control, it is obvious that you would want to limit refined sugars. This means basic white sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and similar items should be avoided. Processed foods like cookies, cakes, soft drinks and similar sweetened confections can all be full of refined sugars and elevate blood sugar to unhealthy levels. To sweeten foods, using fresh fruit or small amounts of honey, molasses, or maple syrup is a better choice. These can still raise blood glucose, but they tend to be slower to do so. For every diabetic, what works is different so proceed with caution and use any sweetener sparingly. Artificial sweeteners may not raise blood sugar, but they have their own set of harmful effects. Use them sparingly and with caution.
High carbohydrate foods. This may sound like a simple blanket statement, but it is a large group of foods that would take pages to list. These are typically things like pasta, bread, cakes, cookies and similar items. Carbohydrates from bread and flours typically break down much faster than those in fruits and vegetables. That means they turn to glucose fastly and will create blood sugar spikes easier than their healthier counterparts.
Avoid or eat sparingly:
- White Potatoes
- White Rice
When you do choose these items, look for varieties that focus on true whole grains and are unprocessed. Brown rice, wild rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta and cakes, cookies and bread made with almond flour, coconut flour or even oat flour are typically better choices.
Deep fried fatty foods. While this won't immediately hurt your glucose, eating a diet high in deep fried fatty foods will only increase your chances of obesity and high body fat percentage. Both of these make it harder for you to control your glucose and carry tons of other health risks. As a diabetic, foods to avoid also include those that will not help your overall health. Instead of frying those chicken tenders, bake, grill or broil.
Becoming a diabetic can be preventable in many individuals with proper nutrition, weight loss, and exercise. However, many individuals are genetically challenged and will end up the diagnosis regardless. Taking better care of yourself by eating healthy nutrient-dense foods and avoiding the trigger foods that raise your blood sugar levels is the best choice you can make. There are tons of foods to avoid when you are seeking better health, but the adage of everything in moderation does hold true. You can enjoy a few of these items on occasion, as long as it is on a rare occasion and the bulk of your diet consists of nutrient dense vegetables, fruits, healthy oils and fats, as well as lean protein options.