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6 Foods Health Experts Frequently Want Diabetic People To Avoid — And Why

Different foods provide each of the main macronutrients that give us energy: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. There are more and fewer healthy types of each of these foods, and having a healthy, balanced diet can help many people manage the hallmark symptoms of diabetes and reduce the risk of complications.

By Cookist

People with diabetes are advised to stick to a peculiar diet that prevents an aggravation of their symptoms. Below, we have outlined some common foods to avoid when battling diabetes and why.

1. Refined Carbs


Refined carbs, or refined starches, are broken down through processing before reaching our plates. As a result of this processing, the body quickly absorbs the carbs and converts them into glucose. This increases blood sugar, and it means that a person may feel hungry again soon after a meal.

For people with diabetes or a risk of the condition, some examples of carb sources to limit include: white rice and anything made with white flour only, such as white bread, white pasta, some cereals, some crackers, and many baked goods.

2. Sugars


Sugary foods mostly contain sugar and low-quality carbohydrates. They often have little or no nutritional value and can cause sharp spikes in blood glucose. Sugar can also contribute to weight gain and the risk of heart disease and stroke. Foods that are often high in sugar include baked goods, such as doughnuts, croissants, cakes, and cookies, as well as pizza dough. Many premade items in grocery stores contain added sugar, and this may not be obvious on their ingredients labels.

3. Whole Grains And Fiber


The body does not absorb all the carbs from whole grains. And those that it does absorb the bloodstream more slowly than processed carbs. For this reason, carbs from whole grains are less likely to cause blood sugar levels to spike. They lead to the person feeling fuller for longer.

Whole grains contain fiber.

Although fiber is technically a carbohydrate, it does not break down into glucose in the body and does not add calories. Fiber is a healthy carb. Examples of whole grains include brown or wild rice, barley, quinoa, oatmeal, amaranth, and millet.

4. Fruits and Vegetables


Fruits may cause blood sugar levels to rise, but this increase is less severe than it would be after eating a sugary snack. That's because fruits contain high-quality carbohydrates and fiber, like nuts and legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils.

Therefore, these foods may help slow the absorption of glucose. Some ideal options are fresh, whole fruit; raw, steamed, roasted, or grilled non-starchy vegetables; frozen or canned vegetables, as long as they are unsalted or have low sodium; canned or frozen fruit with no added sugar, including syrup and unsweetened applesauce.

5. Processed or Fatty Meats


Eating even small amounts of red meat, such as beef, pork, or lamb, may increase the risk of diabetes. People with diabetes should consider avoiding or limiting the intake of breaded, fried, and high-sodium meats, processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, deli meats, ribs, and other fatty cuts of meat, poultry with the skin on, and deep-fried fish.

6. Unhealthy Fats


Unhealthy fats can increase cholesterol levels and contribute to insulin resistance. This may increase the risk of developing diabetes or contribute to blood sugar spikes in people who have the condition. Saturated fat mainly exists in animal products, oils, and processed foods.

A person should consume less than 10% of their daily calories from saturated fat. Some foods with high saturated fat contents include butter, lard, certain oils, palm oil, cream-based dressings and dips, full-fat mayonnaise, french fries, breaded and battered foods, potato chips, and many others premade meals, burgers, most fast foods, and many salad dressings.

The key to healthful eating is to choose appropriate, healthy foods from each food group and to avoid processed foods that may contain high levels of sugar, sodium and fat. Also, expert recommendation is that people with diabetes have a registered dietitian develop a healthy eating plan that works for them.

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