Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease in which the patient suffers from the high level of glucose in the blood. High blood sugar level is caused either due to lack of insulin production by beta cells of the pancreas that is also known as type 1 diabetes or due to insulin resistance in which the body cells fail to utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas that is known as type 2 diabetes.
There are numerous natural remedies for diabetes and 10 foods diabetics should avoid, which when combined with a healthy lifestyle can help in controlling and maintain blood sugar at healthy levels.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes ?
There are a wide range of symptoms for diabetes, but the most common ones are as follows:
- Extreme thirst
- Excessive hunger
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Dry, itchy skin
- Slower healing of bruises and cuts
- Blurred vision
- Lack of energy
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
Foods That Should Be Avoided By People Suffering From Diabetes
The most important factor that affects both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is diet, and a well-planned diet can work effectively in maintaining blood glucose at healthy levels. Here we have a list of 10 foods diabetics should avoid.
The most effective way to control diabetes is through a well-planned diabetic diet and people suffering from diabetes must always be careful about what they eat. One of the most dangerous foods for diabetics is refined starch. Refined starch is found in any food that is made from white flour such as white bread, white flour pasta, etc.
These refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index that causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, which is extremely harmful to diabetic patients. It is best to opt for whole grains and barn cereals like oatmeal that are rich in fiber. These complex carbohydrates take longer to be digested and lead to gradual, steady rise in blood sugar.
Whole milk and full-fat dairy products also come under the list of foods to be avoided in diabetes. Full-fat dairy products are loaded with saturated fats that increase insulin resistance and worsen the conditions for diabetic patients.
The saturated fats also raise the level of harmful LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood and increase the risk of heart diseases. Try to avoid full-fat yogurt, cream cheese, ice creams, butter and opt for non-fat, low-fat or skimmed milk.
Research shows that those who consume white rice on a daily basis are at 27% higher risk of developing diabetes compared to those who consume whole grain products. White rice contains low-quality carbohydrates and lacks fibers.
White rice is easily digested which in turn shoots up the blood glucose level. Opt for whole grains such as barley, oatmeal, high fiber cereals. And if you can’t stay away from rice then replace white rice with brown rice that has numerous health benefits.
Consuming potatoes on a regular basis can be extremely harmful to people suffering from diabetes. This is because the starch in potatoes is made of long strings of glucose that breaks down rapidly in the intestine and are absorbed in the blood stream leading to a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. No need to give it up completely. Eat potatoes in moderation mixed with leafy green vegetables that will help in slowing down its digestion.
Although whole fruits rich in fibers and carbohydrates are good for diabetics, but when it comes to fruit juices, things are quite different. Juices are loaded with fruit sugar that cause a sharp rise in blood glucose levels and daily intake of fruit juice has also been shown to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 18%.
But it can work effectively in treating extremely low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) and pure fruit juice is always a better option when compared to soda or sugary drinks. Make water your everyday beverage and jazz it up with a hint of lemon.
Another food to be avoided in diabetes is raisins. Although these delicious foods are a rich source of fibers, vitamins and antioxidants that neutralize oxidative stress, yet it causes a sudden spike in blood glucose level that is extremely harmful to people suffering from diabetes.
During the dehydration process, the natural sugars present in the fruits become extremely concentrated which elevates the blood glucose level when consumed. Therefore, it is best to limit your raisin intake to 2 tablespoons and stick to whole fruits that are not only rich in fibers but also health benefitting vitamins and minerals.
Greasy and deep fried foods such as French fries and chicken nuggets should be avoided at any cost to control diabetes. These foods soak a lot of oil and lead to weight gain. These finger foods are made with starchy and carb rich ingredients that lead to rise in blood glucose level.
Moreover, these foods are fried in hydrogenated oils that are loaded with unhealthy trans-fats that increase the level of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of developing coronary artery diseases. Opt for healthier snack options such as crackers, vegetable sticks, nuts and flaxseed cookies.
Fat cuts or red meat such as pork, beef and lamb are very harmful to diabetic patients. These meats are loaded with unhealthy saturated fat that increases inflammation and raises the risk of heart disease. People affected by diabetes already suffer from increased inflammation and red meat worsens the situation.
Replace fat cuts of red meat with white meat, chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef and pork and fish to keep diabetes under control.
Soft Drinks And Energy Drinks
Sugary soft drinks and energy drinks increase the risk of developing diabetes. Soft drinks are loaded with calories that lead to weight gain and people who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing diabetes compared to those with the healthy weight.
These drinks contain a lot of sugar and additives that leads to rapid spike in both blood glucose and insulin that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in the long run. They are the worst foods for a diabetic to eat.
Most of us think that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are a safe additive for those with diabetes. But in reality, these sweeteners do more harm than good by affecting blood glucose levels and reducing insulin sensitivity, in fact, they are the worst foods for a diabetic to eat.
In addition, it slackens body’s metabolism process, slows down calorie burning and promotes fat deposition, thus leading to weight gain and obesity. Try to stay away from artificial sweeteners as much as possible and in case you are craving a sweet treat, eat desserts made of real sugar, but keep it in moderation.
Foods play an important role in diabetes, and there are certain foods that control type 2 diabetes effectively. Avoid these 10 worst foods for diabetics rich in starch, carbohydrates, sodium, Processed grains, Cereals with little whole grains and lots of sugar, white bread, french fries, fried white-flour tortillas and calories and keep your blood sugar under control naturally without the use of medicines.