People with diabetes can have all the types of foods and drinks but to some extent only. They need to count their calorie intake. It helps them to prevent the change in their blood glucose levels. It can be daunting to know what foods to avoid for diabetes. However, following the diabetes diet or help from a dietician can serve you the purpose. Read this blog to know about “What foods to avoid with diabetes?”
Your main goal should include staying away from unhealthy fats, processed foods, and food that contains refined carbs. Avoid foods that increase your blood sugar levels and drive insulin resistance. It will keep you healthy, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, and prevent the worsening of its related complications. Read this blog to know about food to avoid high blood sugar or diabetes.
The kind of food and drinks you consume determine your blood glucose levels. Consuming carbohydrates-rich foods and beverages lead to higher blood sugar levels and ultimately causes diabetes. Therefore, it is crucial for people with diabetes to choose their foods and drinks wisely. They need to look for foods to avoid diabetes. It helps them to control the amount of carbohydrate intake and maintain their blood glucose levels. Balancing your diet helps in improving diabetes and related complications.
Consult a Dietician Before Changing Your Diet
It is significant to eat cautiously to keep your blood sugar levels in control. Certain foods can increase your blood sugar levels drastically. They can lead to chronic inflammation, heart attack, or kidney damage. Therefore, you need to manage your diet. Some foods that are good for one diabetes patient may not be suitable for you. Instead of modifying your diet, you should take a consultation. They help you to prepare a list or chart of foods to avoid high blood sugar.
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Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder that causes an increase in the blood sugar levels of a person. Some symptoms of diabetes are Weight loss, fatigue, frequent urination, blurred vision, etc. Follow a diabetic diet to keep your diabetes and its symptoms in control. Some foods help control diabetes and prevent its complications. Such a diet includes leafy vegetables, cinnamon, nuts, whole grains, high fibre-rich foods, and some fruits.
List of Top 10 Foods to Avoid in Diabetes
Many food items are responsible for increasing blood sugar levels. Therefore, people with diabetes type-2 or type-1 should carefully choose their food. They should look for foods that have low carbohydrates and high fibre content. Such foods take more time to digest. Thus, they give time to your body to effectively use the blood sugar for energy. Find out the best diabetic meal plan to keep your blood sugar levels in control. You can consult a doctor or dietician to prepare the one for you.
Well, it is easier to choose what to eat rather than identify what not to eat. It is the reason why many people fail to control their diabetes. They eat well but sometimes they end up eating all those food items that lead to sugar spikes. It is also surprising to know that sugar is not the only thing to control diabetes. Consuming lots of carbs, calories, sodium, and fat also causes uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
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Here is a List of 10 Foods Diabetics Should Avoid:
- Dried Fruits: No doubt, fruits are the best source of vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy. You should eat certain fruits with a low glycemic index to keep diabetes in control. However, on drying the fruits, the water is lost, and the concentration of nutrients becomes higher. Along with this, the sugar content also gets higher. It increases the risk of an increase in blood sugar when you eat them.
- Trans-fat: Trans-fats are unsaturated fat that comes in both natural and unnatural forms. In natural form, animals and animal products contain trans-fats that do not impact your health. In unnatural form, hydrogenated vegetable oil contains trans-fat. This type of fat increases cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease. People with diabetes should strictly avoid trans-fat. It increases insulin resistance and impaired arterial function that causes the risk of heart diseases.
- High Carb Foods: It is the carbohydrates from your food that breaks down into blood glucose. Consuming high-carb foods increases your blood glucose levels. Bread, potato, muffins, cakes, cookies, pasta, burger, chips, rice, corn, sweetened yogurt, and French fries are some of the high-carb foods. Doctors and dieticians recommend high-carb foods to avoid with high blood sugar.
- Processed Foods: Some foods are processed to make them edible and shelf-stable. Such foods contain unhealthy levels of fats, sugar, and sodium. They also lack nutritional value as most of the nutrients get removed during the processing of food. Most processed foods have zero fibre content; therefore, they are calorie-dense. It consequently increases blood sugar levels. Thus, people with diabetes should avoid processed foods.
- Refined or White Sugar: Sugary foods, sweets, and desserts constitute sugar and high carbs. Generally, they do not add nutritional value to your diet but increases your blood sugar levels. Foods containing high sugar content include donuts, candy bars, chocolate, maple syrup, desserts, fruit-flavoured yogurts, etc. Adding refined sugar to your food items as a sweetener directly affects your blood sugar levels. Therefore, look for a healthy sugar substitute as a sweetener.
- Starchy Vegetables: Vegetables for diabetics to avoid are potato, sweet potato, beetroot, etc. Though they are a good source of fibre, they are high in starch. The higher amount of starch makes such vegetables rich in carbohydrates and sugar. Consuming these vegetables increases the risk of high blood sugar. Frying these vegetables in oil adds more calories to them. It also makes them more dangerous for people with diabetes. If they are consuming starchy vegetables, they need to be strict with their portion.
- High-protein Foods: Protein is an essential macronutrient that the human body needs. The body needs protein to build and repair muscles and maintain vital body functions.Lean protein and plant-based protein are healthy for people with diabetes. However, the animal-derived proteins contain unsaturated fats as well that increases blood sugar levels. Animal-derived high-protein foods like chicken, beef and pork have low fibre hence increases blood glucose.
- Dairy Products: All dairy products contain calcium, proteins, and vitamins that keep you healthy. In addition to these, dairy products contain a sugar called lactose. The lactose breaks down into lactic acid. Higher levels of lactic acid in your body increase the risk of lactic acidosis which is a side effect of Metformin (a medicine to control diabetes). People with diabetes should avoid dairy products with high-fat content. It increases the risk of heart diseases.
- Frozen Foods: Frozen foods are convenient but contain high sodium and fat content. Therefore, frozen foods are not suitable for people with diabetes. The use of preservatives in frozen foods also makes them unsuitable for people with high blood sugar levels. When you buy frozen foods, make sure to pick the frozen foods with fewer calories. You can also match the carbohydrate content with your daily carb requirement. If you want, you can freeze the veggies and fruits that will contain more antioxidants and fibre.
- Bakery Products: Refined flour is the main ingredient of all bakery products. In addition to this, they contain white sugar or maple syrup as a sweetener. It adds more calories to bakery products and makes them unsuitable for people with diabetes. Bakery items like cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, etc., cause insulin resistance and lead to diabetes.
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Drinks to Avoid When You Have Diabetes
Consuming pure fruit juices in moderation is fine for people with diabetes. All the fruits contain carbohydrates with a rich amount of fibre. When fruits are juiced, their fibre gets separated. Hence, fruit juices only contain carbohydrates which can increase your blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should strictly avoid packed fruit juices. They contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives that spike diabetes.
When it comes to selecting drinks, people with diabetes should make a wise choice. It keeps them away from calorie intake and prevents sudden sugar spikes. Even, flavoured water can lead to an increase in your blood sugar levels. Therefore, you need to be cautious when choosing a drink for you. Here is a list of drinks that people with diabetes should avoid:
- Regular or Diet Soda: Regular soda and diet soda drinks contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavouring agents, and preservatives. They also have a high amount of carbohydrates and calories. Therefore, consuming such drinks increases your blood sugar levels. Within 10 minutes of drinking a glass of soda, around ten spoons of sugar hit your system. People with diabetes should avoid regular or diet soda to prevent diabetes and its related complications.
- Energy Drinks: Energy drinks from various brands are available in the market that claims to give you instant energy. Well, the fact is energy drinks contain caffeine and carbohydrates in high amounts. They increase your blood glucose levels and cause insulin resistance in your body. It increases your blood sugar levels and causes diabetes type-2. Therefore, you need to avoid energy drinks if you have diabetes.
- Fruit Juices: Consuming pure fruit juices in moderation is fine for people with diabetes. All the fruits contain carbohydrates with a rich amount of fibre. The extraction of juice from fruits leads to the separation of fibre content from fruits. Hence, fruit juices only contain carbohydrates which can increase your blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should strictly avoid packed fruit juices. They contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives that kick up diabetes.
- Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol or alcoholic beverages can worsen the complications due to diabetes, like nerve damage. Alcohol can drop your blood sugar levels within few hours of consuming alcohol or alcoholic beverages. People with diabetes type-2 taking insulin or diabetes medications should avoid alcoholic beverages. Otherwise, it can lead to hypoglycemia.
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Can I control diabetes type-2 with diet management only?
Diet management is a crucial aspect of diabetes control. Initially, you may see a drop in your blood sugar levels; however, you will not continue for long. It requires a lot of dedication to control diet for a long time. You may end up eating more and consuming more carbs. Therefore, you gradually need to switch your body to diet management. It will help you to get the results for the long term. Exercising and diabetes medications are also essential to control diabetes.
Are fruits the best substitute for sweets for people with diabetes?
A lot of people with diabetes crave sweets. Fruits are the best substitute for their sweet cravings. Though fruits also contain carbs, they are the source of healthy carbs. The primary sugar in fruits is fructose that does not increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, eating fruits in diabetes is good for your health. However, you need to look for fruits with a low glycaemic index to prevent sugar spikes.
Can I reverse my diabetes type-2 by controlling carbohydrate intake or eating healthy?
No. There is no way to reverse your diabetes type-2. However, with diet management and eating healthy, you can keep your blood sugar levels in control. Severely restricting carbohydrates in your diet can prevent your body from getting essential nutrients. It can make you sick and weak. Also, you cannot do it for a longer time. Therefore, you need to control carbohydrate intake and eat healthy to manage blood sugar levels.
Do people with diabetes should follow a low-carb diet?
It is the carbohydrates from your food that breaks down into glucose. Eating too many carbohydrates can increase your blood sugar levels. Therefore, a low-carb diet is ideal for people with diabetes. A dietician can help you to learn to count carbohydrates in your meals. They can also watch their portion size to limit the intake of carbohydrates. Besides counting carbs and portion control, people with diabetes need to eat high-fibre and low-fat foods.
Is a high protein diet good for diabetes?
People with diabetes without renal diseases can eat protein instead of taking carbohydrates. Protein-rich food makes you feel fuller and does not increase your blood sugar levels. However, excessive consumption of protein while having low blood sugar levels is not good. It leads to more conversion of protein into glucose. Hence, it ultimately increases your blood sugar levels. Sugar patient avoid food with high-protein content to manage their diabetes.
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.