Worst foods for diabetics fall in the category of foods high in the glycemic index and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Eating these foods daily can be detrimental to people with diabetes.
Can eliminating or limiting certain foods from the diet of people with diabetes help manage the disease?
Research has proved that a change in diet and being physically active can help people suffering from diabetes manage and control their blood sugar levels well. A diet rich in fiber has moderate amounts of protein, and healthy fats but is low in calories can be beneficial for people with diabetes.
However, there is usually a problem when it comes to choosing the right food-What to eat or avoid. Therefore, it is essential to share your concerns with your primary doctor and dieticians.
Try to watch what you eat and please avoid foods that can cause a spike to your blood sugar levels at all costs. Eliminate or eat low amounts of foods high in sugar, saturated fats, and carbs.
Here are the 12 worst foods for diabetics
1.Refined sugar and candy worst foods for diabetics.
According to the Diabetes Foundation, refined sugar does not directly cause diabetes but consuming it in excess increases your chances of becoming overweight. Weight gain worsens the symptoms of diabetes and makes it hard for you to regulate your insulin levels.
Artificial sweeteners and other sugar alternatives are not safe either; they can also cause a rise in your insulin. You do not have to deny yourself entirely or eliminate it from your diet completely but you can minimize the amount you take. You can still enjoy some sugar in moderation by paying close attention to the amount you drink.
Sugar has other risks too; it can cause cancer, tooth decay, inflammation, and other chronic health problems. It is better to avoid it or take it in minimal amounts.
2.White Rice among worst foods for diabetics.
Several studies show that eating white rice increases the risk of diabetes. This is because white rice is among the high glycemic index foods hence can hike your blood sugar levels. Besides, it is deficient in fiber which can help lower an increase in blood sugar levels.
Eat brown rice instead; it is high in fiber which causes a slow rise in insulin levels thus preventing an increase in blood sugar. It can help you manage and regulate blood sugar well.
A study which was done by the Harvard school of health show that eating brown rice can help lower an increase in blood sugar. Brown rice can also help improve cholesterol.
3. Carbonated soft and energy drinks-worst foods for diabetics
Most of these drinks are worse for people with diabetes. They contain high amounts of refined sugars and empty calories which can cause a spike in your blood sugar. Most people who drink more sugary drinks stand a high chance of developing insulin resistance.
Carbonated drinks such as colas and energy drinks contain phosphoric acid. When consumed excessively, it can contribute to the erosion of essential minerals such as calcium from your bones.
Phosphoric acid can contribute to a decrease in your mineral bone density and can cause conditions like osteoporosis or bone fractures.
Drink more water instead of sugary drinks. Water helps neutralize your blood and make it less viscous. In addition to that, water has zero calories, and won’t contribute to any weight gain.
These delicacies also fall in the list of worst foods for diabetics. You will agree with me that fried foods such as as-as chicken, bacon, cheese sticks, and french fries are mouthwatering and very irresistible to ignore.
Unfortunately, these foods are among the worst foods for diabetes because they are very calorie dense and tend to cause an increase in blood sugar levels.
Most fried foods are highly processed more so the packaged ones. They soak in too much trans fats and oils which only contribute to obesity. Weight gain makes it very hard for you to regulate your blood sugar.
Please try to avoid fried foods but if you must have them, do so in moderation. Preferably cook your own with less oil or fat. Use other methods of preparing meals such as boiling, steaming or broiling instead of frying.
You can read the best cooking methods for a healthy diet for people with diabetics here.
5.Dried fruits-worst foods for diabetics
Fruits are super nutritious but drying them makes them less healthy. Drying them under high temperatures kills the high contents of helpful nutrients and enzymes fruits have when they are still whole.
Besides the flavor and taste of most dried fruits are also altered. Hence high concentrations of refined sugar have to be added to make them sweet.
The added sugar causes high insulin levels in the blood when consumed in excess. Try to have them in minimal amounts.
Read the labels to make sure you are buying those with no added sugar and artificial preservatives. Alternatively, you can budget for a dehydrator to make your sugar free dried fruits.
If possible eat fresh fruits low in sugar such as berries, avocados, cherries, strawberries, and grapefruits. Fresh fruits are rich in nutrients and have high amounts of fiber which helps to lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar if consumed in large quantities.
6.Refined Carbs-worst foods for diabetics.
These include white bread, pasta, white flour, and grains. Refined carbs fall in the category of high glycemic index foods. They can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar. Consuming them in excess can cause a fluctuation in your blood sugar.
Refined carbs are highly processed and depleted of essential nutrients. Therefore, artificial additives and preservatives must be added to make them appealing, and tasty. These additives may interfere with your gut flora and your gut bacteria.
Though these cards digest easily, they are less filling. You have to eat a large quantity to get full only to crave for more or other unhealthy snacks after a short time. Most contain hydrogenated and trans fats which can make you gain extra calories which can be hard to control.
They may also contain chemicals which can contribute to other health conditions such as, cancer, high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease.
Go for complex carbs such as whole grains and wheat. They are high in nutrients and fiber hence more satisfying. They take time to metabolize in the body which causes a steady rise in blood sugar.
Read more: Healthy foods making you fat
7.Processed Red meats -worst foods for diabetics.
Most processed meats like bacon and beef have high amounts of saturated fats and sodium which increases insulin resistance. These meats also lack fiber which helps to lower diabetes.
The nitrates added to processed meats and the conventional methods of preparing these meats such as roasting them under very high temperatures doubles the risk.
High consumption of processed meats can also increase your risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Try to forgo meat if you can but if you must have them, go for organic grass fed meats.
8.Baked foods and pastries worst foods for diabetics
Some baked foods such as cakes, cookies, muffins, biscuits, and bread contain high amounts of refined sugars, flours, unhealthy hydrogenated, and saturated fats. When you consume these foods in excess, they can cause an increase in blood sugar.
Baked foods too can cause weight gain and an increase in the level of bad cholesterol in the body. They also put you at risk of developing heart disease and other chronic cardiovascular conditions.
Try to bake your baked goods at home using healthy oils and whole grain flours, but if you have to buy the packaged ones, please read the labels.
The added sugars, fat and salts in most sauces can cause a spike in insulin levels and make it hard to control when you take too much. Unfortunately, most people add too many condiments in their food without realizing that they can be problematic.
Condiments such as mayo, tomato sauce, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, and ranch may contain trans fats which can contribute to weight gain if taken in excess.
Those with fewer ingredients and minimal amounts of sugar and salt can be a better option. Measure the portion sizes of any condiments to avoid adding too much.
Learn to make your condiments at home using healthy fats like olive oil or tahini.
Coffee is generally good for your heart due to its high antioxidant levels but can be problematic for some people with diabetes.
Coffee is a stimulant especially when it is caffeinated and sweetened, thus can cause an increase in blood sugar levels for some people and make it harder to control. Decaffeinated coffee does not seem to cause a rise in blood sugar levels according to some studies.
Flavoring ingredients such as dairy milk and heavy cream can increase your chances of becoming overweight if consumed daily. It is better to drink plain brewed coffee without adding the flavorings, or you can add smaller amounts.
Go for the low-calorie coffee with fewer flavoring ingredients added. Please remember to drink it in moderation.
11.Breakfast cereals- worst food for diabetics
Cereals are a typical breakfast meal for most people, but it is not great for people with diabetes. Most breakfast cereals contain some hidden sugars and refined carbs, which can cause a hike in your blood sugar levels.
The refined carbs digest faster but are not filling for longer; thus many people tend to overeat them. Too much consumption of refined carbs can become problematic for any person with diabetes trying to reduce weight.
Choose to eat whole grain, unprocessed or organic cereals instead of the refined ones. It would also be good if you watch the portion you eat.
Remember to read the label to know the ingredients and calories in each serving of the cereal you choose. Pick those with high amounts of fiber and pay attention to the number you consume.
Avoid cereals with added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and dried fruits if you can. You can as well eat other breakfast alternatives such as Quinoa, egg omelets, low-fat yogurt, and oatmeal instead of breakfast cereals.
Alcohol can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Moderate amounts can make your sugar levels to rise whereas lower levels can make it drop to critical levels.
Alcohol contains sugar and carbohydrates which are calorie-dense and can contribute to weight gain as well as an increase in blood sugar levels. It may also inhibit the positive effects of some medications for diabetes.
Drinking alcohol is also detrimental to your overall well being. It impairs your ability to make sound judgments. It can contribute to you making poor or irrational decisions on important matters which you would not make if you were sober.
Alcohol also increases your risk of developing other chronic health conditions like cancer, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.
Please try to avoid alcohol at all costs, it doesn’t have any positive health benefits to you. It can cause dependence and worsen your condition instead. Why should you risk?