Most of the time, a diabetic diet consists of low glycemic index foods, i.e., foods that don’t increase your blood sugar too quickly. These foods are high in fiber and protein, such as wholewheat bread, plain natural yogurt, and fish.
Accommodating a new diet can be challenging for those diagnosed with diabetes as they think they should omit everything that contains sugar. But that is farther from the truth!
This article will talk about five types of food you should generally avoid if you have diabetes, so it is easier for you to stay healthy.
Though having a piece of bacon and an egg once per month won’t do much damage, eating sausages and deli meats frequently will cause health problems.
The main reason processed meats can be harmful is that they contain nitrates and nitrites. These are added to the meats for preservation purposes and give them their signature pink color. These nitrites also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and give the meat its salty flavor.
When you cook processed meat like bacon at high temperatures, the nitrates inside will interact with the protein and produce nitrosamines, which are substances that can cause cancer. Also, processed meats are generally high in salt, significantly raising your blood pressure and leading to heart disease.
Nitrates are also present in vegetables but in small amounts, which won’t cause you any harm, mainly because vegetables don’t contain too much protein and you don’t cook vegetables at very high temperatures.
Solution: Eating a BLT sandwich once a month won’t destroy your health. But ensure that you avoid daily or frequent consumption of processed meats like salami, sausages, and ham.
Burger King and Mcdonald’s use a unique ingredient to attract their customers: fried oil. There’s a peculiar taste and smell that comes up when you fry potatoes that makes your mouth fill up with saliva instantly. You start craving for it, and before you know it, you have a whole plate of fries in front of you, ready to be devoured.
The problem with fried food is how oil is cooked at high temperatures. Oils used for frying are generally either sunflower or canola. These oils have a low smoking point, which tends to boil quicker. Cooking at high temperatures will transform their fats into trans fats. Trans fats can cause dangerous health effects if consumed too much, like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and fatty liver disease.
Deep frying involves more oil which is cooked at very high temperatures.
More oil cooked= more trans fat
What’s more, many fast-food chains use the exact oil multiple times, turning many chains of fat into trans fat.
Solution: Though dining at known fast-food chains might be tempting, remember that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.
In your kitchen, you have your eyes set on your ingredients. So, the best thing is to prepare home-cooked meals that involve as little fried oil as possible.
Choose Whole Fruits Instead of Fruity Drinks
Consider choosing whole fruits instead of reaching out for that bottled drink when it comes to fruits.
The majority of fruit juices in supermarkets contain high amounts of sugar that are usually masked with slogans like “All Natural” or “100% Organic”. Though there might be some exceptions, don’t fall for these tactics and always read the labels before buying one.
Many store-bought fruit juices don’t contain fiber and include additives. Powdered drinks can be higher in sugar and additives and have very few nutrients. Most powdered packets will mention that their box contains Vitamin C or natural orange flavor, mostly synthetic additives or artificial sweeteners.
It’s essential to pay attention to your sugar levels since the increase in blood sugar can lead to various issues like eye disease and foot ulcers. Some people with diabetes who get sores and blisters at the bottom of their feet find it tough to walk and exert pressure on their feet. In such cases, insoles for diabetics go a long way in providing much-needed comfort and ease of movement.
Solution: Buy whole fruits like apples and eat them entirely without peeling. The majority of nutrients and fiber are found in the peels. If you want to make a fruit punch, you can put them in a blender with a peel and then drink it.
Alternatively, you can use a juice squeezer, but ensure to drink not more than half a cup per day while checking your sugar levels.
Eat Less Rice
If rice is a part of your culture, letting go of this staple food can be challenging.
While rice provides quick energy, it also contains high amounts of sugar. It has a high glycemic index which means it increases your blood sugar faster than other types of grains.
China’s number one health threat today is none other than diabetes. According to the WHO, diabetes contributes around 80% of the country’s 10.3 million annual deaths and 70% of its total disease burden. And if you take a look at their consumption of rice and pork, it’s one of the highest in the world.
Rice doesn’t contain as much fiber as other types of grains. Fiber maintains gradual absorption of sugar from your stomach and promotes intestinal health. Increased rice consumption can further complicate your diabetes since your sugar levels will skyrocket.
Solution: It’s better to control your rice portions if your diabetes is not severe, i.e., your blood sugar levels don’t surpass 130mg/dL after 1 hour of eating a meal. Otherwise, it would be best to choose other types of grains like quinoa, burghul, and orzo.
Avoid White Bread
If you’re not going to eat bread with some cheese, what can you eat as a snack or dinner?
Before you rant that there’s nothing that can substitute your sweet white bread, remember that whole wheat bread exists.
White bread, like rice, has a high glycemic index and is low on fiber and essential nutrients. In the past, people relied on bread as a necessary staple during long periods of starvation. The same thing can be said for today, in places where extended periods of war occur.
However, if you live in a relatively calm place, there’s no need to excessively chow down on white bread. And products made from white flour, such as pasta, can worsen your diabetes over time.
Solution: Opt for wholewheat bread, not brown bread, since a lot of brown bread is artificially made to look brown through the addition of molasses.
When shopping for pasta, ensure that the wheat used isn’t plain white flour but whole wheat. Half a cup of pasta contains around 160 calories and 30g of carbs. Plan your meals accordingly, and you won’t have to omit pasta from your life!