What foods should I avoid if I am diabetic? This is a common question that people who have developed this condition often ask. Watching your food intake is an important part of controlling diabetes and staying healthy. Many carbohydrates can cause spikes in blood glucose levels, and foods high in fat can exacerbate a diabetic’s already higher risk of heart disease or stroke. Here are specific foods which should be avoided by people who have diabetes.
Fast food items like French fries and fried chicken are some of the foods that should be avoided by people with diabetes. French fries are high in calories, sodium and saturated fats. A typical French fry serving has calories ranging from 500 to 600 calories, with total fat of more than 20 grams and sodium not lower than 900 grams. Fried chicken is another favorite fast food staple that should not belong to the diet of a diabetic. A fried chicken meal from a popular fast food can have as much as 500 calories with a total fat of not lower than 30 grams. It is also rich in carbohydrates, cholesterol and sodium.
Foods High in Sugar
Foods rich in sugar such as cookies, cakes and pies are foods that may cause harm to diabetic patients. For instance, commercially made cookies consist of high levels of trans fats that can pile up the carbs and calorie levels in affected patients. Likewise, commercially available doughnuts, pastries and muffins are all rich in saturated fats, thus making them potentially harmful for people with diabetes. Cakes and pies also are rich in saturated fats which can cause increase in cholesterol levels.
While frozen meals are great options for those who are always on the go, processed foods are not recommended for diabetics, given the high levels of fat and sodium in them. A chicken potpie, a popular frozen meal choice, packs more than 500 calories, 30 grams of total fat and about 14 grams of cholesterol.
Drinks and Desserts
Sodas are a no-no for diabetics, as they are rich in sugar. Drinks that are high in sugar will not only add carbohydrates and calories to a diet, but they can also cause an increase in blood glucose and ultimately, weight gain. Flavored water should also be avoided since it comes with hidden sugar additives. Fruit beverages, flavored smoothies and milkshakes are also not recommended since they are also high in sugar and calories.
What To Eat
It is important for patients with diabetes to know what kind of foods they can eat. Health experts often advise diabetes patients to eat a well-balanced diet to control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. The American Diabetes Association has provided a diabetes food pyramid which patients can use as reference for their diet. Following a balanced diet can help reduce the risks of other health problems related to diabetes.
Helpgiude.org: Diabetes Diet and Food Tips
DiabeticLiving: Think Before You Eat: 15 Foods to Avoid with Diabetes
American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Food Pyramid