Whether you have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, your diet should be modified with immediate effect to prevent complications. While fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains are good for diabetics, there are certain things you should immediately cut off. From processed food to alcohol, here are the foods to avoid with diabetes.
Of all the modern lifestyle diseases that impact our health throughout our life, diabetes has one of the deepest impact. A chronic health condition, diabetes affects our metabolism, which is how our body breaks down food to produce energy. When we eat food, the body breaks it down and releases glucose. Once the glucose reaches the pancreas, this organ releases insulin, which is a compound that lets the glucose turn into energy. When you have diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, which affects your energy levels in the short term and may lead to heart disease, vision loss and kidney disease in the long run.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that there are three types of diabetes that may affect you. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that cannot be prevented since it is something you may have since birth. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that you can develop at any time due to chronic bad lifestyle habits, and it is highly preventable. Gestational diabetes is something that affects some women during pregnancy and impacts the wellbeing of both mother and child, and this one can be prevented as well.
No matter which type of diabetes you may have, it is essential that your dietary habits be changed with immediate effect to prevent any health complications. There are some foods to avoid with diabetes that you must cut out from your diet for best results. These foods to avoid with diabetes are usually very high in calories and can overload the pancreas, which in turn can impact insulin production even more. Here are all the foods to avoid with diabetes.
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You might think that it is only white sugar that counts as a harmful food, but if you have diabetes, then all types of added sugars are foods to avoid with diabetes. This not only includes brown sugar, honey, molasses and even excess jaggery, but also artificial sugars like corn syrup, fruit syrups, etc. Avoiding all forms of added sugars can help keep your blood glucose levels within a good range and prevent any diabetes complications like obesity, heart disease and vision impairment.
There are a few components in most processed foods, whether these are cheese and chips or sausages and ready-to-cook meals, that the body finds extremely difficult to break down. This includes added sugars, excess sodium and artificial flavours like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and preservatives that increase shelf life. These foods are so harmful that you should cut off all processed foods if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
It is quite unfortunate that some of the most delicious foods, especially a wide range of Indian foods, are packed with trans fats. From baked goodies to fried ones, from full fat milk to meat, all foods packed with trans fats are on the list of foods to avoid with diabetes. These increase inflammation in the body, impair insulin production and not only cause diabetes but also obesity. Trans fats are the bane of metabolism and should be avoided if you have diabetes.
While fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains are recommended for those with diabetes, refined foods of all kinds are foods to avoid with diabetes. Whether it is refined flour or maida or refined or polished grains like white rice and basmati rice, refined foods can overload the system with excess glucose and impair the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin. Hence, it is best to avoid refined foods if you have diabetes.
While current guidelines say one drink of alcohol per day is fine for both men and women, if you have diabetes, alcohol should be avoided completely. Not only does alcohol impair the liver’s ability to produce glucose—which then impacts insulin production—but it also interferes with diabetes and other essential medications. Alcohol is a food to avoid if you have diabetes, as its consumption can be life-threatening.