What you eat affects your health, both in good ways and not-so-good ways. The choice of food becomes considerably significant when you are diabetic because there are many foods which can potentially deteriorate your health or make it difficult to control blood glucose level which is an essential requirement of diabetic management. A food that is bad for diabetics is better kept at bay than regretted (later) for the lust of taste buds or sheer ignorance.
Just as the right intake of food can make it easier to manage diabetes, the wrong food (or the bad food in this reference) can worsen the condition and upset your health for long-term adverse effects. Keeping away from triggers and potentially harmful elements is one of the best ways to manage long-term complications of diabetes. This reading can make you better aware of the potentially worst and bad food choices which should be avoided in diabetes.
Worst and Bad Foods for Diabetics
Foods that are high in glycemic index (GI) should never be feasted upon. The glycemic index is a system of ranking food based on their affect on the blood sugar levels. White rice is one such food which can cause glucose levels to shoot up. It is rich in carbohydrates and can make it difficult to control diabetes. Short grain white rice may have a GI as high as 72.
Since you need carbs for energy, you would better resort to the more favorable food in this category such as whole grains (like brown rice). The complex carbs get absorbed more slowly than the simple ones. Choose the complex carbs that are best for you. White rice can be a staple food in many places, forming a major part of cooking, like in Indian cuisine. While a limited intake coupled with appropriate diabetic care and monitoring may not be harmful, there should be no generous eating of white rice. Other foods in similar category are doughnuts, soda, white bread, white flour, processed grains and French fries which should be avoided.
Meat is a source of high protein. For diabetics, it is better to resort to the non-meat sources of protein instead of the high-fat sources of protein. Protein from plant and lean meat sources serve better in diabetes. By choosing the non-meat sources, you can reduce the fat content of diet and manage diabetes in a better manner. Diabetics have an increased risk of heart disease and consuming saturated fat in excess can be damaging. Fatty foods may contribute to insulin resistance in women with diabetes.
As per the American Diabetes Association, diabetics may substitute protein and fat items for carbohydrates but should avoid high-fat items and saturated fats. High-fat sources include pork, beef, higher-fat parts of meat (like ribs), fried meat, poultry with skin, turkey, seafood and fried fish. Fried tofu and regular cheeses should also be avoided (or restricted).
Canned Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have a protective role in healthy living. But when the natural nutritional content of the food is disturbed, it can be potentially harmful. Many fruits and vegetables, which are otherwise low in fat and sodium, can be unfit for consumption after being canned.
Foods in this category are canned vegetables having excessive added sodium, vegetables cooked with excessive butter (or sauce), canned fruits having excessive sugar syrup, regular jam (until the portion is small), fruit punch and fruit juice drinks.
Oils can be another addition in the category of bad foods for diabetics. Food containing oil can be loaded with calories but devoid of nutrition. Snacks and processed foods particularly fall in this group. Uncontrolled intake of oil can cause weight gain making it difficult to manage diabetes. Avoiding them completely may not be practical; just choose wisely to get maximum and loose minimum.
Snacks fried in fat like potato chips and corn chips, pork rinds, lard, hydrogenated vegetable shortening, butter, regular mayonnaise, butter-flavored stove-top popcorn, etc. are things to be avoided. Diabetics should also avoid Trans fatty acids by refraining from “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” oils listed in product labels.
While certain amount of sweetness should remain in life, diabetics mainly need to limit the amount of sweet foods they eat. Being high in glycemic index, sweet foods can turn faster into sugar and can be potentially harmful to your body parts also. Low glycemic index foods release glucose slowly and steadily and can better control blood glucose levels. Most sweet fruits, including peaches, strawberries and mangoes, have a low GI.
But you should keep a watch if you are eating honey, fruit juice, canned fruit in syrup, pastries, candy and sugared cereal. The regular beer, fruity mixed drinks, dessert wines and even sweetened tea can also create trouble for diabetics. Coffee with sugar and cream and flavored coffees can also be potential culprits.
Beverages, which are not food, form an integral part of diet. Carbonated beverages, which can be good to the taste buds, should have a careful inclusion in your diet. Soda and energy drinks are two bad components of a diabetic diet because these can dehydrate you. They contain toxins which can be harmful and negligible nutrition.
Besides, they can easily add to your weight and possibly provide no sound reason to include them in the diet. If you are including carbonated beverages, check for the nutrition content (micronutrients).
You cannot be expected to completely refrain from all recommended food items when others in around you are having them (especially when it comes to your favorite food). However, in your health’s interest, setting a limit is crucial.
The summative listing given here is not a list of food you absolutely cannot eat. Usually, foods eaten in restricted quantities coupled with effective diabetic management and care should not be problematic. However, do not take this as medical advice and have an exchange of ideas with your doctor. He/she can help you prepare a diet plan which takes care of your favorite foods without upsetting the health consequences.
Experts suggest a food pyramid, which diabetics can adhere to, in order to maintain good health and reduce the possibility of long-term complications. The above foods are usually found to be at the peak, meaning ones which you should shop less for.