Whether you like it or not, your dietary habits are directly related to the probability of causing diabetes or worsening the condition. So, if you are in the pink of your health and wish to avoid the condition or are already suffering from it, it’s high time you keep track of what’s on your plate. In this article, we’ll talk about the 13 worst foods to avoid to control sugar levels. We’ll also highlight some crucial diet tips to control diabetes.
The factors leading to diabetes can be divided into irreversible and reversible factors. Controlling factors such as the family history of illness or genetics, age, and race or ethnicity may be out of your hands. But there are reversible factors, often the most common reason for the condition, such as diet and lifestyle, that can be easily controlled.
Uncontrolled diabetes can result in severe health issues such as high blood pressure, heart diseases and hypertension. It can also cause an array of low-risk health problems. The typical symptoms of diabetes may include increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, sweating, and slow-healing sores. Many factors are responsible for the development of the condition, such as smoking, environmental factors, sedentary lifestyle, certain medicines, excess alcohol intake, and lack of physical activity. Let’s look at the foods that you must avoid or limit and foods that instantly lower blood sugar, thereby the ones you must include in your diet.
Fancy that delicious cookie? Caved in to the hunger pang and had a slice of pizza? Or did you skip a meal? The smallest decisions you make have a massive impact on your diabetes management. Snacking on unhealthy junk food or desserts or irregular eating habits can derail your efforts to keep your glucose levels in check. The relation between diabetes and food cannot get any simpler. There are foods that lower blood sugar and foods that cause a spike. The successful management of diabetes relies on avoiding or limiting foods that quickly increase sugar levels. Consuming food that controls blood glucose levels can help you manage the condition and avoid the health consequences.
You should always prefer natural foods to reduce blood sugar. Avoid or limit foods that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrate. Keeping an eye on carbohydrate consumption is extremely crucial. It has the highest impact on sugar levels. Not all carbs are bad though, simple carbohydrates such as sugar and white bread are the culprits, while complex carbs such as oatmeal and brown rice are healthier. But even healthy carbs must be consumed within a limit to keep diabetes under control. Substitute the following worst foods with a healthier option, as shown below.
White bread and pasta have become common household names. Most of the commercially available packaged pasta is made from refined flour and is highly processed. It is also high in carbs. If you love your pasta, you can opt for the whole wheat one. White bread is highly processed, high in the glycemic index and contains unhealthy ingredients.
Sugar is undoubtedly one of the worst foods for people with diabetes. It is heavily processed and refined and is high in the glycemic index. It quickly raises blood sugar levels. Maida or white flour has a high glycemic index and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. It is highly processed and refines, stripping it off most nutrients. Maida also raises the bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and can clog arteries and increase your weight.
Processed and packaged foods are the epitome of bad food. They are often blamed for being the single biggest contributor to many modern-day diseases. They are highly processed and full of additives to increase shelf life.
They also include sugar, unhealthy fats and other questionable ingredients. Steer clear of processed and packaged foods as much as possible. Go for whole foods such as fruits and fresh and healthy vegetables that reduce blood sugar to control sugar levels.
Sugar candies and sweets are rich in sugar and are quickly digested; hence cause a spike in sugar levels. They are also devoid of any nutrients and contain other harmful ingredients. There are many naturally sweet and equally satisfying treats.
Junk and bakery foods are rich in unhealthy fats and sugars, leading to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It can cause a quick spike in blood glucose levels.
White rice is the result of processing that strips away most of the nutrients from the whole rice, thereby stripping it off its nutrients. They are digested quickly and cause an immediate blood sugar level spike. Salt in moderation is highly beneficial for health; iodine deficiency can lead to many illnesses. Salt can increase blood pressure and the risk of diabetes.
The so-called healthy breakfast cereals are anything but healthy. They are highly processed, and rich in sugars and carbs. They also come with misleading claims promoting health benefits.
High-fat dairy products contain excess fat and calories. They can cause several diseases such as obesity and heart diseases. For a proper diet to lower blood sugar, replace these products with healthier options.
Trans fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol and can cause heart diseases and stroke. People with diabetes must avoid foods high in trans fats.
Red meat in small amounts is good for your health but try to limit its consumption. You must especially avoid processed meat; they are considered to be a carcinogen by the WHO (World Health Organization) and cause several health problems such as heart diseases and obesity. The poultry skin is high in fats; hence it can be harmful to people with diabetes.
The poultry skin is high in fats; hence it can be harmful to people with diabetes.
Soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks may be tempting and even promoted as healthy, but they are far from healthy. They contain no nutritional benefits and are often high in sugar content, which raises blood glucose levels.
While whole fruit is healthy and nutritious, commercially available packaged fruit beverages are unhealthy. They have a high quantity of sugar and other preservatives. Even most fruit juices in restaurants are unhealthy, for they throw away the pulp and what remains is the fruit’s natural sugar!
As the name suggests, sugar-rich biscuits are rich in sugar; hence, they must be strictly avoided. They are also devoid of much nutrition. Many brands that claim to offer healthy alternatives are often deceiving the consumers.
Following the above substitution diet is the best way to reduce blood sugar. But managing diabetes can be made much more effective by combining a healthy diet with a lifestyle. Inculcate the lifestyle habits as shown below to control sugar levels effectively.
Diet plays the most crucial role in successfully managing diabetes, but changing your lifestyle is also essential in effectively controlling the condition.
Follow these simple steps along with a healthy diet to complete your diabetes management plan:
Health experts recommend regular moderate to intense exercise. But even being physically active for 30 minutes each day can help a lot. You can do the following activities to stay active and fit:
Stress is the cause of many illnesses, and it is vital to manage it for optimal health. Your body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones which increase blood pressure, glucose levels and can cause heart problems, mental illness and hypertension, among other conditions. Constant stress can make it difficult to control glucose levels. Take a deep breath, exercise, meditate, practice mindfulness and engage in a hobby to manage stress.
Alcohol in moderation does not have a negative effect on your health. But excessive consumption can cause several illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and liver disease. Alcohol can also cause a drastic change in blood sugar levels.
Smoking can cause several health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Nicotine raises blood sugar levels, so kick that butt before you kick the bucket!
Checking your sugar levels can help you understand the impact of various factors on your glucose levels. It can tell you how exercise, medications, illnesses and food affect your blood sugar levels. This will help you to understand the condition better and manage it effectively.
Get help from your doctor to create a plan to help you with the transition. With dedication and consistency, you can successfully control sugar levels.
The first step towards the successful management of diabetes is understanding the impact of the food you eat on the condition. By following a healthy lifestyle, diet and proper medication, you can control sugar levels and also avoid the risks associated with diabetes. Eat more foods that regulate blood sugar and avoid or limit the ones that can cause a spike in glucose levels. It is advised to consult a doctor or a nutritionist to guide you with a proper meal plan and other lifestyle modifications. With a bit of guidance and effort, you can overcome the condition and lead a healthy life.
1. How to control sugar levels
Follow these diabetes management tips to control sugar levels:
2. Can a diabetic patient eat chicken?
Chicken is a great source of lean protein for people with diabetes. It is low in fat and carbs, especially chicken breast. A diabetic patient can eat chicken as long as the method of cooking is healthy.
3. Is corn flour good for diabetes?
Diabetes patients must either avoid corn flour or limit its consumption. Corn flour is starchy and is devoid of many nutrients.
4. Can people with diabetes eat honey?
Honey has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes. But being a carbohydrate, honey will have an impact on blood glucose levels. It is better than sugar but still impacts your glucose levels; if you must consume honey, preferably raw, organic and pure honey.
5. What foods to eat to lower sugar levels?
Eat from this list of foods that lower blood sugar
6. How often to eat to control blood sugar?
It is crucial to regularly eat when you have diabetes to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Try eating every 3 to 4 hours and ensure that you follow the daily schedule; it keeps your sugar levels from fluctuating.
7. Are peanuts good for diabetics?
Peanuts are an excellent snacking option for people with diabetes. It has a very low glycemic index score, which prevents it from spiking your sugar levels. It is also a rich source of plant-based protein and healthy fats.
8. What do you eat when you have type 2 diabetes?
You can consume the following foods if you have type 2 diabetes:
9. How to control blood sugar with home remedies?
The best way to control blood sugar is through natural home remedies. They are highly effective and has no side effects either. Drink a lot of water, implement portion control, exercise regularly, manage stress levels and constantly monitor your sugar levels to control diabetes at home.
10. What’s the best way to manage diabetes without medication?
Lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, can go a long way in managing diabetes without any medications. You can eat a healthy diet, lose weight, manage stress, stay physically active and get adequate sleep to control the condition without any medicines.