People with diabetes have high blood sugar levels because their bodies don’t make or use insulin effectively. If you are a diabetic, you should watch what you eat and how much you eat. Reducing calories is essential in diabetes management. Making wise food choices, however, can help you keep your blood sugar level within your target range. While moderation is important in many cases, there are some food items you may want to eliminate from your diet altogether.
Moderation is key—most of the time https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Ff7%2F44%2Fff839e2241f5a79a8ac108ec32d0%2Fimage-gettyimages-495831127-woman-outside-on-swingset.jpg
As a general rule, most people with diabetes have to keep an eye on carbohydrates and extra sugar. Those cookies may look tempting, but a few minutes of enjoyment probably isn’t worth the effect they’ll have on your body, as packaged foods tend to contain a lot of hidden sugars that can wreak havoc with your blood glucose levels.
1. Prepackaged cookies and baked goods https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fb5%2F93%2Fabf2697644b3b84e6fb331e00809%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-gettyimages-485888586-box-of-french-macarons.jpg
Just about anything that’s made from white flour instead of whole grains should give you pause. Opt for whole-grain bread instead of the white version. Whole-grain bread will give you some extra fiber, which can help you maintain better control of your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of heart disease.
2. White bread https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F8d%2F95%2F0f3d2c88494797fe3d228e32dfe5%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-gettyimages-71445770-sliced-white-bread.jpg
You’ve made the switch from white bread to whole-grain bread; now it’s time to do the same with pasta and rice. Pasta made from white flour ranks very high on a tool called the glycemic index, which measures how a carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels. Since white flour has a high glycemic index, that means that your body tends to digest it more quickly, which can lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels. Whole-wheat pasta and rice has a lower glycemic index, causing your body’s blood glucose levels to rise more slowly. Look for whole-wheat versions of your favorite pasta, and check out grains like whole barley. While you’re at it, try switching from white potatoes to sweet potatoes and cauliflower.
3. White pasta and rice https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F41%2F99%2Fd8270bff482db629d0923412a92f%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-gettyimages-183840006-bowl-of-white-rice.jpg
Fresh fruit is good for you. Frozen fruit is a great option when fresh fruit isn’t available or practical. But enjoying canned fruit that’s been sitting in heavy, sticky, sugary syrup is basically like eating candy. If you don’t have access to fresh or frozen fruit, opt for canned fruit that’s packaged in unsweetened fruit juice.
4. Canned fruit with syrup https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fc0%2Fd9%2F1a9a56b142d9b08bd997e9ac1e5e%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-gettyimages-562999409-canned-pineapple-processing-line.jpg
A can of cola may contain as many as 10 teaspoons of sugar—and that’s 10 teaspoons you can avoid by simply choosing a diet soda sweetened with a calorie-free sweetener. An even healthier option is to go for unsweetened tea or water with a twist of lemon or lime. If you prefer carbonated drinks, opt for sparkling water.
You’re probably sensing a trend here: foods that contain lots of extra sugars are not the best choice for someone with diabetes. Those tempting coffee beverages are tempting for a reason—they’re full of syrups, whipped cream and sugar that could send your blood sugar through the roof.