Foods to Avoid When Diagnosed with Diabetes

Jul 21, 2023

Monitoring blood glucose is crucial for individuals with diabetes. Achieving balance in your diet, physical activity, and medication, if prescribed, is key. When talking about exercise the CDC recommends that an adult should work out up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. This could be walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Other factors that contribute to diabietes is your food choices, and meal timings; all play a vital role in maintaining your blood glucose within the recommended range advised by your healthcare team. The ideal portions of a meal (a nine-inch plate) are 50% of nonstarchy vegetables, 25% of proteins and 25% of carbs, this accompanied by water or a low calory drink.

To help you make informed decisions, here’s a list of foods to avoid if you have been diagnosed with diabetes:

  • High-sugar foods: Foods that are predominantly composed of processed sugar, such as desserts, candy, and soda, are considered low-quality carbohydrates. Apart from lacking nutritional value, these foods can cause rapid spikes in your blood sugar levels. Your body will then need to produce additional insulin to lower your blood sugar, and excessive insulin can promote fat storage.
  • White carbohydrates: White carbs like rice and pasta behave similarly to sugar once digested, leading to increased glucose levels.
  • Packaged snacks and baked goods: Packaged snacks and baked goods often contain unhealthy trans fats,, and preservatives.
    • Trans fat and preservatives- Trans fats raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, lower “good” (HDL) cholesterol, and pose a higher risk of heart disease. They are particularly concerning for individuals with type 2 diabetes, who already have an increased risk of heart issues.
    • Sodium- The American diabetes association (ADA)recommends sodium consumption should be limited to less than 2,300 mg a day. High sodium levels can raise the blood presure.
  • Fried foods: As tempting as french fries, fried chicken, and potato chips may be, they absorb excessive amounts of oil, resulting in a calorie surplus. Consuming excessive greasy foods can lead to weight gain and disrupt blood sugar control.
  • Alcohol consumption can affect blood sugar levels. ADA guidelines recommend that women do not drink more than a glass per day and no more than two for men. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation, as it can limit your liver’s ability to release glucose. This can cause low blood sugar levels several hours after drinking, especially if alcohol is consumed without food. Additionally, alcohol may interfere with certain diabetes medications.

By being mindful of these food choices and making healthier alternatives, you can better manage your blood glucose levels and support your overall well-being. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance on managing your diabetes effectively.

Sources: Houston Methodist, Mayo Clinic,  Help Guide.

Authors: Keysha Pomales Pharm.D.


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