Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions among adults and children worldwide.
Uncontrolled diabetes has many serious consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and other complications.
Prediabetes has also been linked to these conditions.
Importantly, eating the wrong foods can raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and promote inflammation, which may increase your risk of disease.
This article lists 11 foods that people with diabetes or prediabetes should avoid.
Does Carb Intake Matter for People With Diabetes?
Carbs, protein, and fat are the macronutrients that provide your body with energy.
Of these three, carbs have the greatest effect on your blood sugar by far. This is because they are broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into your bloodstream.
Carbs include starches, sugar, and fiber. However, fiber isn’t digested and absorbed by your body in the same way other carbs are, so it doesn’t raise your blood sugar.
Subtracting fiber from the total carbs in a portion of food will give you its digestible or “net” carb content. For instance, if a cup of mixed vegetables contains 10 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber, its net carb count is 6 grams.
When people with diabetes consume too many carbs at a time, their blood sugar levels can rise to dangerously high levels.
Over time, high levels can damage your body’s nerves and blood vessels, which may set the stage for heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious health conditions.
Maintaining a low carb intake can help prevent blood sugar spikes and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
Therefore, it’s important to avoid the foods listed below.
1. Beverages sweetened with sugar.
Sugary beverages are the worst drink choice for someone with diabetes.
To begin with, they are very high in carbs, with a 12-ounce (354-ml) can of soda providing 38 grams.
In addition, they’re loaded with fructose, which is strongly linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. Indeed, studies suggest that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of diabetes-related conditions like fatty liver.
What’s more, the high fructose levels in sugary drinks may lead to metabolic changes that promote belly fat and potentially harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
In one study of overweight and obese adults, consuming 25% of calories from high-fructose beverages on a weight-maintaining diet led to increased insulin resistance and belly fat, lower metabolic rate and worse heart health markers.
To help control blood sugar levels and prevent disease risk, consume water, club soda or unsweetened iced tea instead of sugary beverages.
2. Trans Fats
Industrial trans fats are extremely unhealthy.
They are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids in order to make them more stable.
Trans fats are found in kinds of margarine, peanut butter, spreads, creamers, and frozen dinners.
In addition, food manufacturers often add them to crackers, muffins and other baked goods to help extend shelf life.
Although trans fats don’t directly raise blood sugar levels, they’ve been linked to increased inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat, as well as lower “good” HDL cholesterol levels and impaired arterial function.