30 Foods To Avoid With Diabetes At All Costs
The American Diabetes Association does its best to help millions of Americans live healthier and better lives. We are what we eat, therefore nutrition is a massive part of everyone’s life. Have you noticed how much more energy you have when your diet is based on fresh foods, vegetables, and a proper intake of water? Or how heavy and no-energy you feel after eating fried potato and soda? What you eat can support your health and improve your cholesterol and blood pressure, or it can push you to obesity and poor health, and even lead to diabetes.
Your eating pattern is an important factor when it comes to your blood glucose levels. When you eat and how much you eat may alter your glucose level, and the type of foods can alter your blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, some foods are actually extremely bad for you. On the other hand, some foods are great for you and your entire family. Are you trying to create a better eating pattern and live longer? We have gathered 30 foods that you should cut from your shopping list if you want to keep diabetes away.
Living with diabetes or being at high risk of one means no cookies. They are so delicious because they are high in simple sugar and bleached flour. Cookies are rich in trans fat and other bad fats, that you should substitute with a good kind of fat.
Think about home-made cookies that are gluten-free and packed with a bit of coconut sugar or no sugar at all. Can you have a bite of pre-packaged cookies? No. These cookies usually contain the worst ingredients for diabetics.
Cake and cookies go hand in hand since both are extremely high in sugar, white flour, and trans fat. The cake is bad to consume in large amounts, even if you don’t have diabetes – sugar and white flour will spike your insulin and then send it falling down.
This is why you might feel tired, or sleepy. Sugar and white flour don’t provide the energy that you need to feel like on top of the world. If you want something sweet, choose fruit that your doctor recommended. Fruit is usually lower in sugar than cake. Plus, fruit can provide that full stomach effect.
Nothing like a piece of pie to bring back joy to your menu, right? Sure, pie is rich in seasonal fruit or vegetable, but it’s also packed with white sugar and white flour. Plus, the crust is usually enhanced with butter.
Also, any kind of pre-made pie is even worse than a home-made one, so always choose to make a pie and serve. If you cannot live without pie bites, think about the gluten-and-sugar-free options with coconut oil, etc.
27. Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn serves as great snacks when you are on a special diet, and you need quick and kind of healthy bites. However, not all popcorns are equally safe. Pre-popped or bagged popcorn are rich in trans fats, compared to home-made ones. Plus, they are rich in vegetable oils that are not good for you or your diabetes.
What about movie popcorn? They are great if you want to gain weight. If you love warm and fresh popcorn, invest in an air-fryer at home, because you won’t need any oil. If possible eat them plain, with no sugary addition of salt.
26. French Fries
You may love or not a potato, but you cannot deny that french fries are one of the best inventions ever! As it usually comes with delicious things, this food isn’t the healthiest choice that you can make. They are usually soaked in the worst oils as they are cooked, and a single portion of french fries can provide daily calorie intake.
Luckily, there are healthier alternatives. You can use an air fryer, or bake them with no extras in the oven. Avoid eating them with ketchup, mayonnaise, or any other dip. The simpler the better.
Ah, those perfect doughnuts bite… With cream, with chocolate, with fruit, or simply pain, there is no bad doughnut. They are so delicious, and so not good for you when you have diabetes or weight issues. The biggest issue with doughnuts is that they’re usually deep-fried (next to white flour used to make them, they are bound with gluten).
Deep frying means that there are a ton of unhealthy oils involved, usually with heavy trans fats. There is a healthier alternative: use almond flour and honey. Still, be careful with eating this healthier option, because healthier isn’t necessarily healthy. Be mindful about what you eat and how much.
24. Fried Chicken
Are you a fan of classic fried chicken? Its one of a kind meal and taste, but if you have issues with diabetes, weight gain, or any other condition, you should keep your fingers away from this delicious and greasy food.
Instead, choose baked or breaded chicken without heavy seasoning or dipping. As a general rule, chicken is prepared fried, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy it in healthier versions at home.
If someone told you just two decades ago that margarine is bad, you wouldn’t believe it. However, when scientists came out with data and confirmed that margarine is bad for human nutrition, people started using it even more. Margarine is packed with different fats, hidden sugars, and salt that you don’t know about it unless you check the label.
Replace margarine with olive oil, avocado, or coconut oil. You are not sure what to use instead of margarine for morning toast? Try spreading peanut butter or avocado instead.
22. Chocolate Covered Peanuts
Nuts, almonds, and peanuts are healthy in general because they are rich in natural fats. However, if you eat too much you will gain weight and disturb your sugar level, eventually. Don’t forget: good fats are still fats and should be eaten in a very conservative moderation, especially if you have diabetes.
Don’t eat them while watching TV, because you will overindulge, and always avoid peanuts covered with chocolate. Sure, chocolate will give them a creamy texture, but also sugar.
21. Honey Roasted Cashews
Honey roasted cashews are identical to chocolate-covered peanuts: they are rich in good fats which is why they taste good. However, eat too much of them and you will put your body in trouble. Honey roasted cashews are prepared in oil that isn’t good for you. Plus, they are covered in salt and sugar. Isn’t honey healthy?
The truth is that honey is gentler on your glycemic load than sugar is and is a better alternative in baking and in smoothies than using white sugar, but will still add a significant sugar level. Furthermore, store-bought packaged foods like honey-roasted cashews only have honey in the name.
Chips inventor should get a medal or a penitentiary? This food is so delicious that you cannot stop eating it once you start. Let’s be honest, is a movie really a movie without this crispy – and definitely not healthy – snack? No matter how good they taste, chips should be avoided, because of their high-fat content.
High-fat content is usually equal to unhealthy fats. The better option is to bake chips and avoid salt and any dipping. Baking or air frying them is a great option because you can control the oil, salt, and even sugar that goes into the seasoning. Sugar and chips? Sadly, yes. Even flavors like barbeque have a ton of sugar. Always check for sugar.
19. White Sugar
Next to white flour, white sugar is the biggest enemy of human health. In general, white sugar should be used minimally or not at all suffer from diabetes.
Next to white sugar, you might want to avoid high fructose corn syrup. Don’t rely heavily on artificial sweeteners, nor the natural ones such as honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
18. Red Meat
Red meat is high in saturated fats, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Those who already have diabetes know that red meat is extremely bad for them. When it comes to red meat you should consume only a bit, because of fats. Plus, the farming and processing of red meat can make meat extremely bad for your health.
On top of that, the nitrites in the meat can impair the function of the pancreas. Did you know that the iron in red meat may increase insulin resistance? If you cannot live without meat choose healthier options, such as turkey, chicken, or fish. If possible reduce meat consumption from every day to three times per week.
If seeing pretzels on this list hurts your heart, we apologize. It’s never easy to accept that this convenient and delicious snack isn’t healthy. When craving for pretzels kicks in next time, just check the label before you purchase. You will see white flour, salt, and fats, a lot of fats. Some pretzels are fat-free, but others are usually cooked in unhealthy oils.
Plus, white flour is dangerous for diabetics because it’s a simple carbohydrate that can significantly increase the amount of glucose in your blood. Truth be told, pretzels don’t have much amount of glucose in their blood. Do you know those fluffy pretzels that you can buy in the mall or at sports events? They are even worse, becuase they contain more sugar, fat, and sale.
16. Coffee With Cream And Sugar
Drinking black coffee with a glass of water is fine. Even your nutritionist will tell you that coffee is calorie-free as long you drink only coffee. However, if you choose to add sugar and cream you are actually adding calories into your body. Sugary coffee drinks are high in fat and sugar and as such not a healthy choice.
Instead, choose to drink black coffee or only add a bit of milk if you want a ‘kind of creamy texture. Avoid by any cost store-bought coffee drinks – packed with sugar and artificial ingredients.
Ok, you saw this one coming… Candies are always present when it comes to unhealthy foods. Candy should be avoided as much as possible because it’s pure sugar. The human body loves sugar, and whenever you give it a bit of sugar, it will want more and more sugar.
According to the American Diabetes Association, a diabetic can have candy every once a while, as long as the patient is eating a helahty and balanced diet, in combination with exercise. To get the most from a candy, it would be best to have a square or two of dark chocolate, which is low in sugar.
Sometimes even fruit can trick us. If you eat an enormous amount of fruit, you will end up eating natrual sugar. If you blend whole fruit or vegetable you should be fine. However, if you add sugar to your fruit smoothie, you are actually drinking sugar.
That’s why you should be extra careful with smoothies, especially if you buy them from the store. In homemade smoothies, you can control ingredients and focus on whole fruit.
13. Flavored Water
Water should be water – clean, plain, and without extra taste or sugar. Sure, if you want to freshen up a bit, during the summer day you can add sliced cucumber or frozen berries with some ice into water. Flavored water that you can purchase at any store, is packed with sugar.
Flavored water can have around 32 grams of sugar in the whole bottle. Always double-check the nutrition label before you shop. Always choose flavored waters without sugar.
Pickles are great winter food that comes with a huge amount of salt. Next to salt, pickles are rich in sodium as well. When eating too much sodium you are putting yourself at risk of high blood pressure. Fun fact: Did you know that pickles are often artificially colored?
According to the U.S. nutritional guidelines, those with diabetes should have less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. If you love pickles, choose ones with the lowest amount of sodium that you can find. Check for sugar as well. You want the healthies pickles possible? Make your own.
It seems that mayonnaise contains only bad things, which is probably why it’s so delicious. Mayonnaise is packed with sodium and carbs, which is bad for those who fight diabetes.
You should eat it in moderation, as an occasional treat, never as a full meal. Moreover, if you fight diabetes, you shouldn’t eat it at all. Make home-made healthier options, or choose to focus on creams from avocado and eggs.
10. Whole Milk
When you were a child it was custom to get a glass of milk before bedtime. As you get older, your body is less likely to proceed with milk and may even cause stomach disturbances. Whole milk has a lot of saturated fat.
In fact, all animal fats are saturated fats, so keep that in mind. Luckily there are 1% and skin milk options to keep that milk craving in order. However, be careful of low-fat dairy products, because companies add tons of sugar to make sure that milk still tastes good.
9. Energy Drinks
Do you know that you shouldn’t mix energy drinks and alcohol? This combo can literally kill you. In general, energy drinks weren’t designed to be overused.
You should drink them occasionally and in moderation. They are usually rich in caffeine and high amounts of sugar. If you need an energy boost, try to get it from a more natural form, such as coffee.
8. Canned Fruit
The best way to get the most from fruit is to eat it whole, without any sugar. If you love to replace fresh fruit with the canned option, you are putting your body under high stress. Canned fruit or fruit packed in syrup can be high in sugar.
Canned fruit is dangerous for people who don’t suffer from diabetes, and diabetics should consume an extremely small amount or no canned fruit at all. Some fruit cups even have a “No Sugar Added” label because they’re sweetened with Stevia. However, these products can still contain up to 5g of sugar. Learn how to read labels and to avoid sugar.
7. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice only seems healthy. Again, if you want to get the most from fresh fruit, you should eat it. Fruit juice (and we are not talking abotu the home-made one) is loaded with sugar just like soft drinks. Fruit juice may have up to 49 grams of sugar per 15.2-ounce bottle.
Orange juice has around 33g for a 12-ounce cup, which is as much as a can of Coca-Cola. Plus, fruit juice has fewer fibers, than you would get when eating the real thing. Craving for something sweet? Just have an orange.
6. Frozen Meals
People usually love frozen meals because they are handy and rarely delicious. Truth be told, sometimes convenience wins and frozen meals prove it. They are high in sodium and fat, which makes them unhealthy options for anyone.
Sodium and fat make them especially bad for people with diabetes. If you must purchase your meal, choose green and freshly cooked meals. If you must shop for frozen meals, double-check nutrition labels.
5. Brown Rice
You might be surprised to learn that there is no big difference between white and brown rice. In fact, brown rice might be tastier but doesn’t contain much fiber, and your body thrives on fiber.
If you want foods thats rich in fibers and can make you feel fuller longer, you should opt for higher-fiber options such as cauliflower rice and quinoa. They are richer in protein and therefore smarter choice.
4. Canned Vegetables
The canned vegetable is similar to canned fruit – there is a lot of sugar and sodium. As we have mentioned earlier, those with diabetes should avoid food thats rich in sodium.
Luckily, some brands avoid putting extra salt, so maybe search for those first. Always choose plain canned vegetables. This way you can easily cook them or steam them and have a healthier meal.
3. White Bread
White bread is rich in refined grains that your body digests fast. Moreover, these grains are processed like sugar. So, although there is no sugar in white bread, it can still cause blood glucose spikes that are dangerous to people with diabetes.
Also, some brands do add sugar to their bread, so be careful. Bear in mind that white bread is also low in some nutrients, particularly fiber. Do you need food that you cannot benefit from? Of course not. Gluten-free bread also contains sugars and other bad ingredients, unless they are home-made.
2. Regular Soft Drinks
No matter how light they might be, sugary drinks are always dangerous. They are rich in sugar, and usually have artificial color, if not some other artificial ingredient.
A single package drink can have too much sugar for your body to handle properly. Diet sodas are a slightly better option, but they usually have too many artificial sweeteners that might harm your body.
A glass of wine here and there should be good for your health, overall. After all, there is always some alcohol being promoted on TV or social media, so it has to be good, right? Well, wrong.
Alcohol is known for significantly altering the body’s response to insulin, and eventually changing a person’s behavior. On top of this, many drinks can be extremely sugary with cocktails leading to high sugar amounts. If you do love a glass of alcohol from time to time, check with your doctor if it’s safe for you to drink it.