Diabetes is a condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It interferes with the body’s ability to process blood sugar, or blood glucose. Every single diabetes patient probably knows that they must eat healthy to maintain normal blood sugar levels. However, the problem is that many foods marketed as healthy and considered diabetes-friendly can actually cause a spike in blood sugar levels. In this article, we’ve listed foods many people don’t know are bad for diabetics.
When thinking of healthy rice, brown rice is the first thing that comes to many people’s minds. It is a whole grain that has the bran, germ, and endosperm intact. Indeed, brown rice is healthier than white rice, thanks to its rich fiber content. But it also contains a high amount of carbohydrates, which quickly break down into glucose, sending blood sugar levels soaring. Before making a brown rice recipe, it’s important to watch the portion size to prevent a spike in blood sugar.
Many people have the habit of noshing on dry fruits. But these fruits, particularly raisins, are bad food choices for those with diabetes. When a fruit is dried, it loses all water, resulting in a higher concentration of its various nutrients, including sugar and carbohydrates. Raisins should particularly be avoided as they have more than four times the amount of carbohydrates as grapes. One should also avoid dried apricots, mangoes, and cranberries. Fresh berries and a small apple are a healthier alternative.
Yogurt is thought of as a healthy, digestion-boosting food. But that may be true only if it’s plain yogurt with no added sugar. However, most yogurt varieties sold in the market are fruit-flavored, meaning they’re loaded with sugar and carbohydrates. They are typically made from nonfat or low-fat milk, which is prepared by adding stabilizers, thickeners, and more sugar. A better approach is to opt for plain yogurt and top it with fresh fruits for added flavor.
Fruit juice is as healthy as the whole fruit, right? Wrong! In fact, it’s one of the worst things for diabetics. It has a similar effect on blood glucose as sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages. Store-bought fruit juices are usually loaded with sugar to improve their flavor. Even if the product doesn’t contain added sugar, fruit juices tend to be high in carbohydrates, and they lack fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, all of which can be provided by consuming a whole fruit instead.
Honey is often used instead of white table sugar in many recipes. However, research claims that honey and other forms of natural sugar, such as agave nectar and maple syrup, can boost blood sugar levels. Moreover, these sweeteners contain about as many carbs as white sugar, despite being less processed. So, it may be wise to steer clear of all forms of alternative sweeteners.
Cereals are a go-to breakfast option for many people. However, for those with diabetes, it can be one of the worst ways to start a day. That’s because most cereals available are highly processed and contain excess sugar and carbohydrates. Besides, they provide a minimal amount of protein, which plays an important role in maintaining a stable blood sugar level throughout the day. For breakfast, it’s best to skip cereal and opt for protein-rich, low-carb recipes.
Besides avoiding these foods, one can also opt for supplements such as cinnamon, vitamin B1 (benfotiamine form), chromium, alpha-lipoic acid, green tea, bitter gourd, magnesium, and resveratrol to fight diabetes. However, one must consult a healthcare expert before taking such supplements daily.