Controlling diabetes means that we have to pay attention to what we eat, test our blood glucose regularly and exercise. For some of us, it means losing weight and changing our lifestyle completely. However, one of the greatest joys in life is to see your blood glucose returning to readings close to the norm, or even within the normal range.
All of this is possible if we eat certain foods (mostly plant-based) and become more knowledgeable about the foods to avoid when you have diabetes. Somewhere in this mix are a few foods we should avoid if, and when possible. I love the bonuses which oftentimes accompanies staying away from some foods and also including others in our diet.
Yes, I am making reference to lowered blood pressure, increased energy, etc. Please see the infographic below for some of the bonuses we get when we make the right food choices and when we also include exercise as a way of life.
We are in a war. Our aim to is to win the war with diabetes and so control at least, but preferably eliminate diabetes from our lives. Here are five (5) foods to stay away from in order to avoid high spikes in your blood glucose:
- Dried Fruits
- The Whites (bread, rice, and flour)
- Baked snacks, such as doughnuts, biscuits, etc.
- Fatty sections of meats
- Fruit Juice
Diabetics do need to control the quantities and types of sweets we consume. Remember, it is ok to eat most fruits, even the sweet ones due to how your body processes them (in a way that does not spike our blood glucose). However, dried fruits are dehydrated, which then makes it have a higher concentration of sugar in less fruit. This is bad news for diabetics as it will result in a huge spike in our blood glucose.
A major concern of dried fruits is the added sugar in some of these products. Diabetics are better off avoiding foods with sugar added. We get enough natural sugar from the fruits and vegetables we consume. Some of these added sugars are like poison to the body and they leave us more inflamed and ill.
So what do you eat as a snack? Here are some simple and cheaper solutions:
- Wash and eat an apple
- Wash and eat, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
- Wash and eat a pear
- Wash and eat a nectarine
- Wash and eat a sweetsop
- Wash, peel and eat an orange
- Wash, peel and eat a ripe banana
Ok, so I know you got the gist. They are easy, cheaper than dried fruits and safer for diabetics. How convenient is that? Your body will be happy you made the decision. Did I mention the glycemic load? Yes, you figured it! I am so proud of you. Fresh fruits will have a lower glycemic load than their dried counterparts. Yes, you are perfectly correct again. Diabetics need to consume foods which are lower on the glycemic scale.
The White Enemies-Bread, Rice, and Flour
The easiest way to put this is that our bodies hate these white carbs. They get digested easily and result in a horrible spike in our blood glucose. They are also not as nutritious as say, brown rice, good quality grain bread and bran and wheat flours.
Again, let me reiterate. Diabetics need to eat foods which will cause only a gradual and steady increase in our blood glucose. High, sudden spikes can result in serious, long-term harm and eventual death.
Ok, do not be frustrated, here is what I eat, and my results are super wonderful:
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Multi-grain/whole-grain bread
- Sweet potato
The result is always the same. Your blood glucose will be easier to control when you eat this way all the time, or at least most of the time. Please see the infographic above for some of the bonuses you will give yourself when you exchange the “whites” for healthier choices.
The Other Enemies-Baked Snacks
This group includes, but is not limited to:
These (baked snacks) are bad for the following reasons:
- They contain sugar
- White flour is one of the ingredient used
- They are loaded with salt to make us addicted
- Preservatives are used to give them shelf life
- They contain Trans Fats
This is some of what you are doing to yourself when you constantly eat the above “foods.”
- Increasing your blood glucose level above the normal range
- Increasing your LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Lowering your HDL (good cholesterol)
- Creating the conditions for heart diseases
- Increasing your blood pressure above the normal range
- Creating the conditions in your body for inflammation to strive
- Increasing your body weight above the recommended norms
Please see below for a few of my substitutes, which have remained true and faithful for the control of diabetes and all illnesses in my life:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil (This is a highly useful site about the coconut oils’ health benefits)
The sections of the meat that are high in fat should be avoided because they are loaded with saturated fats. This can result in high cholesterol, heart diseases, and inflammation. It has been said a few times on this website that an inflamed body means that we are ill, and, that is undesirable.
Here are my choices for protein:
- Beans (I try to consume a little at least twice per week)
- Chicken without the skin and I choose the breast when it is available
- A little shrimp
- Lean beef
- Pork tenderloin
Diabetics should bear in mind that we have to deal with diabetes and also the related illnesses. Where possible, we must ensure that we do not suffer unnecessarily because we failed to care.
Fruit Juice for Diabetics?
When I am having discussions with people, this is one area where there is a lot of confusion and sadness. We appear to love to drink. The problem is, we are buying juice concentrate and some fruit juices have never “seen” a fruit. But, this alone is not the problem.
Fruit juices, even if it is 100% juice, has a high concentration of fruit sugar and could result in a spike in your blood glucose. Diabetics spend a lot of our time ensuring that we avoid this from happening (spike in blood glucose being too high).
I make my own juice-drink at home by using my NutriBullett to blend a little fruit and some water and lime. The lime helps to lower my spike or to prevent the spike. I also use fewer fruits and add some water and I like to use a vegetable to make up for nutrients and vitamins.
I sometimes use the same method, but more water than fruits and vegetables to make a fruit-flavored water and sip this throughout the day. You are correct again, I do not purchase flavored water. It’s easy and cheaper to do at home and I know what is in my water.
Here is another major problem with juices. They are taking from your allowed portions and calories for the day, but they leave you feeling hungry in a short space of time. So, you drink more. This is not good. My solution, eat more fruits. Drinking more water is also one of the healthiest alternatives.
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Diabetics must be careful about their choice of foods. Controlling or eliminating diabetes is possible if we avoid certain foods and include others as a part of our regular diet. The five foods suggested that we should avoid are, dried fruits, the group containing bread, rice, flour, etc, baked snacks, such as doughnuts, biscuits, etc., fatty sections of meats and fruit juice.
Some healthy alternatives are fresh fruits, lean meat, chicken, turkey, nuts, and olive oil to name a few. Making fruit-drink with a little fruit and more water is an option to fruit juices. The best alternative to drinking fruit juices is, however, drinking more water.
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