There are countless food items that are notoriously for wreaking havoc on the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.
A healthy individual who is not suffering from diabetes might not be familiar with the adverse effects of munching a store-bought brownie or indulging in some pasta. These unhealthy and fattening treats may seem like an indulgence that ruin your weight loss plans, however, eating them will not cause any life-threatening ailments. However, for a diabetic patient, one too many indulgences can lead to extremely hazardous and life-threatening harm.
Every diabetic patient tends to be different from the other, so it is hard to create a one-fits-all solution about what to eat and what to avoid. Each patient has a different tolerance level for carbohydrates and sugars. However, trouble stirs up when the patient consumes so many carbohydrates that it renders the pancreas completely unable to generate insulin, a hormone that is vital for reducing blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrates are a group of macronutrients that also contain sugar, and they are the gravest and greatest health hazard for diabetic patients. On the other hand, picking out healthy alternatives that provide healthy fats, fiber and protein can aid patients in reversing the damages done by the excessive carb consumption.
Hyperglycemia, too high blood sugar levels, and hypoglycemia, too low blood sugar levels, are both considered hazardous, and they tend to trigger symptoms such as stomach ache, dizziness, nausea, state of confusion, rapid heartbeats, vomiting and fatigue. These symptoms tend to be painful and can send an individual straight to the emergency. In certain cases, hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can even lead to sudden death of unconsciousness.
The key is to carve out a harmonious and mindful balance. You don’t have to completely eliminate any given food from your diet. Just keep in mind that some food items tend to make the symptoms of diabetes much easier and simpler to manage. A nutritionist or dietitian can help you create a diet that involves all your favorite meals and foods, along with promoting healthy blood sugar levels.
We’ve listed down all the food items that are notorious for being hazardous and threatening for diabetic patients.
Here, take a look:
There is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that links the consumption of sodas and sugary beverages with worsened diabetic symptoms, while some researches even reveal that consuming diet soda can lead to obesity and other health ailments. Experts strongly urge diabetic patients to steer well clear of sugary sodas and artificially sweetened beverages as they tend to increase blood sugar levels and cause unrest.
One 12-ounce serving of Coca Cola packs up 39 grams of sugar, and according to heart and diabetic experts, an adult man should not consume more than 36 grams of sugar, while an adult woman must limit herself at 25 grams a day.
Chugging down a large serving of soda is the simplest and quickest way of overloading your body on sugar and give your blood sugar levels a horrible increase. This is primarily because liquids are much easier and quicker to consume as compared to foods. Even bottled teas, fortified milk drinks and sports drinks pack up high doses of sugar that must be avoided.
2. Fruit Juice
Fruit juices are considered to be a healthier and safer option, but the truth is that these bottled varieties pack up nothing but sugar. These are extremely dangerous for diabetic patients as consuming them is practically like consuming sugar in the form of a fruity beverage, which is just as unhealthy as consuming a soda.
Research reveals that a 12-ounce serving of two wide consuming packaged oranges juices, Florida’s Natural and Tropicana, pack up 33 grams of sugar. On the other hand, if you consume a freshly squeezed glass or orange juice it will be completely devoid of sugar and rich in vitamin C.
3. Donuts and Bagels
Majority of the diabetic patients believe that sugar is the greatest enemy of their blood sugar levels, but it is actually more about their carbohydrate consumption. While looking for the sugar quantities on the ingredient labels, be sure to check out the total carbohydrate quantity as well as carbs have a profound influence on blood sugar levels.
Donuts and bagels are packed with highly processed and refined grains, which are two powerful carbs that bring about dangerous blood sugar spikes. Research reveals that one plain old fashion donut from Dunkin Donuts packs up a whopping 28 grams of carbs, which is nearly the same amount present in one 8.5-ounce serving of Coca Cola.
Other varieties of donuts pack up even scarier amounts of carbohydrates. For instance, the maple vanilla crème donut contains 43 grams of carbohydrates while a plain bagel from Einstein Bros. packs up 56 grams of deadly carbs.
4. French Fries
If you’re addicted to French fries, keep in mind that starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes, pack up incredibly high densities of carbohydrates. Therefore, it is best to avoid them, or eat them in mindfully small quantities.
When you use starchy potatoes to create French fries, its health hazards are multiplied as the carbohydrate content goes drastically high. For instance, a medium-sized serving of French fries from McDonald’s packs up 44 grams of carbohydrates, while the same serving from Wendy’s provides a deadly dose of 56 grams carbs.
If you enjoy devouring the taste of potatoes, make a safer choice with a medium-sized baked potato without peeling off the skin. Instead of potatoes, try out healthier alternatives, such as over roasted cauliflower, mixed peppers, broccoli, kale fries or even zucchini fries. Increasing your vegetable consumption will aid in reducing the risk factors of blood sugar spikes.
5. Store-Bought Brownies & Cakes
Store-bought sugary treats such as brownies, cookies, cakes and pies are popularly and wide consumed by us all. These dessert items are packed up refined grains and generous quantities of sugar, which naturally increases their carbohydrate content as well. For instance, the Marie Callender chocolate satin pie is a popular desert but most people don’t know that consuming only one-sixth of the decadent pie will fill up your body with a whopping 48 grams of carbs and 34 grams of sugar.
6. Deep Fried Foods
Research reveals that frying any given kind of food brings about an instant change in its nutrient density and composition. A team of researchers handed out a questionnaire to over 70,000 women, inquiring about the foods they consumed.
The researchers revealed that the frequent consumption of fried foods was directly linked with a significant increase in the risk factors of type 2 diabetes, and a mild risk of developing the coronary artery disease. The results highlighted that fried foods were particularly dangerous when devoured at a restaurant.
This was primarily because of the large portion sizes, the quantity and type of oil they were fried in, and the indulgence of sugary beverages to wash down these greasy foods. All these factors also contributed to the risk factors of obesity and weight gain.
The researchers then adjusted their findings for the consumption of sugary beverages, and the results still revealed a strong association between the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and the consumption of fried foods. Researchers believe that it all depends on the cooking method, however, it is evident that even though frying can make any food item savory and scrumptious, along with altering its nutrient quality and increase it calorie density.
7. Flavored ‘Fruity’ Yogurts
Plain or Greek yogurt is one of the healthiest snacks for diabetic patients as it promotes satiety and aids in normalizing blood sugar levels. However, fruity and flavored yogurts don’t provide these benefits because they pack up an alarming dose of added sugars and artificial sugars. Most popular fruity yogurt varieties pack up more than 40-47 grams of sugar per serving.
Instead of these sugary varieties, pick out Icelandic or Greek yogurt as they pack up a low density of carb and are rich in protein. You can always give your yogurt a fruity punch of natural sweetness by adding up fiber-rich foods, such as berries and nuts, which will reduce the risk factors of blood sugar spikes.
8. Breakfast Cereals
Breakfast cereals are an unhealthy food item for diabetic patients because they tend to be extremely low in fiber and protein, while they pack up a rich density of added sugars and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates that are present in these breakfast cereals come from refined grains, which are notorious for causing horrible blood sugar spikes. Research reveals that only a quarter cup serving of Lucky Charms provides the body 22 grams of carbs and 10 grams of sugar.
However, not all cereals are bad for diabetic patients. If you simply cannot start your day with a bowl of cereal, then pick out a healthy fortified breakfast cereal made with whole grains, and be sure to limit yourself to mindfully controlled portions.
If you want to power your breakfast with the energizing goodness of fiber and protein, pair up a serving of Greek or Icelandic yogurt with a high-fiber cereal. It will reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes, along with keeping you satiated and full for longer hours. Just be sure to pick out a cereal that contains no more than 8 grams of sugar, and at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.
9. Specialty Coffee Beverages
A cup of coffee, when freshly brewed at home, is actually healthy and packs up a rich punch of caffeine. However, all those sugar-packed caffeinated drinks and coffees that are served at popular coffee chains contain nothing but sugars and blood sugar-spiking carbs.
The famous peppermint mocha from Starbucks that we all adore contains an alarming dose of 63 grams of carbohydrates and 54 grams of sugar. If you’re thinking a low-fat coffee with skimmed milk is a healthier option, think again. Research reveals that the skim milk caramel swirl latte from Dunkin Donuts packs up a whopping dose of 55 grams of carbs derived from added sugar.
10. Natural Sweeteners
Most diabetic patients who are trying to avoid and reduce their alarming blood sugar spikes try to reduce or completely eliminate their consumption of regular sugar. They pick out supposedly healthier alternatives, such as maple syrup, honey or agave nectar. It is essential to identify that these alternatives also contain carbohydrates, and certain varieties pack up a higher quantity of carbs than sugar.
For instance, 1 tsp. of sugar provides 4 grams of carb, while 1 tsp. of honey packs up around 6 grams of carbs while the same quantity of agave nectar will provide you nearly 5 grams of carbs. Even though most natural sweetener varieties tend to be less processed as compared to white sugar, they still tend to exhibit the same spiking effect on blood sugar levels.
When you’re adding natural sweeteners to your meals or dessert, be sure to consider their carbohydrate density, and plan your portion sizes according. Experts strongly recommend the consumption of a sugar-free alternative, such as Stevia, to reduce the negative effects on blood sugar levels.
Candy is a pretty obvious diabetic nemesis and even if you are picking out sugar-free gum, keep in mind that gums and candies pack up a hefty dose of concentrated sugar. Consuming sugar in concentrated form causes horrible blood sugar spikes and worsens the symptoms of diabetes. Instead of store-bought candies, pick out natural sugar-alternatives, such as berries, Greek yogurt or dark chocolate.
Carbohydrates are extremely dangerous for diabetic patients, and breads that are heavily processed and made with white refined grains pack up large quantities of these deadly carbs. Be sure to avoid processed breads whether you’re eating at home or dining out.
Experts widely recommend whole grain breads as a much safer and healthier alternative. They take more time to digest, and don’t cause sudden blood sugar spikes. Just be sure to pick out whole grain or sprouted breads, and examine the ingredients list to check if whole grain is the first ingredient mentioned on the list.
13. White Refined Grains
White refined grains, such as pasta, white rice and others, pack up an incredibly high density of waist-thickening carbs. Moreover, they tend to be extremely low in protein and fiber. This is primarily why they manage to bring about abnormally high blood sugar spikes. It is important to pick out foods that provide a combination of fiber and protein because protein reduces the risk of blood sugar spikes, while fiber slows down the combustion of carbs into sugar.
Instead of white refined grains, pick out fiber-rich alternatives, such as pasta made with lentils, grains or beans, whole-grain fiber-packed breads and brown rice. If you simply cannot live without enjoying a scrumptious plate of white rice or pasta, be sure to pick out mindful and small portions, and accompany them with a high-fiber side dish along with food items that contain lean protein. For instance, you can prepare pasta with salmon, mixed vegetables, or mushrooms.
Consuming alcohol brings about abnormally low reductions in blood pressure levels, this condition has been termed as hypoglycemia, and it occurs because alcohol messes up with the liver’s responsibility of developing glucose. Moreover, alcohol consumption causes interferences with some medications prescribed to diabetic patients.
Experts believe that it is essential to check your blood sugar levels before you consume alcohol, and it is strongly recommended to avoid consuming alcohol with an empty stomach, which naturally brings about a reduction in blood sugar levels. It is important to keep in mind that the more alcohol you consume, the greater your risk for having extremely low blood sugar levels.
Diabetic patients are strongly advised to practice moderation and mindfulness while consuming alcohol. Men should take no more than two drinks a day, while women must limit themselves at one. However, it is important to take into account individual differences, so be sure to consult your doctor regarding your body’s limits and alcohol consumption.
15. Dried fruit
Dried and whole fruits are packed with powerhouses of nutrition and they are an essential part of our daily diet, however, a diabetic patient must exercise caution and restraint while devouring these natural treats. Fruits boost a remarkable density of nutrients and vitamins, but they also pack up a rich concentration of carbohydrates, which trigger an increase in blood sugar levels.
If you’re extremely fond of fruits, be sure to pick out fruits that bring about lesser increases in blood sugar levels, such as berries as opposed to melon, mangoes or grapes. As far as dried fruit is concerned, the risk tends to multiply because they pack up highly concentrated quantities of carbohydrates and sugar. Thus, diabetic patients must focus on limiting their portion sizes. It is advisable to consume no more than a tiny handful of raisins, almonds or walnuts because they pack just as many carbohydrates and sugar as an entire bowl of grapes.