Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body is unable to use the carbohydrates from food in a proper manner. As a result of this inability, the blood sugar levels of diabetics can go much higher or much lower than normal and either way, it can be very dangerous. The good news is that diabetes is a condition which can be managed largely by lifestyle changes like regular exercise, weight loss and by avoid certain foods. Some of the most common dangerous foods for diabetics are listed below.
Candy – and also things like syrup, sodas and cookies – are considered low-quality, simply carbohydrates. This is because they have little nutritional value but are full of sugar that will, in turn, spike up a diabetic’s blood sugar, sometimes to dangerous levels. If you have a sweet tooth and are diabetic, a much better choice is to satisfying this craving with high-quality carbohydrates such as those offered in fruit.
Fruits are good for diabetics because their high-fiber content slows down the absorption of sugar and keeps blood glucose levels on a more even keel. With fruit juice, however, what you get is the sugar of the fruit without its fiber and the result is that a glass of this can spike up the blood sugar pretty quickly. Healthier drinks for diabetics would include unsweetened iced tea or coffee or sparkling water.
While fresh fruit is a great option for diabetics, dried fruit – like fruit juice – is not. Why? During the dehydration process, the sugars in these fruits become very concentrated and can be easily and quickly absorbed by the body, resulting in a spike in blood sugars. Again, fresh fruit is by far the best choice.
Pancakes with Syrup
Pancakes with syrup is probably the worst breakfast choice that someone with diabetes can make: pancakes are largely made with refined flours and most syrups are not real maple syrup at all, but instead are mainly high fructose corn syrup with some artificial dyes and flavors thrown in. Both the refined flour and the corn syrup will spike the blood sugars quickly. Omelets or other high-protein dishes are a much better choice.
These may be America’s favorite side order, but French fries are also a terrible choice for diabetics because not only are the potatoes themselves high in starch (which also spikes the blood sugar), they are extremely fatty, which can lead to weight gain and the development of heart disease, two issues which diabetics struggle with anyways. Sides like salads or coleslaw are much healthier.
Being compliant with a diabetic diet is not easy, especially when it feels like everyone around you is loading up on simple carbohydrates. However, sticking with the regimen can pay off in big ways and prevent some of the more serious long-term complications that diabetes can bring with it.