Diabetes type 2 is a chronic condition that has reached epidemic status among children and adults globally. When the disease is not controlled, one can suffer many significant consequences, including kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, and more.
Hence, it is good to eat appropriate foods and keep off foods that can result in such conditions. Here are 15 foods that people with type 2 diabetes need to avoid.
15 Foods To Avoid If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
These foods can contribute to a larger waistline and increase your risk factors.
1. Trans Fats
Industrial trans fats are very unhealthy. They are formed by including hydrogen in unsaturated fatty acids to increase their stability. Trans fats are present in peanut butter, creamers, frozen dinners, margarine, and spreads.
Additionally, food manufacturers usually include them in muffins, crackers, and other baked food products to increase their shelf life. Even though trans fats are not linked to increased levels of blood sugars, they are related to insulin resistance, belly fat, and increased inflammation, as well as reduced good cholesterol levels and decreased arterial function.
These effects are mainly for individuals with type 2 diabetes since they face a higher risk of heart conditions. Luckily, trans fats have been made illegal in most countries, including the United States, where they were removed from food products in 2015 under the directive of the FDA.
Until there is a confirmation of complete eradication of trans fats from food products, keep away from foods that are indicated ‘partially hydrogenated.’
Sugary beverages are the worst foods for individuals with type 2 diabetes. They are rich in carbohydrates, whereby 354 ml of a sugary beverage has 38 grams of carbs. A similar amount of sweetened lemonade and iced tea each has 36 grams of carbs, just from sugar.
Moreover, they are full of fructose, which is strongly related to diabetes and insulin resistance. According to research, drinking sugary beverages can boost the risk of conditions related to diabetes, such as fatty liver disease. Moreover, the high level of fructose in these drinks can result in metabolic changes that cause belly fat and potential levels of bad cholesterol and triglyceride.
To prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes type and control blood sugar levels, drink water, unsweetened iced tea, and club soda instead of sugary beverages.
If you have type 2 diabetes, regular soda is a considerable risk to your health. For instance, 12 ounces of cola has 39 grams of sugar. This is excessive since, according to the American Heart Association, adult females should consume 25 grams of sugar while adult males need to consume 36 grams.
4. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt
Plain yogurt can be an ideal option if you have type 2 diabetes. But varieties that have fruity flavor are not. Flavored yogurts are normally made from low-fat or non-fat milk and are rich in sugar and carbs.
A cup of fruit-flavored yogurt can have 47 grams of sugar, which means almost 81 percent of all its calories originate from sugar.
Numerous people deem frozen yogurt as a healthy replacement for ice cream. But it can have the same amount or more sugar than ice cream.
Instead of going for high-sugar yogurts that can increase your insulin and blood sugar levels, choose plain, whole-milk yogurt that has zero sugar and can benefit your gut health, weight control, and appetite.
5. Rice, White Bread, and Pasta
These are processed foods rich in carbohydrates. Consuming white bread and other refined-flour foods can significantly cause a spike in blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
According to research, gluten-free pasta and rice have been shown to increase blood sugar. Another study has revealed that a high-carb bagel reduced brain function and increased blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
These processed meals have slight fiber that can assist in slowing down the absorption of sugar. Hence, replacing white bread with high-fiber brown bread can critically minimize sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
6. Flavored Coffee Drinks
Coffee is related to numerous health benefits, like a minimized risk of type 2 diabetes. But flavored coffee drinks should be seen as liquid desserts instead of healthy beverages.
According to research, the brain processes solid and liquid foods differently. After drinking calories, you cannot compensate by eating fewer calories later. Hence, there is a risk of spikes in blood sugar.
Flavored coffee drinks are also full of carbs. Even light versions of flavored coffee drinks have sufficient carbs to increase your blood sugar levels critically. For instance, 454 ml of Starbucks’ caramel Frappuccino has 67 grams of carbs, while the light version has 30 grams of crabs.
Therefore, to control your levels of blood sugar and avoid gaining weight, pick plain coffee.
7. Sweetened Breakfast Cereals
Consuming cereal is a bad way to begin your day if you have type 2 diabetes. Despite the health claims on the cereal boxes, most cereals are highly processed and have a lot of carbs. Moreover, they offer minimal protein, a nutrient crucial in blood sugar control.
Even healthy options for breakfast cereals are not ideal for you if you have type 2 diabetes. For example, 55 grams of granola cereal has 30 grams of carbs while Grape Nuts has 41 grams. Additionally, each cereal offers only seven grams of protein per serving.
To control your blood sugar levels and hunger, avoid cereal and pick a protein-based breakfast low in carbs.
8. Packaged Snack Foods
Crackers, pretzels, and other packaged foods are not healthy snack options. They are normally made from refined flour and offer few nutrients. Hence, they have fast-digesting starch that can quickly increase blood sugar levels.
9. Dried Fruit
Fruits are excellent sources of numerous essential minerals and vitamins, including potassium and C. When fruits are dried, water is eradicated, resulting in a higher concentration of nutrients. Unluckily, the levels of sugar are also in high concentration. A cup of grapes has 27 grams of carbs and a gram of fiber.
On the contrary, a cup of raisins has 115 grams of carbs and five grams of fiber. Hence raisins have over thrice the number of carbs contained in fresh fruit.
In case you have type 2 diabetes, you need not to give up fruit consumption. You only need to eat low-sugar fruits such as a small apple or fresh berries that can offer health advantages while keeping blood sugar at bay.
10. Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave Nectar
Persons with type 2 diabetes normally attempt to reduce the consumption of white table sugar, pie, cookies, and candy. But other sugar forms can also result in a spike of blood sugar levels. These sugar forms include natural sugars such as agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, as well as brown sugar.
Even though these sweeteners are not highly processed, they have equal amounts of sugar. Some of them even have more sugars than white sugar. While a tablespoon of white sugar has 12.6 grams of carbs, honey has 17 grams, maple syrup has 13 grams, and agave nectar has 16 grams.
According to research, individuals with type 2 diabetes experience spikes in blood sugar, inflammatory markers, and insulin regardless of whether they had 50 grams of honey or white sugar. The best solution is to avoid all sugar forms and utilize natural low-carb sweeteners instead.
Candy is full of processed sugar, which is bad if you have type 2 diabetes. Hence, the more candy you eat, the more you impact your blood sugar. Instead of consuming sugar-filled candy, you can go for sugar-free gum.
Alcohol consumption can result in a drop in blood sugar levels since it interferes with the ability of the liver to produce glucose. Additionally, alcohol does not combine well with particular medications of type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes require following similar alcohol consumption moderation rules set for everyone. They should not have more than two drinks a day for men and one drink for women. They also need to drink on a full stomach.
13. French Fries
According to research, starchy veggies such as corn and potatoes are critical sources of carbs and, therefore, require being consumed sparingly. Hence, when you eat French fries, you face even more significant health risks.
McDonald’s medium fries normally have 44 grams of carbs. They expose you to a risk of spikes in blood sugar. Therefore, it is better to consume oven-roasted vegetables such as peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli.
14. Fruit Juice
Fruit might be healthy, but they are still filled with sugar. In case you have type 2 diabetes, there is no big difference in fruit juice and soda consumption. For instance, 12 ounces of orange juice has 33 grams of sugar.
15. Fatty Meat
If you have type 2 diabetes, it is best to avoid high-fat beef and other meats due to high amounts of saturated fats. These fats increase cholesterol levels and foster inflammation throughout your body. If people with diabetes consume these foods, they will have a higher chance of heart disease. Hence, lean meat such as skinless chicken, lean beef, pork tenderloin, shellfish, fish, and turkey.
Final Thoughts on Avoiding Foods That May Contribute to Type 2 Diabetes
Whether it is candy, French fries, honey, or other foods on this list, be sure to avoid them to safeguard your levels of blood sugar. You will not only prevent blood sugar spikes, but you will also avoid getting diseases that are related to type 2 diabetes like heart disease.
Be sure to consult a nutritionist and your physician so that you can ask for alternatives to some of these foods if they were your favorite.