A Simple Guide For Diabetics: What Not To Eat
One rule of thumb often quoted as a starting point for newly diagnosed diabetics, is to simply avoid white foods. No white bread, potatoes, cookies, chips, pasta, anything made from white flour and so on. The exceptions are white fish, cauliflower and chicken. This rule is known to be somewhat correct.
As a diabetic you need to control your blood sugar levels, an important part of this is monitoring the carbohydrates in your diet. The glycemic index of a carbohydrate indicates how quickly the body breaks it down and releases glucose into the blood during the digestive process. Carbohydrates which have a high glycemic index increase the blood sugar levels rapidly, and should therefore be avoided. Conversely, those with a low glycemic index produce a slower release of glucose into the blood, and are a good choice for your diabetes. High GI foods are often cereal based, for example pasta, rice and bread. Potatoes, sweets and manufactured soft drinks can be added to this list of thing you should avoid including in your diet.
People with diabetes are known to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. A diet high in fiber will decrease glucose and cholesterol levels, reducing this risk. Foods which are high in saturated fats and trans-fats should be avoided as these are believed to increase the risk.
Everyone is different in life. This is particularly true for diabetics when it comes to what their bodies can deal with in terms of diet. Some diabetics will see their sugar levels increase sharply when they eat any fruit. Others will find they can tolerate certain fruits, and given the nutritional benefits of eating some fruit daily, it is worth discovering what you can and cannot tolerate using trial and error.
When it comes to drinks, it is important to remember that if you quench your thirst with something other than plain water, you may be driving up your sugar levels, especially if you drink sodas or juices. The effect of drinking alcohol is more complicated. Whilst it does not contain any carbohydrates, the abundance of calories in alcohol means that these may be used to satisfy the body’s energy needs, rather than the glucose from the carbohydrates already in the blood. Tea, coffee and other hot drinks are fine on their own, but any milk added contains lactose which is a sugar. It may be difficult to cut out milk altogether but you can reduce it. Using cream instead of milk in hot drinks is one option because less cream is often required.
A balanced diet which avoids high GI carbohydrates, saturated fats, trans-fats, highly processed foods and sugary drinks should help to put you back in control of your body. Feeling good, keeping your weight down, and guarding against the dangers of heart disease will make the effort you put into your diet worthwhile.
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