Diabetes is a serious health condition that occurs when blood sugar levels or the amount of glucose becomes higher than the average level. Diabetes can affect anyone at any time. Over time, it can also cause many health problems such as nerve, kidney, heart, and eye diseases. Even though diabetes is serious, it can be managed with the right kind of diet and lifestyle changes. Read on to find out about the foods and drinks to avoid with diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes
The hormone insulin helps the glucose from your food to get into the body cells. Have you ever wondered about what will happen if your body fails to produce enough insulin or none at all? This causes diabetes.
There are several types of diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body’s immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas. This means that your body no longer produces insulin. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not use insulin the right way.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Some of the common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes include:
- Weight loss
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Wounds that heal slowly
- Frequent infections
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Presence of ketones in the urine
- Blurred vision
- Frequent urination
Foods and Drinks to Avoid With Diabetes
Given below are a list of foods and drinks that are most likely to get diabetic patients into trouble. Keep reading!
1. Refined grains
Refined grains add calories to your diet without providing any nutritional value. They are easily digestible and have a high glycemic index. White bread, white rice, sugary cereals, pasta, etc. belong to the category of refined grains. They increase blood glucose higher and faster, resulting in diabetes. Also, eating foods that have high glycemic index is also linked to overeating.
Natural sweeteners such as honey contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar. Even though honey is slightly more dense in minerals than white sugar, which makes it a better alternative for those focusing on fitness goals, but still honey is not recommended for diabetics.
Drinking soda contributes to the risk of diabetes as well as issues controlling blood sugar level in diabetic patients. Your body digests the sugars from soda quickly and causes rapid spikes in blood sugar. Try replacing sodas with more healthful options like green tea or coconut water.
4. Dried fruits
Fruits, in general, are rich in many vital vitamins and minerals that are necessary for your body. But, when the fruits are dried, they lose water, thereby increasing the concentrations of these essential nutrients. Dried fruits are the worst fruits for diabetes. Even though they are a great snacking option when compared to junk foods and cookies, dried fruits will still send your blood sugar soaring. Try to avoid dried fruits and instead go for fruits low in sugar for blood sugar levels.
5. Sugar-sweetened drinks
Sugar-sweetened drinks are high in carbs and therefore increase blood sugar. It’s high fructose content has been linked to insulin resistance as well as an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver, and many other diseases. It may also cause metabolic changes that lead to excess belly fat and potentially harmful cholesterol. Therefore, if you have diabetes, avoid taking sugar-sweetened drinks.
6. Breakfast cereals
Even though cereals are one among the best breakfast foods for a healthy digestive system, they might not be right for you if you are a diabetic patient. While buying, look for the ingredients in the packet. Don’t go for the ones that contain refined grains or added sugar.
7. Fruit juices
While it is more nutritious than all the other drinks, fruit juices contain concentrated fruit sugar that may increase your blood sugar levels. So, avoid fruit juices if you have diabetes.
If you have any concerns or queries about the foods and drinks to avoid with diabetes, talk to a doctor. Given below are a list of foods that lower blood sugar instantly:
- Chia Seeds.
- Wild Fish.
Lifestyle Changes to Control Diabetes
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Go for a morning walk, ride a bicycle, or do any activity that makes you physically active. This helps you control your diabetes by bringing down the blood sugar levels. It also reduces the risk of getting heart disease. Also, it is one of the best ways for getting rid of belly fat.
2. Eat healthy foods
Focus on healthy eating because what you eat affects your blood sugar levels. Go for foods that lower blood sugar levels instantly. Add whole grains, leafy vegetables, lean meats, and eggs in your diet to control diabetes. These are some of the foods that will instantly boost your metabolism. Make sure to limit foods that are high in both sugar and fat.
Practice yoga regularly to manage high blood pressure. It also reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels. Certain yoga poses stretch the pancreas and stimulates the production of insulin, producing beta cells. It can also reduce weight which is an essential factor for diabetes management.
4. Manage stress
Stress increases your blood sugar levels. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, thereby increasing your heart rate. As a result, your body sends glucose from the liver into the blood, thereby ensuring the immediate availability of energy. This further results in higher blood sugar levels. If you find it challenging to manage stress, talk to a doctor. You can also consult a doctor online.
5. Reduce alcohol consumption
If you are a diabetic patient, alcohol consumption may cause your blood sugar to either rise or fall. Alcohol is filled with calories. So, if you really want to drink it, do it occasionally. Make sure that you drink alcohol when your diabetes and blood sugar level is in a well-controlled state.
6. Quit smoking
Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease, eye disease, stroke, kidney disease, blood vessel disease, nerve damage, and foot problems. When you smoke, the chances of getting these problems is even higher. The nicotine in tobacco makes it harder for your body cells to respond to insulin, thereby increasing the blood sugar levels. So, if you care for your health, it is very important to quit this unhealthy habit.
Managing blood sugar is a matter of eating the right foods and following a healthy lifestyle. If you have diabetes, visit a doctor every 4 to 6 months and check your blood sugar levels.