Do you know the foods that cause wild blood sugar swings, store fat around your belly, and disrupt how your body uses insulin? You know you need to avoid sweets, but you might not realize how much sugar and processed chemicals you’re putting into your body, and causing these issues. In today’s video, we look at the top 10 worst foods for diabetics, that are loaded with hidden sugars and artificial ingredients, that should be avoided.
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As always, this video is educational, and does not constitute medical advice; we are not doctors.
Number 10. Sweetened Coffee and Creamers.
The Harvard School of Public Health released a study that found coffee drinkers have a significantly lowered risk of type 2 diabetes. Great news, right? There was one catch: coffee is super healthy, as long as it’s not loaded with sugar.
Avoid high-calorie lattes, coffee milkshakes, caramel drizzled macchiatos, as well as non-dairy creamers, as these are loaded with artificial sweeteners or corn syrup that are worse than sugar. Instead, drink regular black coffee or tea to boost your metabolism.
Number 9. Processed Meats.
Processed lunch meats are not a good source of protein. Full of fillers, flavoring agents, sodium, preservatives, and toxic chemicals, it’s hard to label them as food at all. Deli meats are also full of hidden salt and sugar, either for flavoring or for longer preservation. Plus, some of these meats are also high in cancerous preservatives like nitrates. Many studies have found that regularly consuming processed meats, increases the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes by 20 to 50%.
Stick to organic meats, seafood, and vegetable proteins that require preparation. If you are in a rush, choose healthy protein like grass-fed jerky, hard boiled eggs, almonds, pistachios and cheese.
Number 8. Frozen Meals.
Flash-frozen fruits and vegetables definitely have benefits when done right. It allows you to enjoy the full nutritional benefits year-round, without worrying about expiration dates or preservatives. Frozen meals, however, are a completely different story.
Microwaving food doesn’t exactly do much to keep food appetizing. To make up for it, manufacturers have to add some pretty unnatural ingredients. The average frozen dinner contains more sodium, fat, and preservatives than one person should consume in a day. Anything with a sauce – even gravy – is bound to be full of glucose-raising carbs.
Number 7. Sugar Sweetened Beverages.
There are few food or drink items that contain as much sugar in as small of a package as soda. It’s basically liquid sugar with an average of around 39 grams in a single 12 oz can. Studies show that drinking two of these sugar bombs a day, doubles your risk of diabetes. Thinking of switching to “diet”? The same study found that drinking diet soda didn’t make a difference in risk levels.
Like soda, sports drinks and flavored water with “vitamins” contain artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives, that lower insulin sensitivity, cause weight gain, and give you sugar cravings! Try making lemon and mint water at home, or switch to green tea!
What about fruit juice? It’s actually almost as bad as soda. Juicing removes the fiber, and your body absorbs the sugar immediately. Commercial fruit juices take it one step further, and actually ADD sugar to make the juice sweeter! While regular consumption of fruit juice increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, eating whole fruit actually lowers it.
Another sugar culprit is low-fat milk. Most people don’t realize that manufacturers pump sugar into milk to make it taste better. Your best option is grass-fed milk or A2 milk.
Number 6. Fried Foods.
Fried foods are bad for you even if you don’t have diabetes. They’re really bad for you if you do. Studies show that trans fats – like the oils used for frying – may actually promote insulin resistance. Regular consumption of trans fatty foods is linked with cardiovascular disease, which also puts you at higher risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Trans fats are a restaurant favorite, due to their low cost and ease of use. You may want to ask your waiter what oil the restaurant uses, and opt for healthier menu options. For a list of different types of trans fats, companies use in processed foods, see our video, “Top 8 foods Causing Leaky Gut & Leaky Brain”.
Number 5. White Bread and Pasta.
Most white breads and pastas have processed out most of the fiber and nutrients from the grain. This removes the majority of the bread’s nutritional value and increases the glycemic index. Try replacing your refined carbs with “100 percent whole grain” or choose gluten-free, complex carbs like brown rice, buckwheat, millet and quinoa.
Number 4. Packaged Foods and Snacks.
Store-bought packaged foods like salad dressings, flavored yoghurt, or snacks like cookies and pretzel chips, usually have high fructose corn syrup added to make the food last longer. The sugar content is so high that your body will store the extra as fat deposits. Also, avoid canned or boxed soups and barbecue sauce, as these contain high amounts of sodium and sugar to make them shelf-stable. Replace with homemade oven-baked chips, salad dressings, Greek yogurt, soup, and add herbs and spices to your food for flavor.
Number 3. Breakfast Cereal and Granola Bars.
Cereals are the typical American go-to breakfast, which is unfortunate because many are bad for you! If you read the nutrition label on the side of your cereal box, you’ll see that they are basically fortified carb-bombs. What about granola bars? The typical granola bar is essentially cereal without milk – one of the only saving graces of cereal with its protein content. Granola bars may be a great option during physical activities when you need an on-the-go snack with quick energy. If that’s not the case, try to avoid these. Stick to high-protein breakfasts such as cage-free eggs, whole-grain bread, whole fruits and Greek yoghurt.
Number 2. Dried Fruit.
Dehydrating fruits shrinks them considerably, so you end up eating more than you need. It also skyrockets the glycemic index, making even more of an impact on your blood sugar. Consider grapes versus raisins. One cup of grapes contains around 100 calories, 27 grams of carbs, and has a glycemic index of 9. One cup of raisins (dried grapes) contains nearly 500 calories, 131 grams of carbs, and has a glycemic index of 75! Always choose whole fruit over dried, and only eat dried fruit in moderation. Treat it like granola bars: only in a pinch, and preferably during physical activity.
Number 1. Alcohol.
Drinking in moderation is usually safe – if you opt for light beers, sugar-free mixers, or a single glass of red wine. However, be aware of the effect that alcohol may have on your glucose levels and medication. Your body uses glucose stores to process the alcohol, resulting in a blood sugar dip for up to 24 hours. As a diabetic you need to watch out for symptoms of hyperglycemia initially, then hypoglycemia over the next day. Medication can make this worse.
Bottom line. Always drink with a meal, and be careful of having more than one at a time. Discuss medication interactions with your doctor before consuming alcohol, and avoid sugary mixers.
There you have it! The top 10 worst foods for diabetics, that should be avoided.
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