7 Foods Diabetics Should Avoid

Starting your day with breakfast cereals or granola bars is something diabetics should totally avoid, suggests Dr Kriti Soni, head of research and development at Kapiva, an Ayurvedic nutrition brand.

In India, diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases, and what makes it worse is the list of complications that it causes like eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, heart disease, etc.

Diabetes mellitus or Type-2 diabetes is in most cases, a lifestyle disease that is characterised by hyperglycemia (high levels of glucose in the blood) caused by defects in the secretion and action of the hormone insulin. Diabetic patients are treated with medication and insulin.

However, lifestyle modification is recommended in all cases.

A considerable part of this includes altering one’s diet.

With new research emerging every other day, a plethora of information can leave one utterly confused about dietary choices.

While medical research recommends a certain kind of diet based on science, there is also the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda for diabetes which takes a holistic approach when it comes to treating diabetes or madhumeha.

Since diet plays such a huge role in understanding and treating diabetes, it is important that we understand how food is digested in our bodies.

Here’s a list of food items diabetics should steer clear of:

1. Fruit juice

This may be surprising to a few as fruit juice is considered healthy and beneficial.

While they might be high in minerals and vitamins, unfortunately, they are not the best option for those with high blood sugar.

When you make juice, even without sugar or sweeteners, the juice contains concentrated amounts of fruit sugar. This causes sugar levels in the blood to increase.

2. Ready-to-eat breakfast options

Starting your day with breakfast cereals or granola bars is something diabetic patients should totally avoid.

Cereals are highly processed, high in carbs, low in proteins, and have no significant nutritional value.

A breakfast of eggs is far better than one with cereals.

3. Full-fat dairy products

Full-fat cream, milk, yogurt, cheese — all these dairy products should be avoided.

Saturated fats in dairy products can hamper insulin resistance and therefore result in high cholesterol and high blood sugar.

Opt for skimmed or toned milk while avoiding cheese and processed diary products.

4. Flavoured yogurt

Loaded with carbs and sugar, flavoured yogurt should be strictly avoided by diabetic patients. Instead, opt for plain yogurt.

5. French fries

Tasty and easy-to-eat french fries are everyone’s favourite but they are an absolute no-no for diabetic patients.

Potatoes are carb-loaded and when you peel the skin and deep fry them in oil, it becomes even more unhealthy.

They may lead to inflammation that can later cause heart problems as well.

6. Sweets and sweetened beverages

Food items containing processed sugar like most Indian sweets, desserts, and candies are strictly not advisable for diabetic patients.

They can cause a sharp spike in blood sugar levels and add calories without giving any nutritional benefits.

The same is true of canned juices, sodas, and aerated drinks. These drinks are high in fructose and people with high blood sugar must stay away from them.

7. Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar

Yes, many people feel replacing white table sugar with honey is a healthy substitute.

But honey can also cause your blood sugar to spike as can maple syrup or brown sugar.

These are often touted as healthy alternatives for white sugar, but their carbohydrate content is the same, if not higher.

Dr Kriti Soni holds a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from Jamia Hamdard and specialises in development of novel drug delivery systems, topical products, clinical trials and nanotechnology.

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