5 Diabetic Foods to Avoid

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If a food says it’s “diabetic,” does that mean it’s safe for diabetics to consume indiscriminately? Labels can be misleading, and just because a food is low in sugar or simple carbohydrates doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Here are 5 diabetic foods to avoid — and why.

  1. Ice cream with no added sugar. Ice cream treats that carry the label “no added sugar” are sweetened with so-called alcoholic sugars. While alcohol sugars don’t spike blood sugar as quickly as natural sugars, the number of calories is the same. A small serving of ice cream with no added sugar (1/2 cup) has about 100 calories, 50% more than a piece of bread. But a large bowl, say 2 large scoops, might provide 400 calories, or 20-25% of a full day’s calorie needs. Another disadvantage is that alcohol sugars sometimes cause diarrhea or diarrhea. For the same reason, no candies with added sugars should be avoided, except for the occasional treat.

  2. Sugar free soda. Although sugar-free soda doesn’t raise your blood sugar, other ingredients in it have potentially harmful health effects. Some are high in sodium and therefore can raise blood pressure, which diabetics certainly don’t need. Many colas are high in caffeine, which contributes to insomnia, anxiety, and sometimes palpitations. The acidity can attack tooth enamel and the caramel color can stain teeth similar to coffee. While the occasional sugar-free soda does little harm, especially the decaffeinated, low-sodium varieties, many diabetics consume soda as their primary source of fluids. Water is a better choice or even skim milk.

  3. Certain lunch dishes. To make lean meat more appealing, manufacturers often add large amounts of salt, especially to ham. The sodium has the potential to raise blood pressure, which is counterproductive in diabetics. The blood pressure goal for diabetics is 5-10 points lower than for non-diabetics. For the same reason, diabetics should avoid other foods high in sodium, even if they are low in calories, such as: B. Canned chicken soup. Frozen ready meals are also typically high in sodium unless they are labeled “low in sodium”.

  4. Fat-free pastries. While it’s true that some non-fat baked goods contain slightly fewer calories than regular baked goods, they often contain more sugar. Read the label and check the calorie count before purchasing.

  5. sweet fruits. Certain fruits are as high in calories as soda or Kool-Aid. It’s not like you should avoid them entirely, but portion size is crucial. While a cup of watermelon has roughly the same calories as a cup of orange juice, a large slice of watermelon can have as many calories as a hot fudge sundae. A slice of pineapple won’t hurt you, but eating the whole thing will spike your blood sugar like a Big Mac and fries.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J Koelker, MD

Thanks to Cynthia Koelker

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