Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. According to the World Health Organization, in 2010, there were 309,000 deaths related to non-communicable chronic diseases, including diabetes. Approximately a quarter of these deaths were people of working age (younger than 60 years). Moreover, the organization reports that the Philippines is one of the world’s emerging diabetes hotspots. Ranked in the top 15 in the world for diabetes prevalence, Philippines is home to more than 4 million people diagnosed with the disease – and a worryingly large unknown number who are unaware they have diabetes.
In an effort to help you decrease the prevalence or risk of diabetes, and its complications, we have compiled the top 10 worst food for a diabetic.
Candies, syrup, cookies, and soda are high-sugar, and low-quality carbohydrate foods that both lack nutritional value, and worsen and complicate diabetes. These low-quality carbs can make you gain fat which can further complicate your diabetes.
If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, consume high-quality carbohydrates such as fiber-rich fruits instead. Apples, berries, pears, and oranges are delicious and fiber-rich fruits that can help you slow the absorption of glucose. Pair your fruit diet with protein food such as string cheese, nonfat yoghurt, or nuts to further reduce the impact on your blood sugar.
Fruits are healthy, and fiber-rich carbohydrate option for diabetics. However, the same cannot be said about fruit juices. Fruit juices may be healthier than soda, or other sugary drinks, but fruit juices (even the 100 percent fruit juices) are chock full of fruit sugar and can cause sharp spike in your blood sugar. Choose zero-calorie plain or naturally-flavored seltzer and jazz it up with a wedge of lemon or lime.
Raisins and other dried fruits (e.g. dried mango, dried langka, etc.) have very concentrated natural sugar due to the dehydration process they undergo. So, while dried fruits are a better option than cookies for a snack, they can still be very dangerous for a diabetic. So, stick with whole, fresh fruits instead.
Pancakes and Syrup
Pancakes, plus syrup? Oh, that is probably the worst breakfast choice for someone with diabetes!
Most pancakes are jumbo-sized and made with junky white flour. Three large pancakes could be equivalent to eating seven slices of white bread. The toppings, butter, make the matter worse. Butter is loaded with saturated fat that could clog the arteries. A half cup of pancake syrup adds 16 teaspoons of sugar to your breakfast! Instead of pancakes and syrups for breakfast, try low-carb, protein rich egg white omelet stuffed with vegetables.
Everybody loves fries. But if you are diabetic, please hate ‘em. These greasy fried foods can lead to weight gain and complicate your diabetes. French fries, potato chips, and doughnuts are loaded with starch, and carbohydrates that can cause blood glucose level to shoot up. Fried food are typically soaked in oil, and that means extra calories. So avoid fried foods like fried chicken, french fries, and fried appetizers.
High saturated fat diet such as whole milk can worsen insulin resistance. Prefer 1% (lowfat) or skim (nonfat) milk instead. Try your best to avoid other whole milk dairy products like full-fat yoghurt, regular cheese and cream cheese, and choose their reduced-fat counterparts.
Fatty and marbled cuts of eat also carry a hefty amount of saturated fat. Diabetic individuals are also at risk of heart disease, so eating high-fat meats puts them at an even greater risk than an average person. Choose lean protein choices like skinless chicken and turkey, fish and shellfish, or lean pork tenderloin, instead of fatty bacon, hamburgers, bologna, hot dogs, or spare ribs.
Snack Cakes and Pastries
Everyone knows how risky it is to feast on cakes and pastries when you are diabetic. Their dangerous combo of sugar and refined flour spikes blood sugar and promotes inflammation, which interferes with insulin’s ability to function properly. These highly-processed sweets contain trans-fats, too. These toxic fats raise your cholesterol and risk of heart disease, and are by far, the most dangerous of fat types. Check labels, please. Choose packaged products that list zero grams trans-fat and do not include any partially hydrogenated oils (major source of trans fat) on the ingredients panel.
Oh so you thought Pretzels are healthy? Take a close look at the ingredients list. It is also made of white flour (wheat flour stripped of its nutrients and fiber), yeasts, salt, and some vegetable oil or corn syrup. While pretzels are not cooked in oil for it is baked, it contains less calories. But the white flour used in pretzels does not spare you the bad things it can cause your blood sugar. Skip the carbs folks and opt for more balanced and filling snack with protein. Try rice cake with reduced-fat cheese, and a handful of pistachio nuts in the shell, or a nonfat Greek yogurt.