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11 Foods Diabetics Should Never Eat

Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions among adults and children worldwide (1).Uncontrolled diabetes has many serious consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and other complications.Prediabetes has also been linked to these conditions (2). Importantly, eating the wrong foods can raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and promote inflammation, which may increase your risk of disease.This article lists 11 foods that people with diabetes or prediabetes should avoid.Carbs, protein and fat are the macronutrients that provide your body with energy. Of thesen three, carbs have the greatest effect on your blood sugar by far.This is because they are broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into your bloodstream.Carbs include starches, sugar and fiber. However, fiber isn’t digested and absorbed by your body in the same way other carbs are, so it doesn’t raise your blood sugar.Subtracting fiber from the total carbs in a food will give you its digestible or “net” carb content.For instance, if a cup of mixed vegetables contains 10 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber, its net carb count is 6 grams.When people with diabetes consume too many carbs at a time, their blood sugar levels can rise to dangerously high levels.Over time, high levels can damage your body’s nerves and blood vessels, which may set the stage for heart disease, kidney disease and other serious health conditions.Maintaining a low carb intake can help prevent blood sugar spikes and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes complications.Therefore, it’s important to avoid the foods listed below. Sugary beverages are the worst drink choice for someone with diabetes.To begin with, they are very high in carbs, with a 12-ounce (354-ml) can of soda providing 38 grams (3).The same amount of sweetened iced tea and lemonade each contain 36 grams of carbs, exclusively from sugar (4, 5).In addition, they’re loaded with fructose, which is strongly linked to insulin resistance and diabetes.Indeed, studies suggest that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of diabetes-related conditions like fatty liver (6, 7, 8).What’s more, the high fructose levels in sugary drinks may lead to metabolic changes that promote belly fat and potentially harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels.In one study of overweight and obese adults, consuming 25% of calories from high-fructose beverages on a weight-maintaining diet led to increased insulin resistance and belly fat, lower metabolic rate and worse heart health markers (9, 10).To help control blood sugar levels and prevent disease risk, consume water, club soda or unsweetened iced tea instead of sugary beverages.Summary: Sodas and sweet drinks are high in carbs, which increase blood sugar. Also, their high fructose content has been linked to insulin resistance and an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver and other diseases.They are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids in order to make them more stable.Trans fats are found in margarines, peanut butter, spreads, creamers and frozen dinners.In addition, food manufacturers often add them to crackers, muffins and other baked goods to help extend shelf life.Although trans fats don’t directly raise blood sugar levels, they’ve been linked to increased inflammation, insulin resistance and belly fat, as well as lower “good” HDL cholesterol levels and impaired arterial function (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16).These effects are especially concerning for people with diabetes, as they are at an increased risk of heart disease.Fortunately, trans fats have been outlawed in most countries, and in 2015 the FDA called for their removal from products in the US market to be completed within three years (17).Until trans fats are no longer in the food supply, avoid any product that contains the words “partially hydrogenated” in its ingredient list.Summary: Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been chemically altered to increase their stability.They have been linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, increased belly fat and heart disease.Eating bread, bagels and other refined-flour foods has been shown to significantly increase blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (18, 19).And this response isn’t exclusive to wheat products. In one study, gluten-free pastas were also shown to raise blood sugar, with rice-based types having the greatest effect (20).Another study found that a meal containing a high-

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