Diabetes is a medical condition that stems from the body's inability to adequately control blood sugar levels. Normally, insulin tightly regulates the amount of glucose in the blood, but when a patient with diabetes eats a meal and glucose is absorbed into the blood stream, the lack of proper insulin function allows blood glucose levels to increase beyond normal. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to serious consequences, and patients with diabetes are also at greater risk for developing high cholesterol and other cardiovascular diseases.
Given the nature of the condition and its associated risk factors, the primary goals of diabetes management are to maintain the amount of glucose in the blood at a normal, healthy level and to reduce the risk of other complications. An integral part of achieving this is avoiding of certain types of foods, especially those high in starch, refined sugar, saturated fats and sodium.
The American Diabetes Association notes that the most effective diet will improve blood glucose, reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, and help maintain a proper weight. If you've just been diagnosed, avoiding the foods below is one of the first steps toward taking control of your diabetes.
- Regular soft drinks that contain sugar
- High-starch foods, such as white rice, bread, and pasta
- Canned vegetables with large amounts of sodium
- Fruit canned with corn syrup or fruit juice with added sugar
- Regular ice cream high in both fat and sugar
- Meats high in fat, such as spare ribs and ground beef
- Alcohol, as it can significantly alter the body's response to insulin
- Candy, which can lead to dramatic spikes in blood sugar
- Coffee with high-fat cream and sugar
- French fries, potato chips, and other deep-fried starch products