Among them, carbs have the greatest effect on your blood sugar by far. This is because theyre broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into your bloodstream.
However, fiber isnt digested and instead absorbed by your body in the same way other carbs are, so it doesnt raise your blood sugar. Maintaining a low carb intake can help prevent blood sugar spikes and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
Indeed, studies suggest that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of diabetes-related conditions like fatty liver disease ( 6 , 7 , 8 ). In separate studies in adults with overweight and obesity, 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.
Also, their high fructose content has been linked to insulin resistance and an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver, and other diseases. Trans fats are found in margarines, peanut butter, spreads, creamers, and frozen dinners. Furthermore, food manufacturers often add them to crackers, muffins, and other baked goods to help extend a products shelf life.
Although trans fats dont directly raise blood sugar levels, theyve been linked to increased inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat, as well as lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and impaired arterial function ( 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 ). While more research is needed to gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between trans fats and insulin resistance, the links mentioned above are especially concerning for people with diabetes, as theyre at an increased risk of heart disease. This doesnt mean that all foods in the United States are now free of artificial trans fats.
Theyve been linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, increased belly fat, and heart disease. Another study found that high carb foods not only raised blood sugar but also decreased brain function in people with type 2 diabetes and mental deficits ( 22 ). Summary White bread, pasta, and rice are high in carbs yet low in fiber.
Flavored yogurts are typically made from nonfat or low fat milk and loaded with carbs and sugar. Despite the health claims on their boxes, most cereals are highly processed and contain far more carbs than many people realize. In addition, they provide very little protein , a nutrient that can help you feel full and satisfied while keeping your blood sugar levels stable during the day ( 29 ).
To keep blood sugar and hunger under control, skip most cereals and choose a protein-based low carb breakfast instead. A high protein, low carb breakfast is the best option for diabetes and appetite control. Studies have shown your brain doesnt process liquid and solid foods similarly.
When you drink calories, you dont compensate by eating less later, potentially leading to weight gain ( 33 , 34 ). Summary Flavored coffee drinks are very high in liquid carbs, which can raise blood sugar levels and fail to satisfy your hunger. People with diabetes often try to minimize their intake of white table sugar, as well as treats like candy, cookies, and pie.
When fruit is dried , the process results in a loss of water that leads to even higher concentrations of these nutrients. Theyre typically made with refined flour and provide few nutrients, although they have plenty of fast-digesting carbs that can rapidly raise blood sugar. One study found that snack foods provide 7.7% more carbs, on average, than the label states ( 47 ).
If you get hungry in between meals , its better to eat nuts or a few low carb vegetables with an ounce of cheese. Summary Packaged snacks are typically highly processed foods made from refined flour, which can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Although fruit juice is often considered a healthy beverage, its effects on blood sugar are similar to those of sodas and other sugary drinks.
A much better alternative is to enjoy water with a wedge of lemon, which provides less than 1 gram of carbs and is virtually calorie-free (). Their high fructose content can worsen insulin resistance, promote weight gain, and increase the risk of heart disease. However, once theyve been peeled and fried in vegetable oil, potatoes may do more than spike your blood sugar.
Deep-frying foods has been shown to produce high amounts of toxic compounds, such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and aldehydes. Your main goals should include staying away from unhealthy fats, liquid sugars, processed grains, and other foods that contain refined carbs.
What is the main cause of diabetes?
Although not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and an inactive lifestyle are two of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes. These things are responsible for about 90% to 95% of diabetes cases in the United States.
Which fruits can cause diabetes?
Dried fruit, fruit juice, and certain tropical fruits, like mangoes, tend to contain more sugar. It may be a good idea to limit portions or eat these foods less often. Some canned fruit has added sugar or is packaged in syrup.
Nothing is completely off-limits. Even items that you might think of as the worst” could be occasional treats — in tiny amounts. But they wont help you nutrition-wise, and its easiest to manage your diabetes if you mainly stick to the best options.
Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or amaranth Baked sweet potato Items made with whole grains and no (or very little) added sugar Youll get fiber and very little fat or salt (unless you add them).
Remember, potatoes and corn count as carbs. Fresh veggies, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed Greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula. Iceberg lettuce is not as great because its low in nutrients.
Low sodium or unsalted canned vegetables Go for a variety of colors: dark greens, red or orange (think of carrots or red peppers), whites (onions) and even purple (eggplants). The 2015 U.S. guidelines recommend 2.5 cups of veggies per day.
Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium Veggies cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce Pickles, if you need to limit sodium. They give you carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You have lots of choices, including beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey, seafood, beans, cheese, eggs, nuts, and tofu.
The American Diabetes Association lists these as the top options: Plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu Fish and seafood Chicken and other poultry (Choose the breast meat if possible.) Try to include some plant-based protein from beans, nuts, or tofu, even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan.
Youll get nutrients and fiber that arent in animal products. Fried meats Higher-fat cuts of meat, such as ribs Pork bacon Regular cheeses Poultry with skin Deep-fried fish Deep-fried tofu Beans prepared with lard 1% or skim milk Low-fat yogurt Low-fat cottage cheese Low-fat or nonfat sour cream
But its easy to get too much and gain weight, which makes it harder to manage your diabetes. Natural sources of vegetable fats, such as nuts, seeds, or avocados (high in calories, so keep portions small) Foods that give you omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel Plant-based oils, such as canola, grapeseed, or olive oils Check the ingredient list for anything thats partially hydrogenated, even if the label says it has 0 grams of trans fat.
Ask your doctor what your limit should be, especially if you have heart disease as well as diabetes. When you down a favorite drink, you may get more calories, sugar, salt, or fat than you bargained for. Unflavored water or flavored sparkling water Unsweetened tea with or without a slice of lemon Light beer, small amounts of wine, or non-fruity mixed drinks Coffee, black or with added low-fat milk and sugar substitute
Chances are you have a family member, close friend, or colleague who has diabetes. (That person might even be you.) This chronic and serious health condition affects about one in ten people, and that number rises with agehalf of all adults in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes, reports the American Diabetes Association.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests waist measurement can be as equally important as body mass index (BMI)a ratio of weight and heightwhen it comes to predicting a persons disease risk, especially in type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, all those simple carbsin things like French fries, chips, sugar-sweetened beverages, pasta, and bread made from white flour lead to a fast rise in blood sugar.
They have little or no nutritional value. And since sugar calories do little to satisfy hunger, its easy to devour large amounts and start putting on extra pounds. We all know that chocolate-covered donuts, three scoops of ice cream drowned in caramel sauce, and a thick slab of strawberry shortcake are sugar bombs. Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, recommends becoming a savvy sugar sleuth.
From brown rice to black beans, whole-grain cereal, fruits, vegetables, and popcorn, fiber is a powerful ally in the fight against type 2 diabetes. Fiber-rich foods are digested more slowly, says Licalzi, so your blood sugar doesnt spike and you stay fuller longer. A 2019 review in The Lancet that included nearly 250 studies found that people who ate the highest amount of fiber had a 16% to 24% lower risk of dying from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer, compared with people who ate very little fiber. A 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who followed a predominantly plant-based diet with a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes , and those that eliminated less healthy foods such as white flour and sugar saw the greatest benefit.
Just ask Zaira Ortega, MD, a family medicine physician in East Los Angeles, a community where type 2 diabetes is a pressing health concern.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body doesnt make or use the hormone insulin properly. It causes too much blood glucose (sugar) to build up in the blood. There are 2 main types of diabetes.
The good news is that, if you have prediabetes, you can prevent or delay the onset of full-blown type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes. This includes darkening skin around the neck or in the armpits, high blood pressure , cholesterol problems, yeast infections, and skipped or absent periods in teen girls and women.
If blood sugars are extremely high, people can develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). When this happens, symptoms may include shortness of breath , pain in the abdomen, vomiting, dehydration, and even coma and death. A healthy, low-fat diet and regular exercise can help you lose weight gradually and keep it off.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women after the 24 th week of pregnancy. The AAFP believes there is not enough evidence to determine the benefit and harm of screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women before the 24th week of pregnancy. This is a condition that occurs when an imbalance of hormone levels in a womans body causes cysts to form on the ovaries.
After examining you, discussing your symptoms, and going over your health history, your doctor may test for diabetes if he or she suspects youre at risk. This test provides information about a persons average levels of blood glucose over the previous 3 months. The AAFP recommends screening adults for type 2 diabetes as part of a heart risk assessment for people between the ages of 40 and 70 years who are overweight or obese.
Doctors are encouraged to offer or refer patients with abnormal blood glucose levels to behavioral counseling to promote a healthy diet and physical activity. A poor diet can lead to obesity (another risk factor for diabetes) and other health problems. A healthy diet is high in fiber and low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar.
You can do this by eating right, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and, if needed, taking oral medicines or insulin. However, you may experience common symptoms such as frequent urination, extreme thirst, blurry vision, and feeling tired. This includes not taking your insulin correctly, overeating at a meal, illness, having hormonal changes, and stress.
This can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and damage to the nerves and kidneys. Some people who have nephropathy will eventually need dialysis (a machine treatment that eliminates waste from the blood) or a kidney transplant. The risk for nephropathy is increased if you have both diabetes and high blood pressure, so its important to control both of these conditions.
The risk is even greater for people who have diabetes and smoke, have high blood pressure, have a family history of heart disease, or are overweight. Keeping blood sugar levels very close to the ideal can minimize, delay, and in some cases even prevent the problems that diabetes can cause.
Your body needs carbs. But you want to choose wisely. Use this list as a guide.
Fats, Oils, and Sweets
You have lots of choices, including beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey, seafood, beans, cheese, eggs, nuts, and tofu.
The American Diabetes Association lists these as the top options:If you eat meat, keep it low in fat. Trim the skin off of poultry.Try to include some plant-based protein from beans, nuts, or tofu, even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan. You’ll get nutrients and fiber that aren’t in animal products.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body doesn’t make or use the hormone insulin properly. It causes too much blood glucose (sugar) to build up in the blood. There are 2 main types of diabetes.Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce any insulin. It’s sometimes called juvenile diabetes because it’s usually discovered in children and teenagers, but it may appear in adults, too.Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use the insulin as it should. In the past, doctors thought only adults were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, an increasing number of children in the United States are now being diagnosed with the disease. Doctors think this increase is mostly because more children are overweight or obese and are less physically active.Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough to officially be diagnosed as diabetes. Pre-diabetes greatly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that, if you have prediabetes, you can prevent or delay the onset of full-blown type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes. These include eating a healthy diet, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.
How is diabetes diagnosed?
Symptoms vary from person to person. The early stages of diabetes have very few symptoms. You may not know you have the disease. But damage may already be happening to your eyes, your kidneys, and your cardiovascular system. Common symptoms include:People who have type 2 diabetes also may show signs of insulin resistance. This includes darkening skin around the neck or in the armpits, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, yeast infections, and skipped or absent periods in teen girls and women.If blood sugars are extremely high, people can develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is a very dangerous complication of uncontrolled diabetes. People with DKA might have:If diabetes is left untreated, your blood sugar levels become too high. When this happens, symptoms may include shortness of breath, pain in the abdomen, vomiting, dehydration, and even coma and death.
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for diabetes. Although you may not be able to change all of them, you can make changes to significantly lower your risk.