If you have diabetes, it is particularly important to pay attention to what kind of foods you eat because they have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. Diabetes expert Sue Cotey from the Cleveland Clinic in the USA explains which foods should be avoided if you have diabetes and which are particularly suitable.
Diet also affects blood sugar levels. Insulin produced by the pancreas plays an important role here by transporting glucose into the cells. However, in diabetes, not enough insulin is produced or the insulin does not work properly, says Cotey.
Avoid processed and high-calorie foods and drinks
The intake of carbohydrates in particular has a major influence on blood sugar levels and their intake should therefore be carefully monitored if you have diabetes, says Cotey. She also recommends avoiding the following foods.
Sweetened drinks such as lemonades and iced teas usually contain high amounts of sugar and calories. At the same time, they have little to no nutritional value.
Therefore, drinks such as water with the addition of berries and fruits, such as lemon or lime water, should be consumed, said the expert in a press release.
Many people consume coffee drinks throughout the day, such as café au lait or cappuccino. If you have diabetes, however, coffee should be drunk either black or with a little sweetener or skimmed milk, advises Cotey. Because milk and sugar increase the calorie and fat content.
Since whole milk contains a lot of calories, sugar and saturated fatty acids, only milk with little fat should be chosen or skim milk should be used straight away, the expert recommends. Almond milk, rice milk and soy milk are suitable alternatives to cow’s milk. This is particularly true if, in addition to diabetes, there is also lactose intolerance.
Because the processed meat in hot dogs is particularly high in saturated fat and sodium, including turkey hot dogs, they are best avoided entirely or at least consumed only occasionally, says Cotey.
According to the expert, if you eat one of the common types of sugary breakfast cereals for breakfast, this is not a healthy way to start the day. Here it is advisable to pay attention to healthy whole grain muesli variants that contain less sugar and more fiber.
Cotey recommends making sure that the cereal contains at least three grams of fiber and less than six grams of sugar per serving.
Sherbet is not a healthier alternative to regular ice cream, despite what some people believe. In reality, sherbet has almost twice as many carbohydrates as ice cream, reports Cotey.
Therefore, when it comes to ice cream and similar products, you should make sure that the product you choose is low in sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fats. Additionally, portion sizes should be considered, as many people consume much more than the recommended amount of ice cream and similar products.
Fried or baked potatoes
Fried or baked potatoes are actually relatively healthy. However, when you add cheese, butter, sour cream, or bacon, the potatoes can quickly become a dish high in sodium and fat. A healthier alternative is to eat potato dishes with lettuce and tomatoes.
Fried foods, such as french fries and fried chicken, are high in fat, which negatively impacts cholesterol levels, heart health and weight, especially if you have diabetes, Cotey reports.
Instead of frying foods, you should bake or grill your meals. In addition, the use of so-called hot air fryers, which use hot air instead of oil, is a healthier alternative to deep frying.
Which foods are particularly suitable for diabetics?
Several foods don’t raise blood sugar levels as quickly because they have a low glycemic index, making them particularly suitable for people with diabetes, explains Cotey. These foods often contain a lot of fiber, vitamins and nutrients, which are generally beneficial for health.
For example, sweet potatoes are a good choice for diabetes. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. To season sweet potatoes, you can add a pinch of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or allspice, reports the expert.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts, so-called cruciferous vegetables, are also good for people with diabetes. These are non-starchy vegetables that are still rich in potassium, folic acid and vitamin C.
According to Cotey, legumes are also good for people with diabetes. For example, chickpeas, kidney beans, lima, navy, pinto, black or white beans provide lots of fiber and protein while keeping you full for a long time.
According to Cotey, nuts are not only a tasty snack, but also particularly healthy for the heart and a good source of fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants. However, it should be noted that nuts can contain a lot of calories.
Finally, Cotey adds that berries are also good foods for diabetes because they contain lots of healthy antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber. (as)