Foods to avoid if you have Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly known as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of time. Symptoms often include frequent urination, increased thirst and increased appetite. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many health complications. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, damage to the nerves, damage to the eyes and cognitive impairment.
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus
Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Gestational diabetes mellitus
Our focus is Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus:
Type 2 diabetes begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses, a lack of insulin may also develop. This form was previously referred to as “non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. The most common cause is a combination of excessive body weight and insufficient exercise.Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes mellitus. Many people with type 2 diabetes have evidence of prediabetes (impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance) before meeting the criteria for type 2 diabetes. The progression of prediabetes to overt type 2 diabetes can be slowed or reversed by lifestyle changes or medications that improve insulin sensitivity or reduce the liver’s glucose production. Type 2 diabetes is primarily due to lifestyle factors and genetics. A number of lifestyle factors are known to be important to the development of type 2 diabetes, including obesity (defined by a body mass index of greater than 30), lack of physical activity, poor diet, stress, and urbanization. Excess body fat is associated with 30% of cases in people of Chinese and Japanese descent, 60–80% of cases in those of European and African descent, and 100% of Pima Indians and Pacific Islanders. Even those who are not obese may have a high waist–hip ratio.
When discussing the types of food to avoid when a person has type 2 diabetes, It’s all about moderation and making careful food choices for overall balanced blood sugar control. A healthy diet for diabetes will also help you manage your weight or lose weight if you’re overweight, which is important, because losing just 10 to 15 pounds may help you prevent and manage high blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association. Research shows that losing some weight can also help improve insulin sensitivity, meaning you’re less resistant and better able to respond to insulin.
To avoid weight gain and keep your blood sugar under control, limit or avoid the following kinds of food.
- Foods that are made primarily of processed sugar, like many desserts, candy, and soda, are considered low-quality carbohydrates. Not only are these foods lacking in nutritional value, they can also cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar. They can also lead to weight problem and also refined carbohydrates increases your blood sugar level. Your body then produces extra insulin to bring your blood sugar down. Insulin is a fat storage hormone, with more circulating insulin in your bloodstream, your body converts the carbohydrates to fat and stores them on your buttocks, thighs, abdomen, and hips. Instead of sweets, reach for delicious fruits like apples, berries, pears, or oranges. These high-quality carbohydrates contain plenty of fiber to help slow down the absorption of glucose, so they’re a far better choice for blood-sugar control. Pair fruit with a high-protein food, such as peanut butter, for even better blood-sugar levels.
- While fiber-rich whole fruits are considered healthy carbohydrates for people with diabetes, fruit juice is another story. People with diabetes should avoid drinking juice, even 100 percent fruit juice. Fruit juice contains more vitamins and minerals than soda and other sugary drinks, but the problem is that juices have concentrated amounts of fruit sugar and therefore cause your blood sugar to spike quickly. Plus, sipping fruit juice doesn’t fill you up the same way that eating a piece of fruit does, because juice doesn’t have the same fiber that’s found in whole fruit. If you want a refreshing drink, go for zero-calorie plain or naturally flavored seltzer with a spritz of lemon or lime. Infusing water with cucumber and mint is very okay too.
- People with type 2 diabetes should limit or avoid high-fat cuts of meat, such as regular ground beef, bologna, hot dogs, sausage, bacon, and ribs, because like full-fat dairy, they’re high in saturated fats. Saturated fats in meat raise cholesterol and promote inflammation throughout the body and can also put people with diabetes at even greater risk for heart disease than the average person, since their risk is already elevated as a result of diabetes. Instead of fatty cuts of meat, choose lean proteins, including “skinless” chicken and turkey, fish and shellfish, pork tenderloin, and lean beef.
- Aside from all the sugar, junky white flour, sodium, and preservatives they contain, packaged snacks and baked goods like chips, pretzels, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, and snack cakes often have unhealthy trans fats. Trans fats increase your “bad” (Low Density Lipoprotien) cholesterol, lower your “good” (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, and raise your risk of heart disease. They’re also even more dangerous than saturated fats, especially for people who have type 2 diabetes, who are already at increased risk of heart disease. In fact, there’s no amount of trans fats that you can safely include in your diet, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. But the good news is that trans fats are now listed right below the amount of saturated fats on food labels, making it easier to steer clear of them. Look for labels that list 0 grams (g) trans fat, but keep in mind that according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), products with less than 0.5 g can claim 0 g, so they may not be trans-fat free. Check the ingredients list as well to make sure the product doesn’t contain any partially hydrogenated oils, a major source of trans fats. Seek out healthy fats in salmon and other fatty fish, as well as in nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive and canola oils.
- You may have a weakness for fried foods like french fries, fried chicken, and potato chips, but satisfying this craving another way will be better for your health in the long run. Fried foods typically soak up tons of oil, which equates to lots of extra calories and many are coated in breading first, jacking up the numbers even more. Overdoing the greasy stuff can pack on the pounds and cause blood-sugar chaos. Not only do these foods initially spike blood sugar, they can leave it high over a long period of time. Fat takes longer to digest, so it keeps blood sugar elevated. To make matters even worse, some foods are deep-fried in hydrogenated oils that are laden with trans fats therefore, you should definitely avoid these foods.
- Diabetes medication is processed through the liver, and so is alcohol. This double whammy can be too much for your liver. If you’re taking insulin, it can cause low blood sugar, especially if you’re drinking and not eating. Avoid sweet wines like prosecco and “foofy” umbrella drinks with lots of sugar.
- People tend to think that “natural” sweeteners like honey are okay, but the body doesn’t distinguish between sugars, it just knows it’s sugar. These natural sugars still cause a spike in blood sugar. The goal is to learn to enjoy food for its natural flavor, and start cutting back on added sugar.