Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce or use insulin the body needs. This causes an excess level of glucose in the blood that, if not controlled, can cause serious complications in the body.
People with diabetes have several ways to keep their blood glucose at an appropriate level, and one important measure is by watching their diet. It is essential to try to avoid foods that raise glucose since they increase the risk of hyperglycemia and damage to the kidneys, the heart, and the retina mainly.
In general, the same dietary guidelines are recommended as for the healthy population, the Mediterranean diet. But it is important in case of obesity to control the level of fat and reduce the sodium intake in case of high blood pressure.
Food doesn’t take for diabetic patient
There are no prohibited foods, but some must be strictly restricted and limited in the diet, as in the case of refined sugars, high-calorie foods and juices, and sugary soft drinks.
Just as there is a huge list of beneficial foods for diabetics, there are also foods that should be eliminated from the diet since they alternate the function of the pancreas, which produces insulin that regulates blood glucose:
- Sugary foods: It is essential for people with diabetes not to consume sugar or foods that contain a lot of sugar since they have a “negative effect on glycemic control,” Reyes explains. Some of these foods are chocolate, candies, jam, honey, ice cream, sugary soft drinks, alcohol, and sweet cookies.
- Foods with sodium: Foods that contain salt or sodium raise the level of blood pressure, causing hypertension and leading to cardiovascular diseases. Bread, pizza, cold cuts, cheese, chips, and butter are high-salt foods for people with diabetes.
- Fatty foods: These increase weight, increase cholesterol, and can lead to heart disease. Some examples are egg yolk, meat with a lot of fat, butter, etc. The fat used must be extra virgin olive oil.
- Refined flours and bread: These foods, upon entering the body, immediately turn into glucose in the blood, so they should be avoided. Rice, white bread, cookies, and pasta contain these elements.
- Dairy: All milk derivatives that are not skim must be eliminated from the diet of diabetics, such as margarine, yogurt, cheese and cream.
- Honey or natural syrups. Although honey is natural, it is a source of glucose and fructose. According to a Journal Nutrition study, honey and natural syrups raise blood glucose very quickly (which is the measure of free glucose concentration in the blood). Above all, they have negative effects on the patient who has diabetes.
- Commercial snacks. These foods contain refined flours or cereals and are very high in sugar and often contain Tran’s fats. A study published for the journal Obesity revealed that the consumption of these fried foods in monkeys reduces insulin sensitivity and increases the risk of suffering from this disease.
- Fruit juices. A study by researchers from the United Kingdom, United States, and Singapore concluded that it is much better to eat whole fruits such as grapes, apples, and blueberries than their juices since they considerably increase blood glucose. Fernanda Alvarado also includes sugary drinks due to their process and the sweeteners they use to prepare them.
- Fried food. Food that is cooked at high temperatures can release toxic substances. A study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, done by American scientists, indicates that these foods’ ingestion causes insulin resistance or diabetes.
- According to an article published on the Mexican Diabetes Federation page by Dr. Stan de Loanch, a specialist in type 1 diabetes mellitus and diabetes educator, coffee contains caffeine and, in turn, reduces the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thus causing the blood glucose level to rise.
Diabetes is a disease that does not require a very strict diet. It is a very healthy plan in which nutritious foods prevail and prohibits less healthy foods. According to the expert, the most recommended foods are unrefined carbohydrates (whole wheat bread), legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Meats should be low in fat and fish should be blue. It is unnecessary to do without bread and eggs, although it is necessary to moderate their consumption. The diet should include extra virgin olive oil and nuts in moderate amounts. In addition to a healthy diet, it is also important to maintain weight as close to normal, do physical exercise regularly, control blood pressure figures, and avoid smoking.