Living with type 2 diabetes can bring a number of serious health challenges that require significant lifestyle changes, especially in our diet. Therefore, we must pay more attention to the foods and drinks we consume.
That’s because our blood glucose levels reflect the foods and beverages we choose. Failing to maintain proper blood glucose levels for a long time can cause damage to major organs like kidneys, liver, eyes, and heart.
So, the first thing to do is to learn more about the foods we eat and find out which of them can pose problems for our blood glucose levels. Here’s a list of common foods that put our health in danger.
Common Foods That Cause Blood Glucose Levels to Spike
Bread and cereals are one of the worst food groups for our blood sugar levels, but also one of the hardest ones to avoid. Although we don’t have to ditch these foods altogether, we should at least limit their consumption, especially bagels.
Bagels can often provide the same amount of carbs as a few bowls of breakfast cereal or a few slices of bread. So, either avoid them or eat at least only a half of them at a time.
2. Dried Fruit
Trail mix includes a combination of dried fruits, nuts, and sometimes candy, so it’s definitely a bad choice. However, it’s not bad only because it contains candy or chocolate, but also because it includes dried fruit.
The combination of dried apples, pineapple, raisins, cranberries, and apricots can be sweetened with additional sugar, so they are not good for blood glucose levels. What’s more, the water content of these fruits is removed, so we would probably over-indulge before we feel full.
3. Fruit Juice
We should avoid not only sugary soda but also fruit juice. The reason for that is that fruit juice contains large amounts of sugar, even if it’s natural.
And, if we buy it from the store, it’ll probably contain added sugar. Still, we don’t have to cut it out of our diet, but to at least reduce it.
4. Sports Drinks
The fact that the name of this drink includes the word ‘sport’ doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. The truth is, it often contains a substantial amount of sugar which can raise blood glucose levels easily. Consider replacing it with water.
5. Alcoholic Drinks
We shouldn’t drink huge amounts of alcohol because of our unstable blood glucose readings, even if we celebrate. Although that can be tough, especially for social butterflies and partiers, we should remember that drinking only one or two drinks can raise our blood glucose levels significantly.
That’s because many alcoholic beverages contain lots of carbs or sugar. But, in cases when we can’t avoid alcohol, we should at least choose low-sugar options like gin, vodka, club soda, or water.
Coffee is okay as long as we don’t drink it with milk, sugar, cream, or specialty syrups that add a flavor of caramel, vanilla, or hazelnut.
So, avoid buying one in big coffee chains as they tend to overload it with sugar. Instead, order a black coffee and add a small amount of sugar.
Tea is known as one of the healthiest beverages in the world, providing numerous health benefits. For instance, chamomile helps us to relax and fall asleep; black tea gives us a boost of energy; cranberry tea helps alleviate urinary tract infections, and thyme tea helps settle an upset stomach.
However, if we add cream, sugar, or heavy milk, it’s no longer a healthy beverage. It becomes one of the worst beverage choices for our blood glucose levels as the one sold in popular coffee or tea shops. So, we should enjoy our tea plain and if we have to add sugar, we should add a small amount.
White rice can cause blood glucose levels to spike very fast. The reason for that is because it’s a simple carb, just like white bread is, so it’s processed quickly in the body. Instead, try brown rice which doesn’t cause such a dramatic rise in blood glucose levels.
9. Red Meat
Red meat, especially processed meats such as deli meats and bacon can cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels. However, it’s okay if consumed in moderate amounts.
The content of milk includes calcium and protein which helps the development and maintenance of healthy bones and muscles.
However, it also includes sugar, especially chocolate milk. Although it’s not as dangerous for blood glucose as sugary drinks, alcohol, or fruit juice, we should consume it in moderation.
Bananas are one of the sweetest fruits, thus one of the worst choices for our blood glucose levels. Other fruits that contain high levels of natural sugar include cherries, mangoes, and grapes.
Although they shouldn’t be avoided altogether, they should be consumed in moderation.