5 Foods To Avoid If You Have High Blood Sugar
Medically Reviewed By: Tom Iarocci, MD
Watching what you eat seems to be a part of almost everything these days. Whether you suffer from acid reflux, celiac disease, or you are struggling to lose weight, making sure that your diet is appropriate can be a key part of your roadmap to better health. People who suffer from diabetes can also benefit greatly from keeping a proper diet. Reaching for certain foods over others and sticking to the recommended portion sizes can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. People with diabetes have a great number of healthy and delicious foods to choose from, but they should also be mindful of those foods that can cause spikes in blood sugar, leading to the elevated blood glucose levels that contribute to complications from diabetes over time.
Your mother may have told you that candies are “empty calories,” and she was generally right. Candy can cause a huge spike in blood sugar levels, as well as contributing to weight gain, both of which can worsen your diabetes. If you want something sweet, but don’t want to heighten your blood sugar levels, try eating a fruit, which has natural sugars that can help satisfy your sweet tooth, but observe the portion size. You should limit your intake of confections to special occasions, and then you need account for your splurge—for instance, by forgoing a carb that you normally would have had with that meal.
Although fresh fruits like apples, cantaloupe, strawberries and peaches are great options for people with diabetes, raisins and other dried fruits require a bit more care. It’s not that you can’t have them at all, but they pack a bigger punch carb-wise. During the dehydration process that raisins go through, the fruits’ natural sugars become extremely concentrated, while the fruits themselves shrink. Just two tablespoons of raisins can give you your 15 grams of carbs; some other dried fruits are even sweeter and contain added sugars, so you have to read the label. If you want fruit, your best bet is to stick to the fresh options that do not cause a huge spike in blood sugar levels.
3.) French Fries (And Other Fried Foods)
French fries are a delicious and satisfying treat, but if you want to keep your blood sugar levels down, and make changes that improve your life with diabetes in other ways, then you should avoid French fries and other fried foods. Fries are made with carb-heavy, starchy ingredients that can cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket. They also contain bad fats, as well as calorie-dense oils that can lead to weight gain, which will only make the diabetes and blood sugar levels worse. Many fast food chains now offer apple slices or baby carrots, both healthier options than fries.
4.) Fruit Juice
Fresh fruit is always a better option than juices made from the fruit. Fruit juices, even ones that claim to be 100% fruit juice, can have a crazy amount of sugar in them, and often the healthy fibrous portion of the fruit is stripped out. Some of these drinks can increase your blood sugar levels as quickly as candy would. If you want fruit, stick with the real thing rather than the beverage inspired by the real thing.
5.) White Bread
Many types of white bread contain highly refined carbohydrates, whereby you get the starch but lose all of the goodness of the fibers from the whole grain. The same generally applies to white rice, and anything made with white flour, like pasta. These carbohydrates act like sugar when the body begins to digest them, setting you up for a quick rise in blood glucose. Go for whole grains, or brown rice instead to keep your blood sugar on a more even trajectory. Read the label, though, since not all “whole grain” products are created equal.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.