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Food Choices For Diabetics – 10 Foods To Avoid & 5 Beneficial Foods

Diabetes is defined as a chronic condition which is widespread amongst young adults and the elderly people of Pakistan. Treatment for such patients in Pakistan definitely revolves around recommending the correct food choice for diabetics. Dietary modifications are the major factor which one should consider with diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels result in severe consequences within the body. It is because of this reason that dietary changes are indicated in the diabetic treatment plan within Pakistan. Having the wrong choice of foods within your diet can raise your insulin and blood sugar levels leading to adverse effects within the body. 

Have a look at a list of 10 foods diabetics should avoid:

What Foods To Avoid With Diabetes?

  1. Trans Fats

Trans fats are considered bad foods for diabetes patients and those with high blood pressure as they are very unhealthy for your body. These fats are formulated with the addition of hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids. Margarine, certain spreads, frozen food items, peanut butter, crackers, baked foods etc are incorporated with trans fats. These fats enhance the shelf life of such foods. 

Trans fats do not have a direct effect on blood sugar levels. However, it increases insulin resistance and inflammation, along with the belly fat. Trans fats also result in a reduction of HDL cholesterol levels which are healthy for the body and impair the function of arteries. 

Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of heart diseases due to which best diabetic doctors in Pakistan recommend avoiding the use of trans fats in the diet.

  1. Sugary Beverages

For diabetic patients, such beverages are the worst choice in their diet. These beverages are rich in carbs along with fructose leading to insulin resistance. The best doctors within Pakistan state that consumption of such beverages can increase your risk of suffering from the fatty liver which is associated with diabetes. 

The increased levels of fructose within these drinks result in alteration of metabolic processes. It enhances the belly fat and increases the level of triglycerides and cholesterol. The health markers in such patients consuming sugary beverages are worse along with the reduced metabolic rate. Diabetic doctors in Pakistan recommend the increased consumption of water, unsweetened tea, and club sodas. 

  1. White Carbohydrates

Foods rich with carbohydrates like rice, pasta or white bread are a big no for diabetic patients and are one of the major foods that cause diabetes. Eating white carbs enhances the blood sugar levels within diabetic patients. High-carb foods along with increased blood sugar levels result in reduced brain functioning capability.

Carb foods are processed and have a small amount of fiber which makes it difficult for the body to absorb easily. Diabetic doctors in Pakistan and worldwide recommend replacing white carbs with wheat or high-fiber carbs. The high-fiber foods lower the blood sugar levels along with reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

  1. Breakfast Cereals

Sweetened cereals are the worst thing to start your day. Cereals are heavily processed with an increased amount of carbs (sugar) and low proteins. Proteins are essential nutrients for your body that make you feel full and satisfied. 

Cereals are not a good choice for breakfast for diabetic patients. The best diabetic doctors in Pakistan recommend having low-carb foods for breakfast. It is recommended to avoid having cereals so that your blood sugar levels are in control.

  1. Flavoured Drinks

Most of us do like visiting certain coffee shops and ordering a cup of flavored tea or coffee. These flavored drinks increase the number of calories within the body resulting in weight gain. Such drinks are rich in carbs that result in increased blood sugar levels. When ordering drinks like tea or coffee, try being smart and choose plain tea or coffee. It helps you in controlling the blood sugar levels and aids in weight maintenance.

  1. Alternative Sugar Options

Diabetic patients try to avoid sugary foods but instead of taking white sugar they consume other natural sugars. Agave nectar, honey or maple syrup are natural sugars but they still increase your blood sugar levels. Although these sugars are not processed, they still have carbs. Diabetic treatment options in Pakistan state the patients to avoid any forms of sweeteners and make use of low-carb natural sweeteners.

  1. Salty Foods

Foods rich in salt can increase the blood pressure levels of an individual. The intake of sodium on a daily basis should be less than 2300 mg each day.

  1. Alcoholic Drinks

Moderate consumption of alcohol might work well for diabetic patients. However, if patients who are on insulin secretagogue or insulin therapies and consume alcohol are at increased risk of hypoglycemia.

  1. Protein-Rich Foods

Protein is a helpful nutrient that helps in building the body, maintaining it and aids in replacing the tissues. All the muscles, organs and immune system of the body comprise of proteins. Proteins are generally thought of as a good food choice for diabetics, however proteins are broken down by the body into sugars, so be careful while eating proteins as a diabetic patient, as proteins are good – but in moderation. 

Diabetic treatment in Pakistan recommends the patients to avoid foods like beef, lamb or pork which increases your chance of suffering from severe diabetes. 

Protein foods are rich in fats leading to weight gain, increased levels of TG and cholesterol. Avoid processed meals, fried foods, poultry containing skin and others.

  1. Dairy Foods

Dairy foods are rich in nutrients such as proteins, calcium, and vitamins. They are rich in lactose.  Dairy foods are rich in carbs and fat, so it is better to opt for foods which are low-fat. Include dairy foods like fat-free foods, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese and cream in your diet.

Foods Beneficial for Diabetes

Choose home-made foods which are low in carbs as too many carbs can affect insulin function – leading to increased blood glucose levels. 

Here are 5 easy to make at home food choices for diabetics:

  1. Grilled Chicken Wings

This one is a favorite meal for diabetic patients. 

  • Blend the chicken wings in a spicy batter. 
  • Place these wings in the oven and heat them at around 180-200 degrees centigrade for approximately 40-45 minutes. 
  • Grill the sides until they become brown and crispy. 
  • Serve the wings with salsa sauce and some sautéed vegetables. 
  1. Eggs & Vegetables Stirred in Coconut Oil

Enjoy this fantastic meal for breakfast. The eggs and vegetables are rich in proteins, which makes you feel full for the entire day. You can use vegetables like spinach, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, or broccoli. 

  • Add coconut oil to the frying pan and heat up. 
  • Add vegetables to the heat and add 2-3 eggs. 
  • Add spice with some salt and pepper to the eggs and vegetables. 
  • Stir fry them till they are ready.
  1. Bunless Cheeseburgers
  • Add some butter to the frying pan and add your choice of burger patties to it. 
  • Add some spice and flip these patties on each side till they get ready. 
  • Add some cheddar slices with cream cheese on top until the cheese starts to melt. 
  • Serve it with raw spinach and drizzle it with sautéed vegetables. 
  • To enjoy the juiciest burgers, add a bit of salsa sauce on it.
  1. Ground Beef & Bell Peppers

This low-carb meal looks tantalizing, and you can add coconut oil, onions, ground beef, bell pepper, spices, and spinach.  

  • Finely chop the onions and add it to the oil in the frying pan. 
  • Turn up the heat and stir fry the onions till they are golden brown. 
  • Add ground beef with all the spices.  
  • Add remaining vegetables and stir-fry till it is ready to serve.
  1. Meaty Pizza

Add low-carb ingredients to the pizza and enjoy the meal. Choose vegetables like onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, different forms of cheese, and ground beef. 

  • Finely chop down the onions and add turkey bacon on top of it. 
  • Mix the salsa sauce, ground beef, vegetables, spices, and garlic powder to the baking dish. 
  • Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of it.
  • Place it in the heated oven for 35-40 minutes at around 180-200 degrees centigrade until it looks crispy brown.

Best Foods for Diabetes Control

Diabetic doctors in Pakistan recommend to focus on these foods that fight diabetes and control it:

  • Lean proteins
  • Fruits and vegetables including leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, berries, sweet potatoes, and others.
  • Foods which are less sugary like whole grain foods including brown rice, buckwheat, millet, and others.
  • Avoid consumption of trans fats and include fatty fish, beans, walnuts, probiotic yogurt, chia seeds, and others. 

Final Words

Being a diabetic patient does not mean that you can’t have carbs or starch, instead, you should try having smaller meals while counting the intake of your carbs to avoid increased blood sugar levels. Fasting is also a great option for diabetics as going extended periods of time without food helps to control insulin production in your body and decreases insulin resistance.

Try altering your diet with these healthy food choices for diabetics as these changes will definitely help you in controlling blood sugar levels.
Want to know more about diabetes? Check out this article on common diabetes myths.

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