Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes
Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes
In Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes, a general explanation of why you should avoid certain foods is appropriate. There are are many factors, and combinations of them that influence our digestive system. I learned early on that foods can have varying effects for different people based on these factors. Of course, I want to address those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in this article. I once heard “you should go on a diabetic diet to lose weight”. Looks like someone has confidence in the diabetic diet. In this article I classify foods to avoid for type 2 diabetics into two levels, bad and real bad.
- Bad foods you should avoid, but could have some redeeming nutritional value.
- Real bad means you should not eat these foods at all.
Caveat: Any references to portion size is for an adult of roughly average height. If you are much shorter or taller, portion suggestions should be adjusted accordingly.
So onto the meat of the article, Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes, starting with meat; pun intended.
Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes – Meats
Americans are known for large portions, which usually causes obesity, a leading cause for adult diabetes. Other meat choices fair better than red meat, but not in the supersized portions. I don’t include very lean wild game like venison, elk, antelope, moose, kudu, and more.
- Beef – Bad. Doctors and dietitians say you should limit your intake of red meat. Once or twice a week, or a number of ounces per week, usually around 16 or 18 ounces. Beef is high in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins which everyone needs, so it has some redeeming nutritional value. When you eat beef, stick to the leanest cuts like beef loin or round steak, and trim any visible fat before consumption. Limit your ground beef to 93% lean or leaner, the leaner the better. Red meat also includes veal, mutton, lamb chops, goat, and sometimes pork and horse.
- Processed meats – Real Bad. Included in this list is all deli meats of all kinds, hot dogs, beef sausages, bratwurst, spam and more. A simple way is to just not eat meets that you did not fix yourself. There are just too many chemicals used in processing and preserving for it to be good for you.
Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes – Breads and Grains
In my Best Way to Cure Diabetes article, I talked about reading nutrition labels. Unless you are planning to make your own baked goods with only whole grans, the nutrition label is of key importance. In the case of breads, the ingredient list is more important. Even the “Whole Wheat” bread may be laden with more sugar than is healthy.
- White Bread – Real Bad. If you like your white bread, you can keep it, just doesn’t work for a diabetic. Compare the ingredients of white bread and a good quality wheat bread and make a list of the ingredient differences. If you do this comparison a couple of times you should have a good reference point for ingredients to be cautious about. There may also be unadvertised ingredients in the bread like Potassium Bromate or sugar. Partially hydrogenated oil, sodium, caramel coloring, and butylated hydroxyanisole are all common, and all not good for you.
- Donuts – Real Bad. As a diabetic, the best thing you can do about donuts and cinnamon rolls is stay far away. I personally attribute these evil little things with my onset of diabetes, and I haven’t had one since. I think it was Nancy Reagan who first coined the phrase “just say no” as part of the war on drugs in the 80s. To donuts, just say no.
- White Rice – Real Bad. The glycemic index (GI), and carbohydrates for white rice is too high for diabetics. Oh, a GI of below 55 which is considered to be low is always best. A medium GI (below 69) is better than a high GI (above 69). White rice usually has a GI between 72 and 83. Foods with a high GI, tend to cause blood sugar to peak within a short time. The Carb count is also high in white rice, with 1 cup of rice equaling about 3 1/2 slices of bread.
- Pastries – Real Bad. When you go into a bakery and get overwhelmed by the delicious smells coming from the kitchen, turn around. Go outside and get some fresh air and remember you are a diabetic. Unless you have a special baker that uses only whole grains and very little sugar, don’t risk it. This list includes things like pie, cookies, cakes, frozen pizza, most pot pies, and many more.
Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes – Fruits
The list of fruits a diabetic should avoid is somewhat short. Although fruits are sweet, indicating a sugar content, the sugar in most fruits is far better than white sugar. There are some on the high sugar list, but notice that I have not classified any of them as Real Bad.
- Bananas – Bad. Although bananas are convenient to eat, and on the high sugar list, they also contain fiber. A medium-sized banana contains about 3 grams of fiber, which is good for everyone, including diabetics. But at least don’t overdo it on bananas.
- Peaches & nectarines – Bad. I call them pitted fruits, and most pitted fruits are on the high sugar list. Plums are on this list as well. Pitted fruits are usually on the high sugar list and should be consumed sparingly and with caution.
- Melons – Bad. I really enjoy a good melon, but they are usually full of water ‘and sugar’. They also have some interesting health benefits. So, like the others listed above, eat sparingly and don’t overdo it.
- Dried Fruits – Bad. I almost had to categorize this as Real Bad, due the processing that takes place, and the sugar that is usually added. If you are able to dry your own fruits, without adding sugar, this can be a decent backup source of nutrients.
Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes – Vegetables
There are those that claim you can’t go wrong with a vegan diet, so you might guess this list is somewhat short. I somewhat agree with this viewpoint, but I keep an open mind. A vegetable based diet can certainly be helpful if you are trying to lose weight, which is good for diabetics. I did change my diet when I was reversing my diabetes and cut out almost all red meat.
White Potatoes – Bad. Potato skins contain vital nutrients, but the white potato is full of starch. Starchy foods are not good for anyone with high blood sugar, diabetic or not. The glycemic index of a white potato is 85, well above the level desired. Regular french fries are included in this category, as long as they were made from white potatoes. Remember, portion size is very important. Where one french fry may not make much of a difference, a small bag of fries can equal a whole potato.
Most other vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients for a diabetic. Root vegetables are considered to be bad for diabetics. I disagree, and for good reason. If you prepare a sweet potato by baking it for 45 minutes, it will have a high glycemic index, near 90. But, if you boil it, the glycemic index is very low, somewhere close to 40. So in this case they can be bad or good, so be like Santa Claus, and know who is bad or good.
Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes – Drinks
I know this is an article about Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes, but I just couldn’t help myself. Pepsi, Coke, regular sodas, diet sodas, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, sweet tea, and whole milk are all on this list as Real Bad. The list is so big I don’t list them individually here. Instead, the article “Why Water is Good For You-Diabetic” should give you ample guidance about what to drink. However, I do want to mention that some fruit juices and alcoholic drinks can rapidly change your blood sugar level.
I urge you to be very careful when drinking alcoholic drinks. More than one strong drink could put you in a coma, NOT FUN.
As you can see, I didn’t create a Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes listing of foods by name. There is a near unlimited number of factors that can and do influence that listing. We are all different in size, shape, height, existing health conditions, tastes, financial capabilities, just to name a few. Any such listing would not be accurate for at least some of us, so I provide the following general rules about foods for diabetics.
Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes rules:
- Plan your meal to avoid over-indulging, no matter what food you will eat.
- Stick to unprocessed foods and non-GMO, or organic whenever possible.
- Keep it simple when it comes to drinks; clean clear water is best.
- Be aware of the glycemic index of foods you eat, you can check that on the internet if needed.
- Do not over eat, and again Do not over eat. Make hunger a friend of yours.
Tip: When in question about carbs, check the glycemic index. Ideally you want a low score (55 or lower). A medium score is (55 – 69), also ok in moderation. A high score is (70+), and should be rated Real Bad.
Thank you for reading Foods to Avoid for Type 2 Diabetes. I sincerely hope you got something from the article. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.