Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).
Fast facts on diabetes
Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.
In 2013 it was estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes (Williams textbook of endocrinology).
Type 1 Diabetes – the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.
Type 2 Diabetes – the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.
Gestational Diabetes – this type affects females during pregnancy.
The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.
If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life.
Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose. They may also need to take oral medication, and/or insulin to control blood glucose levels.
The right choice of food can help you to control your diabetes. People that have diabetes are aware of the fact that when it comes to diabetes the first rule is to avoid food high in sugar.
But, you should keep in mind that there are many foods that you may consume without even knowing that they are high in sugar.
Some foods are considered as healthy, but in fact that they contain fats and sugar that you might not know about. You should also be very cautious about carbs and fats, because they can also contribute to high levels of blood sugar!
You should stay away from the following 16 foods in case you are a diabetic:
White rice, bread, and flour: These low-quality carbohydrates interfere with the blood glucose levels, so you should consume whole grains like brown rice, oats, and barley.
Dry fruits: You should avoid dry foods as the sugars in them are more concentrated as they are dehydrated. Therefore, replace them with grapefruit and strawberries.
Alcohol: alcohol interferes with blood glucose levels, so make sure you avoid it completely.
Processed meat: They are rich in sodium, which elevates the risk of strokes and heart diseases.
Breakfast cakes: All types of things eaten for breakfast like muffins, cakes, cinnamon rolls or donuts are full of trans-fats and sodium and trans fats. Try the ones without sugar and fat if you still want to consume them. The best option you have is to prepare them at home.
Fried foods: Fried food is something that people with diabetes 2 should definitely avoid. They are soaked in plenty of oil and are often covered in flour. They contain plenty of calories.
Mixed coffees: mixed coffees often contain whipped creams, syrup, and sugar, so you should stay with the regular coffee varieties with little milk.
Sugary foods: These contain plenty of sugar and are with a low nutritional value which can cause high blood sugar.
Cereals: They are everyone’s favorite for breakfast, but make sure you avoid them in case you’re a diabetic, since they are abundant in sugar.
Full-fat dairy: It contains more fat, so it raises the risk of heart diseases, insulin resistance, and raises bad cholesterol.
Bananas and melons: These fruits contain the most sugar, so make sure you avoid them if you don’t want to increase your levels of sugar. Peaches also contain plenty of sugar.
Frozen pizza: This pizza is rich in calories and fat, so prepare your pizzas in your own kitchen.
Smoothies: You should prepare your smoothies at home, as the ones we buy are full of sugar.
Energy bars: These are dangerous for diabetics, so reduce their consumption.
Hamburger: Hamburgers are full of saturated fats, so they elevate cholesterol and are harmful to diabetics.
Flavored waters: These waters contain sugar, so you should avoid the flavored ones.