Diabetics already know to avoid candy and other sugary treats in order to keep their insulin levels in check, but did you know that some foods which have been deemed as ‘healthy’ can actually increase your risk of diabetes?
There are quite a few common healthy foods that may be undermining your efforts to keep your diabetes under control. Below, we will discuss 3 types of foods you that can increase glucose levels, and what you can do to prevent it.
Just because smoothies contain fruit doesn’t mean they are a healthy choice for a sweet treat. Although you may have been told to eat more fruit in order to stay healthy, smoothies that are prepared in restaurants or a fast food drive-through can contain as much sugar as three servings of soda. In order to make their smoothies more tasty, many restaurants add in unnecessary ingredients such as sugar or corn syrup, which can cause dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels.
If you love smoothies, there is still a way to have them without causing a rise in your blood sugar: prepare them at home. When making smoothies at home, always pay close attention to the ingredients. Stay away from fruits that are high on the glycemic index (such as bananas and peaches), and use those that are still sweet, but higher in fiber (such as apples, blueberries, and strawberries).
You may be wondering how a food that is fat-free and full of fiber and nutrients can be harmful to the body. Potatoes contain high amounts of starch, which are digested very quickly and turned into glucose within the bloodstream. This triggers an intense insulin spike. Before you start thinking you may never be able to have potatoes again, take heart in knowing that by taking a few key steps in preparing this vegetable, you can prevent a rise in blood sugar.
To help slow down the rate at which potatoes are digested, try seasoning them with a little lemon juice. Add in leafy greens, or other fiber-rich vegetable, alongside your potato dish. When cooking, only use a heart-healthy oil (such as olive oil) for sauteeing and frying.
Portion size is also important in helping to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Try to remember that a healthy portion size of mashed potatoes is only 1/2 cup. For a baked or roasted potato, stick to one that is roughly the size of your palm or a computer mouse.
White rice has been demonized in the diabetes world, and can cause insulin spikes in much the same manner as white flour or even sugar. Research has shown that eating white rice on a consistent basis can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 11 percent with each serving. If you love rice, you may still have it, but it needs to be in the form of brown rice.
Brown rice is a whole grain, which contains much more fiber than white rice, therefore slowing the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream. By consuming 2 servings of brown rice per week, you can actually decrease the risk of developing diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels.
By following the above tips, you can still have the foods you love while keeping blood glucose levels stable. By making these small changes, you will see big results in the fight against diabetes.
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