Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects 422 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Left unchecked and uncontrolled, this disease has many serious consequences for both the young and the old. Health studies have linked both diabetes and prediabetes to kidney disease, heart disease, and other complications. One of the best ways to manage diabetes is by avoiding foods that can raise your blood sugar and insulin levels. You must maintain a low carb intake to prevent your blood glucose level from spiking.
Below are six fruits and vegetables that people with diabetes and prediabetes should avoid.
Potatoes are one of the most common foods that medical experts advise people with diabetes to steer clear of. Both regular and sweet potatoes are starchy vegetables, and they have a higher carbohydrate content than most other vegetables.
You may not have to avoid them completely, but you need to be mindful of the portions that you eat. Avoid eating more than a serving, which is generally one cup of roasted potatoes or half a cup of mashed potatoes.
In addition to rationing your potato intake, you must avoid other forms of processed potatoes, such as chips and fries. Fries and chips are easy to munch on and can contribute to the fat in your diet.
Mangoes are among the top fruits to avoid if you have diabetes. They are high in sugar and carbs, which can be dangerous to diabetics. In fact, over 90% of mangoes’ calories come from sugar. Just one mango contains 36 grams of sugar, which is more than what you get from a can of soda.
Although the fiber slows the rate at which your body absorbs the sugar from mangoes into your bloodstream, it’s best to avoid them if you can. If you must eat mangoes, practice moderation and pair them with other protein-rich foods to improve your blood sugar response.
Butternut squash is another vegetable to avoid if you have diabetes. Although it has fewer carbs than potatoes, its high sugar content makes it dangerous for diabetics.
One diced cube of butternut squash contains over 16 grams of carbohydrate. Therefore, eating this vegetable in excess can cause your blood sugar level to spike. Instead of butternut squash, try out other vegetables with less carbs, like ladyfingers.
Pineapple is another fruit that has high levels of sugar and carbs. One pineapple contains 46 grams of sugar and 96 grams of carbohydrates, which is more than most sugary drinks.
When carb counting, most people aim for between 45 and 60 grams of carbs per meal. Therefore, adding a high-sugar fruit like pineapple into your diet means that you have to cut out carbs from other meals.
Furthermore, some pineapple species have a high glycemic index, which increases their chances of rapidly raising your blood glucose level. If you have diabetes, it’s best to avoid foods with high GI scores and eat those that score low.
Raisins are produced in many countries globally, and they are used in cooking, baking, and even brewing. However, it’s best to avoid this fruit if you have diabetes, as it's high in sugar. A handful of raisins contains about 27 grams of sugar.
Raisins have a high glycemic index, meaning that they can cause blood sugar spikes. Furthermore, they are high in calories and contribute to weight gain when consumed in large quantities.
Sorbitol, a type of carbohydrate in raisins, causes diarrhea among people with diabetes. Diabetic patients who take their medications on time can eat raisins, but it's wise to monitor their intake.
Tangerine is another fruit that you should consider taking off your menu if you have diabetes or prediabetes. They are much higher in sugar than other popular citrus fruits, such as lemon and lime. A single tangerine contains about 13 grams of sugar. The fruit also has a high glycemic index. As a result, tangerines can cause a blood sugar spike within minutes of eating them.
Contrarily, a study has found that tangerines may be able to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some other chronic health conditions. So if you have to eat tangerines for their benefits, health experts recommend that you consume them in only small portions.
Carbs include starches, sugars, and fiber. Fiber is indigestible. Therefore, the body absorbs it without raising your blood sugar. However, digestible carbs such as sugars and starches can raise your blood sugar to dangerously high levels when you eat them in high amounts.
Knowing which foods to avoid when you have diabetes can help you live a healthy life. If you’re not sure about what other fruits and vegetables to avoid, observe their impact on your blood sugar levels. Aim to eat more foods that do not raise your blood sugar.