Food Restrictions for Diabetes
More than 25 million Americans suffer from diabetes, with new cases being diagnosed everyday, notes the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes affects your body's ability to effectively use or produce insulin, a protein hormone that regulates glucose in your blood. Diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, infections, extreme hunger, unusual thirst and slow healing of bruises or cuts. Adjusting your diet to exclude adverse diabetic foods can lessen your symptoms and improve your condition.
Normally considered "bad" fats, saturated fats are associated with raising your cholesterol and risk for a stroke or heart attack, notes the ADA. As a diabetic patient you should avoid saturated fats as well because you are at risk for heart disease and associated cardiovascular conditions. Saturated fats are commonly found in high-fat dairy products, fatty red meats and a variety of deep fried foods. This includes beef liver, whole milk, lard, ice cream, processed snacks, cream sauces, dessert foods and high-fat cheeses. For best results, replace bad fats with healthy fats found in canola oil, olive oil, fish and nuts.
Starchy and Nonstarchy Foods
According to the ADA, you should limit or restrict the amount of starchy foods you consume. Starchy foods such as corn, peas, potatoes, white rice and white pasta are high in carbohydrates, which can convert quickly into sugar and negatively affect your glucose levels. Other starchy foods include enriched wheat flour, corn syrup, sugar syrup and white flour. Incorporate nonstarchy foods like whole-grain bread, brown rice, wild rice, spelt, broccoli, beets, oatmeal, artichoke, eggplant, bulgur, mustard greens, collard greens, millet, turnips and carrots into your daily diet for best results.
Avoid or limit your consumption of simple or refined sugary foods, as they can quickly transform into glucose as they enter your body. This can raise your blood sugar levels and cause dangerous diabetes complications. The ADA suggests you consume small portions of sugary foods that contain an estimated 45 to 65 total grams only on special occasions. Examples of these foods include carbonated sugary drinks, candy, ice cream, canned fruits and other desserts with added sugar.
Avoid alcoholic beverages if you have experienced diabetic nerve damage, high blood pressure or have diabetes that is not well controlled. The ADA recommends men consume a maximum of two drinks daily, while women should drink no more than one. Upon consumption, alcoholic beverages can affect your blood sugar levels, causing dizziness, headaches, seizures and sweating. Speak with your physician if you encounter problems associated with alcoholic beverage consumption and your diabetes.
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images