It’s not always easy to tell which foods are going to throw your blood sugar levels into a tailspin. So many delicious snacks and quick meals are loaded with empty carbs that lack any real nutritional value. Sugar seems to be hidden just about everywhere, and some foods are unexpectedly packed with generally unhealthy additives and preservatives that aren’t great for anyone’s diet, whether they have diabetes, or not.
There are certain foods we know for sure aren’t going to positively affect our numbers, and we can do our best to avoid them. But there are some that have a surprisingly negative effect that you might not suspect—either because they’re foods you’ve considered “safe” your whole life, or because they market themselves as healthier than they are.
Well, we’re here to help you steer clear of these blood-sugar land mines. The following video from The Diabetic Diet Guide helps you navigate through which foods are major DON’TS for maintaining stable blood sugar.
After you watch, make sure to let us know in the comments below what your healthy go-to snacks are! Below the video, you’ll find a written list of the top 10 foods that affect your blood sugar.
As promised, we’ve listed out the top 10 foods that impact blood sugar a lot:
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Pasta is just flour, salt, and water, and sometimes eggs and sugar, none of which really do much in terms of adding good nutritional value to your diet. Some pastas are made with healthier options, like chickpeas or rice, but most of them are still high in carbs and will spike your blood sugar.
2. Starchy foods
Potatoes, rice, cereals, and other starches are also capable of raising your blood sugar a lot. Most of these are empty carbs as well, although some of them are fortified with nutrients. Lean toward natural starches rather than processed ones, and avoid them when you can to keep your blood sugar in check.
Bread is another empty carb, unless you’re eating a healthier bread with sprouted grains. But the vast majority of breads, even nutrient-dense ones, are going to be high in carbs and/or sugar, which isn’t great for your blood sugar levels.
Of course, you already know that sweets will raise your blood sugar. Whether it’s candy, pastries, cookies, ice cream, or other desserts, this category of food is all highly processed and full of sugar, which will cause your blood sugar to spike immensely.
Fruits are healthier than the other items we’ve seen on the list so far, because they’re full of water for hydration and nutrients to keep you healthy. However, fruits should be used in moderation, because they still contain lots of natural sugar, which will raise your blood glucose levels.
The best fruits for your blood sugar are berries, like blackberries, blueberries, and lingonberries. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are also good choices. Stay away from dried fruits, because the sugar is more concentrated, and you’ll be tempted to eat more of them because they’re smaller.
6. Fast food
You already know that fast food is bad for you, but even seemingly “healthier” options can be worse than you think. Meat, for example, may seem like it won’t affect your blood sugar much, but most fast-food meat will, because it’s also packed with sugar, preservatives, and chemicals. Or you may choose a salad and think that’s a healthy option, but there are carbs and sugar hidden in the dressings and sometimes also in other places. It’s best to avoid fast food when possible, and when you have to eat it, make sure you ask for the nutritional facts so you know what you’re getting.
Honey is a fantastic way to raise your blood sugar if you’re experiencing a hypoglycemic episode, because it’s an all-natural form of sugar. However, it’s pretty much also 100 percent sugar, which means it’s going to spike your blood sugar fast, so make sure you’re careful with it!
Beverages such as juice and soft drinks are packed full of sugar and will cause huge peaks in your blood sugar levels. Some soft drinks claim to have no sugar, but the artificial sweeteners in them are often just as bad for you. It’s best to drink water when you can, and if you can’t, be sure to keep a careful watch over your blood sugar.
Legumes are a healthy choice, partially because they contain complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest. They will raise your blood sugar over a longer period of time instead of all at once, so they’re not as dangerous as simple carbs. Overall, they’re a great choice in moderation, even for people with diabetes, but you should still keep an eye on your blood sugar to make sure it stays in control.
Cashews, macadamia nuts, and pecans are some of the worst nuts for people with diabetes, because they contain more sugar than other nuts. Instead, try hazelnuts or walnuts, which are a little more bitter but won’t affect your blood sugar quite as much. But all nuts contain carbohydrates, so eat them in moderation and watch out for blood sugar spikes.
Some of these foods are healthy and packed full of nutrients, while others are just junk food, but all of them will raise your blood sugar level, so be careful when consuming them! Happy snacking!Whizzco