13 best and worst foods for people with diabetes
If you have diabetes, watching what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy.
"The basic goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to avoid blood sugar spikes," said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.
Candy and soda can be dangerous for diabetics because the body absorbs these simple sugars almost instantly. But all types of carbs need to be watched, and foods high in fat—particularly unhealthy fats—are problematic as well because people with diabetes are at very high risk of heart disease, said Sandy Andrews, RD, director of education for the William Sansum Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Worst: White rice
The more white rice you eat, the greater your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2012 review. In a study of more than 350,000 people, those who ate the most white rice were at greatest risk for type 2 diabetes, and the risk increased 11 percent for each additional daily serving of rice.
"Basically anything highly processed, fried, and made with white flour should be avoided," Andrews said.
White rice and pasta can cause blood sugar spikes similar to that of sugar.
Have this instead: Brown rice or wild rice. These whole grains don't cause the same blood sugar spikes thanks to fiber, which helps slow the rush of glucose into the bloodstream, Andrews said. What's more, a Harvard School of Public Health study found that two or more weekly servings of brown rice was linked to a lower diabetes risk.
Worst: Blended coffees
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