Diabetes Diet: Why Limiting Processed Foods Is A Healthy Choice
One way to help prevent or manage diabetes is limiting our intake of processed foods.
The phrase “processed foods” generally refers to products that are chemically processed, created with heavily refined ingredients, and contain a plethora of artificial additives.
Three Reasons To Limit Processed Foods
Limiting the intake of processed foods aids those with or at risk for diabetes three ways. It helps lower blood sugar levels and body fat, reduces the ingestion of weight-promoting empty calories, and cuts consumption of heart-unhealthy fats.
1. Sugars and Refined Carbs
Processed foods are generally high in sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, and we know that eating too much sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Refined fructose, usually some form of corn syrup, is found in nearly every processed food product. This is a problem since fructose is primarily metabolized by the liver. Consuming too much fructose can overwork and damage our liver—just as imbibing a lot of alcohol can. Further, the liver metabolizes fructose directly into fat that goes immediately into our fat cells, increasing the likelihood of weight gain and obesity.
The simple carbohydrates found in processed foods (e.g., refined grains) can significantly elevate blood glucose. Refined carbs digest quickly and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream as sugar. This causes glucose spikes, increased insulin levels, and may trigger insulin resistance.
2. Pleasurable Empty Calories
Many processed foods are full of taste bud tickling flavors that strongly stimulate our brain’s reward ce Continue reading