- Poor diet and exercise often lead to Type 2 diabetes — a condition that causes the level of blood sugar to become too high.
- If left untreated, Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious and life-threatening complications, including nerve damage, vision loss, as well as a stroke and a heart attack.
- One of the best ways to control blood sugar levels, or to prevent diabetes, is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid certain foods.
Whether you already have the condition or you’re looking to prevent it, there are six foods you should always look to avoid.
All carbohydrates can affect blood glucose levels, that’s why opting for healthier sources and being aware of portion sizes are essential.
Diabetes UK recommends these carbohydrate health sources:
- Wholegrains like brown rice, buckwheat and whole oats
- Pulses such as chickpeas, beans and lentils
- Dairy like unsweetened yogurt and milk
“It’s also important to cut down on foods low in fiber such as white bread, white rice and highly processed cereals,” Diabetes UK added.
Too much salt consumption can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which may lead to diabetes.
Limiting yourself to a maximum of 6g (one teaspoonful) of salt a day is ideal.
“Lots of pre-packaged foods already contain salt so remember to check food labels and choose those with less salt.”
Red and processed meat
Red and processed meat, including ham, bacon, sausages, beef and lamb are associated with heart problems and cancers.
Diabetes UK recommends swapping red and processed meat for pulses such as beans and lentils, eggs, fish, poultry like chicken and turkey, and unsalted nuts.
Excessive amounts of sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
Best option is to swap sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar.
Snacking on unsalted nuts, seeds, yogurts, fruits and vegetables instead of crisps, chips, biscuits and chocolates is advised.
The diabetes agency says: “But watch your portions still – it’ll help you keep an eye on your weight.”
“To say food is a diabetic food is now against the law,” the agency says.
The reason is that there is no evidence that these foods offer you a special benefit over eating healthy.
“They can also often contain just as much fat and calories as similar products, and can still affect your blood glucose level.”
Diabetes UK also warns that diabetic foods can sometimes have a laxative effect.