Taking Control of Your Diabetes
In managing diabetes, the significance of consuming the right foods cannot be overstated, as a well-balanced and mindful diet plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels and promoting overall health. In this article, we explore the five worst foods for diabetics and look at treatments like Retacrit, a biosimilar medication to treat anemia associated with chronic kidney disease, chemotherapy-induced anemia and certain other conditions, utilizing epoetin alfa to stimulate red blood cell production. Let's look at the worst foods.
5 Worst Foods for Diabetics
1. Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbs, such as breakfast cereals, white bread, white pasta, pastries and more, are highly processed foods. In turn, the body can quickly absorb the carbohydrates in these foods, which can lead to large blood sugar spikes and dips.
Eating refined carbs can also lead to feelings of hunger mere hours after eating a meal, meaning they don’t satiate you for long. While you can eat protein or fiber with these foods to lessen the blood sugar impact, for most diabetics, it’s best to avoid them entirely.
It can further help to monitor your carb intake at each meal to ensure you won’t face high blood sugar levels post-meal, which can be dangerous for those with diabetes.
Instead, opt for whole grains or high-fiber carbs, which digest slower and won’t be absorbed as quickly.
2. High-Sugary Beverages
Sweetened drinks, like sodas, lemonade, fruit punch and even cocktails, are often filled with empty calories and loads of sugar. This means that the body will quickly absorb these sugars in the bloodstream.
In turn, those with type II diabetes may not produce enough insulin or their bodies may not respond properly to insulin to keep up with the amount of glucose entering the body. This can lead to high blood sugar levels if not properly managed.
Instead, it’s better to stick with water or non-sugar beverages. Or if you do opt for one sugary beverage, make sure you consume it alongside fiber or protein to slow down the absorption rate of it into your bloodstream.
3. Alcoholic Beverages
While one drink may not pose issues for most, excessive drinking can. Heavy drinking can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can increase a person’s risk of diabetic complications and even death.
In particular, it’s important for diabetics not to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Even better, avoid it entirely!
It’s also worth noting that alcohol could interfere with some types of diabetes medication. This means that it’s wise to discuss this with your doctor before sipping on any alcoholic beverage.
4. Foods High in Saturated Fat
We need some saturated fats in our diets. However, this shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your daily caloric needs.
According to research, high saturated fat intake may lead to inflammation of the hypothalamus. In turn, this can impair insulin signaling further, creating increasing problems for those with diabetes.
Where you can swap out butter for oil. Steer clear of fatty meats and full-fat dairy products and opt for lean cuts or reduced fat instead.
5. Dried Fruit
Anything with the word “fruit” in it might come off as healthy. Yet, dried fruit is generally loaded with sugar, meaning fresh fruit is always a better option. While you can include dried fruit in your diet from time to time, portion sizes are important here.
For instance, just four to five dry apricots can contain around 22 grams of sugar. Four dried dates can contain about 25 grams of sugar, and three to five figs can contain about 19 grams of sugar.
If you decide to eat dried fruit, make sure to select varieties labeled “no added sugar.” At the same time and as mentioned above, limit your portion sizes to one sitting. When in doubt, avoid it entirely.
What Else Should You Know?
Here are a few last tips for navigating your diet with diabetes:
- Select more whole foods over processed foods.
- Monitor your portion sizes.
- Select low-glycemic carbs, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time so you don’t find yourself in a bind.
- Exercise to manage your condition.
- Consider doing light exercise, such as a quick walk around the block, post-meal to manage your blood sugar levels.
- Test your blood sugar often so you are aware of what’s going on beneath the surface.
How Diabetes Can Cause Kidney Disease
Did you know there is this thing called nephrons in each of your kidneys? When you're diabetic, the high blood sugar from diabetes can damage blood vessels in the kidney and the nephrons, so they don't work like they used to. There's also high blood pressure that diabetics have to worry about, which can damage kidneys as well.
RETACRIT for Chronic Kidney Disease
Retacrit is crafted to assist individuals facing conditions such as chronic kidney disease or undergoing chemotherapy, where low red blood cell levels, or anemia, may occur. Utilizing a substance called epoetin alfa, Retacrit works to stimulate the production of red blood cells in the body. This increase in red blood cell levels is aimed at enhancing the delivery of oxygen to tissues, ultimately aiding patients in feeling better and managing the effects of anemia associated with their specific medical conditions.
With diabetes on the rise, selecting a healthy and balanced diet has never been more important than right now. Our diet is the foundation of our health and wellness. While other factors matter too, many experts have pointed fingers at the food industry, particularly processed and high-sugar foods.
Diabetics must be even more cautious with their food choices since high or low blood sugar can lead to various health complications.
If you have other concerns or questions, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor since they know you and your health situation the best. From there, you can develop a path forward together to manage your condition in the best way possible.