The (5) Worst Foods For Diabetes [Part-1 in our series]
(POR) Over 11.9 million people in Brazil have diabetes. And it’s a disease that takes an enormous toll on the health of the population. Diabetes (1) accelerates aging; (2) damages the kidneys, cardiovascular system, eyes and nerve tissue; and (3) increases cancer risk.
The good news is that the devastating complications and premature deaths associated with diabetes can be prevented. The primary cause of the parallel increases in obesity and diabetes is the nutrient-depleted “American-styled” diet. The worst foods for diabetes (the foods that elevate blood sugar, reduce insulin sensitivity and increase type-2 diabetes risk) are the foods that are becoming the most common in the Brazilian diet now. They include the following:
- Added sugars — Since diabetes is characterized by abnormally elevated blood glucose levels, it is important to avoid the foods that cause dangerously high spikes in blood glucose – primarily refined (processed) foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages. Drinks like soda and fruit juices are devoid of plant fiber that would act to slow the absorption of glucose into the blood. The same applies to sugary processed foods and desserts, which have similar effects. Scientifically speaking – these foods promote hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, and promote the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the body. Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) alter the normal, healthy function of cellular proteins, stiffen the blood vessels, accelerate aging, and promote diabetes complications.
- Refined grains — White rice and white flour products. Refined carbohydrates like white rice, white pasta, and white bread are missing the fiber from the original grain, so they raise blood glucose higher and faster than their intact, unprocessed counterparts. In a 6-year study of 65,000 women, those with diets high in refined carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, and pasta were 2.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with type-2 diabetes compared to those who ate lower-GL foods such as intact whole grains and whole wheat bread. An analysis of four prospective studies on white rice consumption and diabetes found that each daily serving of white rice increased the risk of diabetes by 11%. In addition to the glucose-raising effects, cooked starchy foods also contain AGEs, which promote aging and diabetes complications.
- Fried foods — Potato chips, French fries, doughnuts and other fried starches start with a high-glycemic food, and then add a huge number of low-nutrient calories in the form of cooking oil. The combination of glycemic carbs and oil is particularly potent at stimulating fat storage hormones. Plus, like other cooked starches, fried foods contain AGEs.
- Trans fats — Fast food and fried restaurant foods; Foods processed with very low quality ingredients and high concentrations of preservatives, such as bakery products like cookies, pastries and breads. Diabetes accelerates cardiovascular disease. Since the vast majority of diabetics (more than 80%) die from cardiovascular disease, any food that increases cardiovascular risk will be especially problematic for those with diabetes. Trans-fat intake is a strong dietary risk factor for heart disease, and even a small amount of trans-fat intake increases risk. In addition to their cardiovascular effects, saturated fats and trans-fats reduce insulin sensitivity, leading to elevated glucose and insulin levels, and greater risk of diabetes. A 2012-13 World Health Organization (WHO) review of world trans-fat use also observed the following: “In many low and middle-income countries, the main source of trans-fatty acids (TFAs) is food purchased from street vendors and the unorganized food sector rather than pre-packaged food.”
- Red and processed meats — Many diabetics have come to believe that if sugar and refined grains and other high-glycemic foods raise blood sugar and triglycerides, they should avoid them and eat more animal protein to keep their blood glucose levels in check. However, several studies have now confirmed that high intake of meat increases the risk of diabetes. A meta-analysis of 12 studies concluded that (1) high total meat intake increased type-2 diabetes risk 17% above low intake, (2) high red meat intake increased risk 21%, and (3) high processed meat intake increased risk 41%. Keep in mind that things like bacon, salami, pepperoni and lunch meats like bologna all qualify as processed meats.
If you want to avoid diabetes and enhance your life expectancy, steer clear of these five foods and adopt a high-nutrient diet, which has been shown to (1) reduce HbA1c into the non-diabetic range, (2) reduce or eliminate the need for medications, and (3) dramatically improve blood pressure and triglycerides in diabetic patients. More next week…
[Read about: “The 5 Best Foods For Preventing Or Reversing Diabetes” here]
[Read about: “Nutrient Density – Comparing Different Foods” here]
This article was originally written by Doctor Joel Fuhrman (LINK). Small changes have been made to the original article in order to address the Brazilian population. Joel Fuhrman, MD (Medical Doctor) is a board certified family physician, New York Times best selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Doctor Fuhrman is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows including The Doctor Oz Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Live with Kelly. Doctor Fuhrman’s own hugely successful PBS (Public Broadcasting) television shows, Steps to Incredible Health and Doctor Fuhrman’s Immunity Solution, bring nutritional science to homes all across America. (LINK)