Since there is much controversy over the definition of a proper diet for individuals suffering from diabetes mellitus, it would be best to seek your doctor's professional opinion before enforcing any type of specialized diets. The timing of food consumption throughout the day, as well as the type of diabetes present may also be factors in deciding what constitutes a healthy and beneficial diet.
When purchasing food products, be sure to read the ingredient labels, and buy as fresh as possible. Below are some of the foods that a diabetic may potentially want to avoid.
Foods that are high in glycemic index may be detrimental to individuals with diabetes, as glycemic index is directly correlated with blood sugar levels. Hence, foods that are made with refined, processed or simple carbohydrates can adversely affect blood sugar levels, and should be minimally consumed. Some examples include:
Processed foods with added sugar can also be harmful to blood sugar levels. Generally, it may be better to look for artificial sweeteners or sweet products labeled "no sugar added." Some examples include:
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics may be at a greater risk for strokes and heart diseases. Therefore, it would be a good idea to avoid saturated fats, trans-fats and hydrogenated oils, as they have been linked to cardiovascular problems. It is important to note that an intake of heart healthy fats, known as monosaturated and polysaturated fats, are different from the "unhealthy" fats above and should not be avoided. In fact, they are actually beneficial to heart health and help prevent stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
For the same reason as above, diabetics should not eat too much sodium to protect their cardiovascular system. Excessive sodium intake is linked with high blood pressure and irregular heart beat. Instead, try flavoring dishes with flavorful herbs and citruses that are high in nutrients and low in sodium.
Generally, the diet most often recommended for individuals suffering from diabetes mellitus is one that is high in dietary fiber and low in fat. The American Diabetes Association recommends some "superfoods" that can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes. They generally tend to be low in glycemic index and rich in vitamins and minerals.