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You Never Need a Multivitamin If You Eat These 15 Foods

You Never Need a Multivitamin If You Eat These 15 Foods



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Supplement your health with these nutrient-dense foods

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Stop taking a multivitamin in the morning and start your day with nutritious foods instead.

Don’t decide whether or not to quit your multivitamin before speaking with your doctor or a nutritionist — a professional will be better equipped to tell you whether or not you truly need a supplement to get the nutrients you need. But the average healthy eater shouldn’t need a multivitamin, in theory, to get adequate nutrition from their diet.

You Never Need a Multivitamin If You Eat These 15 Foods Gallery

There are two main types of nutrients that the body needs: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, and fat — all of which must come from the food you eat. Micronutrients are more difficult to keep track of, however, since not all foods contain them. A bag of Cheetos, for instance, has far fewer micronutrients than a vitamin-rich superfood.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines, adult Americans may not get enough of certain micronutrients: calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Many people choose to rely on a multivitamin to supply these crucial micronutrients. But instead of a multivitamin, a diet rich with these 15 nutritious foods could supply enough of these nutrients instead.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.


15 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Diabetes

For those who don&rsquot have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn&rsquot a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight loss goals, but eating them isn&rsquot the end of the world. For people with diabetes, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

&ldquoIt&rsquos hard to say exactly what&rsquos okay and what&rsquos not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient&rsquos tolerance for carbohydrates is different,&rdquo says Matthew Freeby, MD, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. &ldquoBut if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that&rsquos what we worry about.&rdquo

Carbohydrates&mdasha macronutrient group that includes sugar&mdashpose the greatest threat to people with diabetes. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, &ldquotend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,&rdquo he explains.

Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels&mdashknown as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively&mdashcan lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. Experiencing any of these symptoms when you have diabetes should send you to the doc ASAP. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

&ldquoNo food needs to be completed banned from your diet,&rdquo explains Vandana Sheth, RD, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. &ldquoHowever, some foods make it easier to manage your diabetes compared to others. A registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes can help you enjoy your favorite foods while also maintaining good blood sugar control.&rdquo

So which foods are most likely to get people with diabetes into trouble? Keep reading.

While there&rsquos a small mountain of evidence linking diet soda to larger waistlines and other health concerns, regular soda is a much greater threat to those with diabetes. &ldquoWhen patients ask about what they should avoid, one of the top things I recommend are sugar-sweetened beverages,&rdquo says Angela Ginn-Meadow, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with the University of Maryland&rsquos Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that adult women should cap their total daily sugar intake at 25 grams, while men should go no higher than 36 grams.

Also, because a liquid can be consumed much more quickly than most foods, pounding a large glass of soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your system and send your blood sugar levels soaring. Sports drinks and bottled teas are also major sources of sugar.

Fruit juice

&ldquoAs much as we think of fruit juice as healthy, they are primarily sugar,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And for diabetics&mdashand the rest of us, actually&mdashthere doesn&rsquot seem to be a big difference between consuming sugar in the form of soda or in the form of fruit juice. Both are unhealthy, research shows.

If that surprises you, consider that 12 ounces of two popular store-bought orange juices&mdashTropicana and Florida&rsquos Natural&mdashcontain 33 grams of sugar. Fresh squeezed, unpasteurized OJ isn&rsquot any less sugar-rich, Donuts and bagels

&ldquoMany of my patients with diabetes think about sugar as being the worst thing that&rsquos impacting their blood sugar, but it&rsquos really about carbohydrates,&rdquo Dr. Freeby says. &ldquoI tell them to look at nutrition labels for the total carbohydrate content, not just the sugar content.&rdquo Donuts and bagels made with refined and processed grains are major sources of blood-sugar-spiking carbs, he says.

For example: One plain &ldquoold fashioned&rdquo donut from Dunkin Donuts contains 28g of carbohydrates&mdashthe same amount found in 8.5 ounces of Coca Cola. One Dunkin Donut maple vanilla crème donut? You don&rsquot want to know. (Except you do, right? It packs 43g of carbs.) Maybe most surprising, one plain Einstein Bros. bagel contains 56g carbs.

French fries

Dr. Freeby says that &ldquostarchy&rdquo vegetables like potatoes and corn are major sources of carbohydrates, and so need to be eaten sparingly or avoided.

Turn potatoes into French fries, and the health risks are often compounded. Medium-sized fries from McDonald&rsquos contain 44g carbs. A medium fry at Wendy&rsquos? You&rsquore dropping 56g of carbs into your system.

&ldquoIf you want to incorporate potatoes, you are better off enjoying a small-medium baked potato with the skin on,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoYou could also swap out and enjoy oven roasted veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, peppers instead to increase your veggie intake and minimize a spike in your blood sugar.&rdquo

&hellipor any deep fried foods, for that matter

Frying any type of food ultimately changes its composition, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After having more than 70,000 women fill out a questionnaire about the foods they ate, researchers found that frequently indulging in fried foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and a moderately increased risk of coronary artery disease, especially if those foods were consumed at a restaurant.

This could come down to the amount and type of oil used, generous portion sizes, and the tendency to pair these foods with sugary beverages&mdashall factors that lead to weight gain, the study authors write.

However, even after adjusting their data for the consumption of sugary drinks, the connection between fried food and type 2 diabetes was still apparent. It depends on the method, but frying food literally changes the quality of its nutrients and spikes its calories, all while making it taste irresistibly delicious.

Store-bought pies and cakes

Pies. Cakes. Cookies. All of these popular dessert foods tend to be loaded with sugar and made with refined grains&mdashmaking them big hunks of carbohydrate, Dr. Freeby says. Take Marie Callender&rsquos Chocolate Satin Pie, for example. Just 1/6 of the pie&mdasha typical slice&mdashwill run you 34g of sugar and 48g of carbs.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Before you freak out, know that yogurt can actually be a healthy and satisfying snack for people with diabetes. &ldquoHowever, many of the fruit-on-the-bottom versions have a lot of added sugars,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoCurrently, there are some yogurts that may have as much as 40 to 47g sugar per cup.&rdquo

Instead, go for plain Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt, as they&rsquore usually lower in carbs and higher in protein, says Sheth. If you need to punch up the sweetness, adding fruit offers more filling fiber and can minimize quick blood sugar spikes.

Breakfast cereals

&ldquoBreakfast cereals can be high in carbs, added sugars, and low in protein and fiber,&rdquo explains Sheth. &ldquoCarbs, especially from refined grains, will naturally cause a spike in blood sugar.&rdquo Case in point: Just ¾ cup of Lucky Charms, for example, contains 22g of carbs and 10g of sugar.

But not all cereals are created equal. If you really can&rsquot resist a bowl every now and then, just be sure you&rsquore choosing a healthier portion-controlled option made from whole grains. Consider pairing a high-fiber cereal with Greek or Icelandic yogurt for guaranteed fullness and fewer blood sugar spikes, says Sheth. Make sure your cereal has at least 3 to 5g of fiber per serving, with no more than 8g of sugar.

Specialty coffee drinks

While there&rsquos not much wrong with a cup of joe, many of the sweetened drinks popular at nationwide coffee chains are absolutely loaded with sugar, Ginn-Meadow says.

That Starbucks &ldquopeppermint mocha&rdquo drink you love during the colder moths? It contains a whopping 63g carbs and 54g sugar. A skim milk &ldquocaramel swirl&rdquo latte at Dunkin Donuts contains 55g carbs, all of them from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

&ldquoOften when people are trying to avoid blood sugar spikes, they avoid or limit regular sugar but instead select honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup,&rdquo says Sheth. &ldquoHowever, it&rsquos important to recognize that these also contain carbs, and sometimes even more than sugar.&rdquo

For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar contains about 4 grams of carbs. The same amount of agave nectar gets you roughly 5 grams, while honey packs nearly 6g, says Sheth.

&ldquoEven though natural sweeteners may not be as processed as white sugar, they may still have a similar effect on blood sugar. If you want add sweeteners to a meal, pay attention to the carbs and choose the right portion for your meal plan. Consider using a sugar-free alternative to minimize the impact on your blood sugar,&rdquo she says. Something like Stevia fits the bill.

Candy

Sure, this is an obvious one. But unless you&rsquore sticking to sugar-free gum, almost all candy is chock full of the sweet stuff. &ldquoThe more sugar you consume in a concentrated amount, the more your blood sugar is affected,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says. And few things you could put in your mouth contain more concentrated doses of sugar than candy.

Bread

Again, carbohydrates are a diabetics nemesis. And refined, heavily processed breads are a significant source of carbs. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going out to eat, the bread basket should go right back to the kitchen,&rdquo Ginn-Meadow says.

Dr. Freeby agrees. But he says whole-grain breads&mdashbecause they take more time to digest&mdashare safer options. Look for whole grain or &ldquosprouted&rdquo breads. You&rsquoll want to check the bread&rsquos label to make sure a whole grain is the first thing named on the ingredients list.

White pasta and rice

The same goes for pasta, rice, and other white refined grains, since they tend to be high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, says Sheth. All of this will contribute to higher blood sugar, since fiber slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar and protein helps slow down the spike.

&ldquoInstead, try to enjoy a higher fiber option such as pasta made from beans or lentils, brown rice, and whole grain/high fiber bread,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIf you really enjoy the taste and flavor of white pasta and rice, then be mindful of enjoying appropriate portions and balance it off with a high fiber veggie side dish, and a adequate lean protein to minimize the impact on your blood sugar.&rdquo

Alcohol

Drinking booze can actually cause your blood sugar to drop too low (also known as hypoglycemia) because alcohol interferes with your liver&rsquos ability to produce glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. What&rsquos more, alcohol doesn&rsquot mix well with certain diabetes medications, says Sheth.

&ldquoIt is important that you know what your blood sugar is before you drink, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach (when your blood sugar is already low),&rdquo she says, since your risk of severely low blood sugar only increases the more you drink.

People with diabetes should follow the same moderation rules set for everyone else&mdashno more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, says Sheth. Everyone is different, though, so it&rsquos important to talk to your doc about your personal limits.

Dried fruit

As much as he feels that whole fruit is a healthy and important addition to a person&rsquos diet, Dr. Freeby says diabetics need to be careful. &ldquoFruit has a lot of great vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates that make blood sugar rise,&rdquo he explains. If you&rsquore going to pick one type to eat, he says berries tend to raise blood sugar less than fruits like grapes or melon.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, is really risky, Ginn-Meadow says. &ldquoDried fruit contains very concentrated amounts of carbs and sugar, so you really have to watch out for your portion sizes,&rdquo she says. A small handful of raisins can contain as much sugar and carbs as a whole bowl of grapes.