Your eating plan should focus on the amount and type of carbs you put on your plate throughout the day.
But it’s also important to have foods you enjoy. You want to eat enough so you feel satisfied and avoid overeating and poor choices. Here are seven foods that can spike your sugar level.
Potatoes may be a whole, natural root veggie, but they’re also notorious for causing blood sugar to spike because they’re digested into the bloodstream quickly.
To mitigate this negative effect, cook potatoes with a healthy fat, such as olive oil, and bump up the fiber by adding hearty leafy greens or another vegetable to the mix. Or, make potato salad with plenty of lemon juice and chill it in the fridge. The acid and cold alter the starch molecules in the spuds to slow digestion.
We tend to think of ketchup as a salty condiment, but many brands list some sort of sweetener as the second ingredient, which can have a disastrous effect on your blood sugar level. It doesn’t matter if it’s called sugar, evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, or malt syrup. They’re all sugar, and all of them will elevate blood glucose.
White pasta is made from refined white flour, which is an easily digestible starch. That raises your blood sugar level. It also tends to provoke overeating because it’s quickly digested, so you want to eat again.
As if that’s not bad enough, overcooking the pasta worsens the blood sugar impact.
4. Fruit juice
If your blood sugar is extremely low and you need to bring it up quickly, juice is your thing. But that’s not an effect you want when you’re looking to keep your blood sugar level the rest of the time.
The concentration of carbohydrates is very high and tends to cause severe spikes and drops, she adds. Keep fruit juice on hand to counteract hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but make water your go-to beverage as part of your everyday diabetes diet.
5. Low-fat sweetened yogurt
It’s obvious that low-fat yogurt has had fat removed, and that seems like a good choice if you have diabetes. While low-fat yogurt has a (small) positive impact on calorie count, it’s not so great for your blood sugar.
Manufacturers compensate for that loss of fat by adding stabilizers, thickeners, and sugars that can have a detrimental impact on blood glucose. A better approach is to skip the fruit-flavored yogurt and choose plain yogurt sweetened with real, whole fruit.
6. Energy drinks
Energy drinks carry all the woes of fruit juice with the added no-no of more sugars. They’re basically lots of sugar and very low nutrition. If you’re trying to stabilize blood sugar, steer clear of energy drinks. Go for water flavored with a spritz of citrus instead.
7. White rice
White rice is a whole rice grain that has been polished until just the endosperm—essentially an easily digestible starch bomb—is left. Not surprisingly, recent studies have shown that eating white rice can raise blood glucose significantly, especially if eaten often or in large quantities.
One study showed an 11% increase in diabetes risk with each daily serving of white rice. If you love rice with your stir-fries, switch to brown rice. Your blood sugar will thank you.