Several major things can go wrong – causing the onset of diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common forms of the disease, but there are also other kinds, such as gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, as well as other forms.
Worst: White rice
The more white rice you eat, the greater your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2012 review. In a study of more than 350,000 people, those who ate the most white rice were at greatest risk for type 2 diabetes, and the risk increased 11% for each additional daily serving of rice. "Basically anything highly processed, fried, and made with white flour should be avoided,". White rice and pasta can cause blood sugar spikes similar to that of sugar.
Have this instead: Brown rice or wild rice. These whole grains don't cause the same blood sugar spikes thanks to fiber, which helps slow the rush of glucose into the bloodstream, says Andrews. What's more, a Harvard School of Public Health study found that two or more weekly servings of brown rice was linked to a lower diabetes risk.
Worst: Blended coffees
Blended coffees that are laced with syrup, sugar, whipped cream, and other toppings can have as many calories and fat grams as a milkshake, making them a poor choice for those with diabetes. A 16-ounce Frappuccino at Starbucks, for instance, can contain 500 calories, 98 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of fat. You may consider a treat such as this "just coffee," but the blended versions can send blood glucose soaring.
Have this instead: Ask for the smaller, 12-oz light or non-fat versions, which range from 60 to 200 calories, making it a much lower-calorie, lower-sugar substitute, says Andrews. "The lighter version won't drive blood sugars sky high, especially if you take a walk afterward," she adds. Ideally, black coffee is best.
Worst: Bananas and melons
All fresh fruit is packed with vitamins and fiber, making them a healthy part of any diet. However, some fruits contain more sugar. "Bananas, melons, and stone fruits like peaches and nectarines are on the high-sugar side,". These may cause blood sugar spikes more than other fruit, although this may not be true for everyone.
Have this instead: Granny Smith apples, blueberries, and other berries are lower in sugar. "But what works for one diabetic may not work for another, so you need to find which fruits work best for you," says Dr. Doria-Medina. "Combining the fruit with peanut butter or low-fat cheese (making sure to reduce the fruit portion by half) is also a good way to cut down the fruit portion." Test your blood sugar two hours after eating to find out how you react.
Worst: Refined cereal
Sweetened breakfast cereals can cause a spike in blood sugar, but the response can vary. "Blood sugar reactions to cereal vary greatly from person to person,". Even oatmeal—which is recommended as a good choice by the ADA—can be a problem if it's the sweetened, instant type.
Have this instead: Swap breakfast cereal for a high-protein meal instead. Try an egg white omelet with vegetables and turkey or Canadian bacon with a small slice of low-carb (7 grams) bread. Cholesterol in the yolk may contribute to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, which makes egg whites a healthier option. Steel cut and traditional oatmeal, cooked slowly, is a better choice than other types of oatmeal as it is less likely to spike blood sugar. Small portions and adding protein can help.