I’d like to recommend these seven good habits to give up for Type 2 Diabetics, because by now you know that there’s more to managing your Type 2 Diabetes than taking your insulin and/or oral medications. Plus, I know that figuring out what is or isn’t healthy is a challenge.
It’s not uncommon for Diabetics to think the following are safe choices, but they could actually be sabotaging your efforts.
1. Buying “sugar-free” foods
The supermarket is full of things that seem to be diabetes-friendly because they don’t have added sugar. But many have sugar substitutes that contain carbs. That means they have the potential to send your blood sugar levels soaring.
- Before you put something in your cart, check the nutrition facts to see how many grams of carbs are in each serving and how much sugar is added.
One of the worst of the seven good habits to give up for type 2 Diabetics is…
2. Swapping meals for meal replacement bars
Losing weight can help you manage your Diabetes better, and meal replacement bars may seem like an easy way to slim down…however:
- Many meal replacement products are for athletes. So they can be high in calories.
- Others contain ingredients like sugar alcohols (sorbitol and mannitol, for example), which can cause stomach trouble.
Occasionally, munching on a bar for breakfast when you’re pressed for time is OK as long as you pay attention to the nutrition info. But it’s smarter to stick with real meals.
- A diet with lots of fruits and vegetables should give you all the nutrients you need.
- A multivitamin may help fill in the gaps, but it still can’t match the real thing — healthy food.
Some people take supplements like cinnamon or chromium in an attempt to keep their blood sugar levels stable, but these have not been proven to work yet, at least not by a medical research team.
- If you choose to try them — or any supplement — tell your doctor. He/She can make sure it’s safe for you and won’t negatively interact with any medication you’re taking.
4. Drinking juice
- Natural doesn’t always equal healthy. One cup of apple juice, for instance, has 25 grams of sugar and only a scant 0.5 grams of fiber. Learn about the benefits of fiber for Diabetics here.
An apple, however, has less sugar (19 grams) and more fiber (4.5 grams).
- The fiber will satisfy you longer and help stabilize your blood sugar.
- What’s more, some studies suggest that drinking juice every day increases the risk of developing diabetes. However, eating whole fruit regularly lowers it.
5. Drinking diet soda
- One study found that overweight people who rely on diet soda end up taking in more calories from food.
Why? Diet-drink lovers may think that because they’re “saving” calories on drinks, they can afford to splurge on food.
- Artificial sweeteners also confuse your body because they taste sweet but don’t provide any calories.
If you’re craving a cola once in a while, it’s fine to treat yourself. But otherwise, stick to water and unsweetened beverages like plain iced tea.
6. Avoiding ALL high-fat foods
A little fat is good for you, assuming you choose the right kinds. You should limit saturated fats (found in meat and dairy products) and avoid trans fats completely.
➡ But monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy. In fact, certain high-fat foods seem to have benefits for people with diabetes.
➡ Eating nuts along with higher-carb foods may help prevent blood sugar levels from going up too sharply.
➡ Other studies have shown that people who eat avocados are less likely to get metabolic syndrome. That’s a cluster of symptoms that includes high blood sugar.
Just remember to keep portion sizes small. The calories can add up quickly.
This is, for me, the worst of the seven good habits to give up for Type 2 Diabetics.
I’ve seen people open pack after pack because each one seems so tiny. They end up eating more than if they started with a “regular” container.
➡ In one study, people who were given nine small bags of chips ended up eating almost twice as much as those who were given two large bags.
- So be honest with yourself: Can you really stop after one, If not, put the box back on the shelf.
Can you think of any more? Let me know in the comments section below, and I’ll add them to the article!