Food & Nutrition

17 of the Worst Eating Habits for Diabetes

If you’re trying to lower blood sugar and stay healthy, make sure you aren’t committing these eating mistakes.

You’re a breakfast skipper

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We always hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this may be particularly true for individuals with diabetes, says Alison Massey, RD, a registered dietitian and director of diabetes education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Waiting too long to eat in the morning might result in hypoglycemia or blood glucose that is too low. Here are tricks to treat hypoglycemia every diabetic should know. “Even when my clients aren’t typical ‘breakfast eaters,’ I encourage them to incorporate a small snack into their morning routine, like a Greek yogurt with some berries or a hard-boiled egg and slice of whole grain toast,” she says. It doesn’t have to be a sit-down meal, but make sure you have something healthy in your body so you don’t crash. Follow these healthy breakfast rules for diabetics.

Your diet contains too many of the wrong fats

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Research suggests that excessive fat intake (more than 30 percent of total calories) may worsen insulin resistance. Stay away from meals that tend to contain high amounts of saturated fat, like those from fast food restaurants. While the mechanism isn’t clearly understood, some research has found a modest benefit in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) on insulin resistance, as well as decreasing liver fat. MUFAs are good-for-you fats found in avocados, olive oil, nut butters, and seeds, to name a few. A diet that is high in MUFAs and lower in saturated fats is also associated with improvements in cardiovascular health, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduced triglycerides and blood pressure, says Massey. Here are clear signs you aren’t eating enough healthy fats.

Meat takes up half your plate

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Overindulging in protein could impact your blood glucose levels, especially if that protein at your meal is from red meat, which may have an adverse impact on insulin sensitivity, says Massey. Increased consumption of red meat has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in research. It’s also not a bad idea to limit intake of red meats to improve cardiovascular health, says Massey.

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