Some foods are best left uneaten, more so for a person with diabetes.

This does not mean you must absolutely never eat these foods; you can — you should treat yourself from time to time. However, you should avoid them whenever possible and consider other, much healthier options.

Here is a list of five foods to avoid as a person with diabetes:

Processed grains, white bread

White bread, white rice and white pasta are refined carbs, meaning the starch in the foods have been processed to eliminate their nutritional value (e.g. minerals and fiber). Similar foods include but are not limited to: white tortillas, bagels and sweetened cereal.

Healthy alternatives: Rather than processed and refined grains, eat foods that contain whole grains. The fiber in whole grains can reduce the rate of blood sugar increase.

Sugary beverages

Flavored coffees, soda and juices high in sugar are loaded with carbohydrates and fructose. Studies have shown that fructose is connected to insulin resistance as well as other conditions related to diabetes. These drinks can also cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided as much as possible.

Although sugary drinks can help when your blood sugar is low, they should not be part of your regular diet.

Healthy alternatives: Water (regular, sparkling or flavored with fruits/vegetables), unsweetened tea/lemonade, black coffee (if you want some flavor, add in some low-fat milk), 100% juice with no added sugars.

French fries

Fried foods in general often have an unnecessary amount of carbohydrates due to the flour and breading used. These foods also contain lots of saturated fat and calories.

Healthy alternatives: Kale chips, non-fried sweet potato fries, non-fried carrot fries, low-calorie potato dishes.

Canned fruits and vegetables

Because vitamin C is destroyed by exposure to air, fresh fruit can lose its vitamin in a matter of days. In contrast, canned fruits can retain most of its vitamin content.

However, the fruit is doused in large amounts of syrup, which contains lots of sugar. You can get your daily dose of vitamin C in many other ways, so abandoning canned fruit in your diet will not be too detrimental to your health. Try vitamin C supplements if you don’t want to find food alternatives.

In terms of vegetables, canned vegetables have large amounts of sodium. Although it may not have a significant effect on your health, avoiding them when you can is best.

Healthy alternatives: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, supplements

Sweets and fats

Our body needs a certain amount of sugar and fats to function. However, we sometimes fall to the sweet or greasy seduction of sugary or fatty foods.

Most trans and saturated fats have a negative effect on your body. Instead of these, eat foods that are natural sources of fat.

Healthy alternatives: vegetables fats (e.g. nuts, avocados, seeds), oils from plants (e.g. olive, sunflower, canola oils), omega-3 fats (e.g. salmon, tuna)

Author: Julie Kang

Photo courtesy of Food Revolution Network