Saturday, October 23, 2010


Top picks: Danger food for diabetics

French Fries

French Fries

NO matter what type of diabetes you have, a proper balanced meal plan is vital. Poor food choices will work against your efforts to stay healthy. Although having diabetes does not mean you

should be deprived of any food item, some are best left out of your meal plan. These include foods high in saturated and trans-fat. Foods high in added sugar are just an empty source of calories, as confirmed by a website.

1. Restaurant french fries
French fries are loaded with saturated fat, sodium and calories. Although many fast-food restaurants offer trans-fat-free fries, that doesn’t make them healthy.

2. Hamburgers and chicken and fish sandwiches
Big, cheesy hamburgers, fried chicken and fish sandwiches are high in saturated fat, the leading factor in high cholesterol levels. However, there is no need to cut out saturated fat completely. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to seven per cent of your total daily calories.

3. Fried Chicken
This is another restaurant staple that shouldn’t be part of your diabetic meal plan. Frying chicken adds significant carbs, calories and fat, turning a good protein choice into a meal deal-breaker. Extra crispy fried chicken has more calories than grilled chicken.

4. Doughnuts and baked items
Commercially-made muffins, pastries and doughnuts are on the list of foods to avoid because of their high saturated fat content. If you must have some, be sure to check food labels and look for fat-free, sugar-free and reduced-sugar varieties. However, the best way to control what you eat is to make these yourself.

5. Cakes and pies
Cake mixes can also have trans-fat. If there’s one cake to avoid completely, it’s pound cake. Garnering its name for a reason (it’s named such as it’s traditionally made with 1lb or 453g butter, eggs, sugar, and flour), the US Food and Drug Administration lists one slice of pound cake as having 3.5g of saturated fat and 4.5g of trans-fat. There is no recommendation for any percentage of trans-fat as part of your daily calories. Avoiding all trans-fats can help lower cholesterol.

6. Frozen meals
Convenient but the high sodium and fat content of frozen meals make them unhealthy choices. One of the biggest culprits is the ultimate comfort food — potpie. Whether you pick up a frozen variety or order one at a restaurant, the potpie is a mega violator.

7. Flavoured water
Flavoured water is so convenient but the sugar hidden within isn’t worth the price. Often high in sugar and carbs, flavoured water is surprisingly bad for you.

8. Purchased smoothies
Filled with fruit and sold at colourful, fresh-looking hot spots, smoothies seem like great snacks or lunch choices. Unfortunately, there is a lot of hidden sugar. You can easily make smoothies at home that are just as refreshing but lower in carbs and calories.

9. Milkshakes
Rich, thick milkshakes from sit-down restaurants or fast-food joints are hiding places for bad-for-your-heart trans-fat. They also are loaded with calories and sugar. For example, a small chocolate milkshake has about 700 calories, one gramme of trans-fat (with 29g total fat), and 60g of sugar. Topping it with whipped cream adds more calories and sugar.

10. Frozen pizza
Pizza is delicious, convenient and it’s a must-have at football games, birthday parties and movie nights. The downside is that many commercially-made pizzas are full of calories that can blow a meal plan with just one slice as they are high in calories, sodium, carbs and fat.

11. Bought cookies
Sugar, butter, high-fructose corn syrup, shortening, margarine and partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils are the biggest saturated fat and trans-fat contributors that can also pile on calories and carbohydrates. So instead of buying, bake your own cookies.

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