4. Trans fats
Artificial trans fats are extremely unhealthy.
They’re created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids to make them more stable.
Trans fats are found in margarines, peanut butter, spreads, creamers, and frozen dinners. Furthermore, food manufacturers often add them to crackers, muffins, and other baked goods to help extend a product’s shelf life.
Although trans fats don’t directly raise blood sugar levels, they’ve been linked to increased inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat, as well as lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and impaired arterial function.
While more research is needed to gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between trans fats and insulin resistance, the links mentioned above are especially concerning for people with diabetes, as they’re at an increased risk of heart disease.
Artificial trans fats have been outlawed in most countries, and in 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of partially hydrogenated oil — the major source of artificial trans fat in the food supply — in most processed foods (17Trusted Source).
This doesn’t mean that all foods in the United States are now free of artificial trans fats. Manufacturers aren’t required to list trans fats on the nutrition facts labels if a product contains under 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
It’s best to avoid any product that contains the words “partially hydrogenated” in its ingredient list.
3. White bread, rice, and pasta
White bread, rice, and pasta are high carb, processed foods.
This response isn’t exclusive to products made with refined white flour. In one study, gluten-free pastas were also shown to raise blood sugar, with rice-based types having the greatest effect (21Trusted Source).
Another study found that high carb foods not only raised blood sugar but also decreased brain function in people with type 2 diabetes and mental deficits (22).
These processed foods contain little fiber. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
In other research, replacing these low fiber foods with high fiber foods was shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Moreover, people with diabetes experienced reductions in cholesterol.
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