Top 10 Foods to Avoid with Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

Foods to Avoid with Diabetes

Most people can fairly easily identify the foods to avoid with diabetes present. They include those that are high in bad carbohydrates and bad fats. However, for people who also have hypertension (high blood pressure), the available edible choices can become fewer yet as pitfalls like sodium content also have to be considered. In some cases, this can take some foods off the table that normally could be part of a healthy diabetic diet. At their cores, both a diet for helping manage high blood pressure and a healthy diabetic diet are quite similar. Both include more whole and fresh foods as well as a reduction in processed foods, bad fats and extra sugar. But, there are some striking differences between foods to avoid with diabetes and those to refrain from when hypertension is present that should be considered in order to not only maintain healthy blood sugar levels after eating, but also help prevent unwanted spikes in blood pressure levels, too.

The purpose of these types of diets remains the same. In the case of a diabetic diet, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day helps reduce the risk of complications from developing as the disease progresses. Such complications like diabetic neuropathy which involves the literal destruction of nerve fibers as a result of the disease, can be painful and cause a great change in lifestyle. Having high blood pressure comes with it’s own risks including long term complications due to poor management, and diet including foods to avoid with diabetes and hypertension can be a remarkable tool for helping properly manage the conditions as well as reduce those complication risks.

We’ve put together a top ten list of foods that should be avoided for anyone planning a type 2 diabetes diet menu that also has hypertension. In some cases, some of our choices might be suitable for a diabetic diet food list, but are included because they are less appropriate for people with high blood pressure. Both a diet for diabetes as well as one for hypertension should include lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies and lean meat and dairy. And it’s important to understand that this recommendation changes little from persons without health conditions as those with them. However, there are some wholesome foods and processed selections alike that can be considered foods to avoid with diabetes and hypertension, and some of them might surprise you.

1. Alcohol: Although some studies have indicated that very small amounts of alcohol may be suitable for people with high blood pressure and may even help lower blood pressure slightly in some individuals; adult libations remain on the list of foods to avoid with diabetes. Alcohol contains large amounts of sugar, which can cause unsafe rises in blood sugar levels, and this can vary from type to type.

2. Deli Meats: Though people with diabetes may enjoy some deli meats from time to time if they are the lean variety like turkey, most of these selections are not ideal for people who also have hypertension. A vast majority of packaged deli meats contain large amounts of sodium and therefore while they may not affect blood sugar levels negatively, their salt content is not appropriate for people with elevated blood pressure levels. Some low sodium options are available and might be considered after some careful label reading.

3. Pickles: Although the tart, preserved cucumbers are not frequently found on lists of foods to avoid with diabetes, they are not appropriate for people who also have high blood pressure. Their salt content can be through the roof, and just one tasty pickle spear can have as much as 300 milligrams of sodium in it, making it a poor choice.

4. Canned Soups: Soup is often a staple of diabetic diet. Although devoid of whole and fresh foods, they offer low calorie options that can be accompanied by fruits and veggies and provide an appropriate lunch or dinner time staple. But, the sodium content of soup is one of the worst, with some varieties topping out at nearly a thousand milligrams per can!

5. Sugar: Obviously one of the most well known foods to avoid with diabetes is sugar, specifically the granulated white stuff that is commonly added to teas and coffee. But, sugar is also considered a poor choice for people with hypertension as well and studies have shown links between sugar and the products it’s found in and an increase in high blood pressure. Its negative implications in terms of obesity make it a triple whammy for people with the common health conditions.

6. Coffee: The popular morning beverage has been associated with maintaining safe blood sugar levels in diabetics, and when cream and sugar are replaced with sugar alternatives and non dairy creamer, it can be a delightful and even therapeutic beverage for diabetics. Unfortunately, the drink’s attribution to safe blood sugar levels is overshadowed by the fact that caffeinated beverages can cause dramatic increases in blood pressure levels.

7. Sauerkraut: This low calorie side may be a common treat for people with diabetes, but unfortunately its salt content makes it a poor choice for people with hypertension. At almost 500 milligrams of sodium per half cup, it should be avoided by people who have high blood pressure.

8. Bad Fats: Sugar gets most of the emphasis for people with diabetes, but both diabetics and those with high blood pressure alike should avoid foods that are high in bad fats like trans fats. Types of foods that fall into this category include hydrogenated butter substitutes, fried foods and the like, and they’re considered both foods to avoid with diabetes and high blood pressure too for their negative health impact and contribution to weight gain and obesity.

9. Packaged Foods: While it might seem vague, perhaps one of the biggest pitfalls for people on restrictive diets is processed and packaged foods. Loads of hidden sugar and salt can be found in boxed dinners, sweets and the like and both are detrimental to an otherwise healthy diet.

10. Salt: Obviously one of the biggest things to avoid if high blood pressure is present is salt, although diabetics might be less concerned with the tabletop flavorizer. Both conditions can benefit from reducing or eliminating added salt however, and substitution offers a chance to take advantage of healthful benefits too. Seasoning instead with garlic, onions, turmeric and others may actually have a positive impact on blood sugar levels, providing a combination benefit.