5 Main Foods for Diabetics to Avoid

Supriya Lal

2020 Jul 08

3 min read

These are the foods you don’t want to be eating. Some will be obvious, some will be not, but going through this list and keeping these ingredients as foods non grata will help you stay focused on your diabetes management!

Added sugar. It’s kind of obvious but let’s differentiate two sugars. Most of the time you will hear doctors or friends saying “stay away from the sugar” but that’s not necessarily the truth. You want to stay away from added sugars, which are found in soft drinks, juices, yogurts, ketchup, pasta sauces. Try to avoid it because it’s pro-inflammatory and it will spike your blood sugar. Also, learn more about hidden sugars and where to find them.

Processed carbohydrates. Processed grains such as white rice, potato/corn starches take all the carbohydrates and pump into your food. They’re not complex, they’re fiberless and they will also spike your blood sugar. Healthy carbs is the way to go.

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Fried foods. Or simply just fast food. When you deep fry in such a high heat with so much oil and fat, you need to understand that fat puts you at risk for diabetes, pre-diabetes, type 2. A crushing combo is sweet things such as doughnuts. Imagine eating something sweet, plus deep-fried, you’re getting triple trouble: added sugar + processed carbs + fat. Onion rings, french fries, fried meat, unfortunately, you should say goodbye to these tasty treats. Fat will muck up your cells and cause issues functioning properly with insulin.

Dairy. With dairy it’s tricky. If you’re diabetic, you can easily consume dairy products as long as you’re doing it with moderation. It’s okay if products are without added sugars and flavors. It could be a low-fat variety of yogurts, skim, fat-free milk, etc. Be aware because lactose can definitely raise up your blood glucose.

Processed meat. It’s a group 1 carcinogen, meaning you should try to avoid it at all costs. Also, it’s causing more inflammation in your body, and a lot of times with meat you’re getting endotoxin that affects the boost of inflammation. What do we mean by processed foods? Hotdogs, any meat in the can, lunch meat (full of nitrites, preservatives, poor quality meat).

While it may sound difficult to avoid these inevitable ingredients, everything is possible by reading the labels, keeping in mind what added sugars and other condiments can cause, and trying to substitute it with alternatives that are more healthy.

Written by

Supriya Lal

Supriya Lal is a Registered Dietitian based in New York City. She completed her training at Duke University Hospital System and has specific interests in personalised nutrition therapy, nutritional counseling, and sustainability related to food and nutrition. She is currently completing her Master's in Public Health at New York University.

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