What Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes?

Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes: So, diabetes is a chronic condition that has become very normal among adults and children throughout the world.[1]

Your uncontrolled diabetes has many serious consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and other complications. Additionally, prediabetes has also been linked to these conditions.

However, eating certain foods can raise blood sugar and insulin levels and promote inflammation, which can increase the risk of disease.

Does Your carb intake matter with diabetes?

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the macronutrients that provide the body with energy.

Among them, carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar. This is because they are broken down into sugar or glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream.

Carbohydrates include starches, sugar, and fiber. However, fiber is not digested and is instead absorbed by the body in the same way as other carbohydrates, so it does not spike blood sugar.

Subtracting the fiber from the total carbohydrates in one serving of the meal will give you its net or digestible carbohydrate content. 

For example, if a cup of mixed vegetables contains 10 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber, the net carbohydrate count is 6 grams.

When people with diabetes eat too many carbohydrates at the same time, their blood sugar levels can rise to dangerously high levels.

Over time, elevated levels can damage the body’s nerves and blood vessels, which could pave the way for heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious health conditions.

Keeping your carbohydrate intake low can help prevent hyperglycemia and significantly reduce the risk of diabetes complications.

Also, See… 15 Healthy vegetables.

11 Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes

Here is the list of 11 Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes

Therefore, it’s important for you to not consume these Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes.

1. Trans fats

Artificial-trans fats are very harmful to health. Additionally, these are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids to make them more stable.

Trans fats are found in margarine, peanut butter, spreads, bleaches, and frozen lunches. In addition, food manufacturers often add them to cookies, cakes, and other pastries to extend the shelf life of the product.

Although trans fats did not directly raise blood sugar, they were associated with increased inflammation, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat, as well as lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol and poor function. arteries.

Although more research is needed to better understand the relationship between trans fats and insulin resistance, the references above are of particular interest to people with diabetes because they are at increased risk for heart disease.

Furthermore, artificial trans fats have been banned in most countries. 

Moreover, in 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of partially hydrogenated oil, the main source of synthetic trans fats in foods, in most processed foods.[2]

This is not to say that now all foods in the United States do not contain artificial trans fats. 

Manufacturers are not required to indicate trans fats on the “Nutrition Facts” labels if the product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving.

It is best to avoid any foods that have the words “partially hydrogenated” in their list of ingredients.

2. Sugar-sweetened beverages

Sweet drinks are the worst option for diabetics.

First, it is high in carbohydrates, and a 12-ounce (354 ml) can of cola gives 38.5 grams.

Additionally, the same amount of sweetened iced tea and lemon juice contains about 45 grams of carbohydrates, exclusively from sugar.

Moreover, these drinks are rich in fructose, which is strongly associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. In fact, studies show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of diabetes-related diseases such as fatty liver disease.

Additionally, high levels of fructose in sugary drinks can cause metabolic changes that increase belly fat and potentially harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

In selected studies in overweight and obese adults, consuming 25% of calories from high-fructose beverages on a weight-maintaining diet increased insulin and abdominal fat resistance, decreased metabolic rate, and impaired heart health.

To help control your blood sugar and prevent the risk of disease, drink water, soda, or unsweetened iced tea instead of sugary drinks.

3. Fruit-flavored yogurt

Plain yogurt can be a good option for diabetics. However, flavored varieties with fruit have a completely different story.

Flavored yogurt is usually made from skim or skim milk and is rich in carbohydrates and sugar.

In fact, one cup (245 grams) of fruit-flavored yogurt can contain almost 31 grams of sugar, which means that about 61% of calories come from sugar.

Additionally, people consider frozen yogurt a healthy alternative to ice cream. However, it may contain as much or more sugar as ice cream.

Instead of choosing high-sugar yogurt that can raise your blood sugar and insulin. Try choosing regular, high-fat yogurt that contains no sugar and can be good for your appetite, weight control, and gut health.

4. White bread, pasta and rice

White bread, rice, and pasta are processed foods rich in carbohydrates.

It has been shown that eating bread, bagels and other refined flour products significantly raises blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

This response is not limited to products made from refined white flour. One study showed that gluten-free pasta raises blood sugar levels, with rice-based species having the greatest effect.

Another study found that carbohydrate-rich foods not only raise blood sugar but also reduce brain function in people with type 2 diabetes and mental deficiencies.

These processed foods are low in fiber. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the blood.

Increased fiber intake has also improved the gut microbiota, which can lead to better insulin resistance.

5. Flavored coffee drinks

Coffee has been linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes.

However, coffee drinks with taste should be considered a liquid dessert, not a healthy drink.

Studies have shown that your brain does not process liquid and solid foods in this way. If you drink calories, don’t make up for it by eating less later, which can lead to weight gain.

Flavored coffee drinks are rich in carbohydrates.

To keep your blood sugar under control and avoid weight gain, choose regular coffee or espresso with a tablespoon of heavy cream or half and half.

Also, See…Foods that are high in Vitamin D.

6. Agave nectar, and maple syrup

People with diabetes often try to reduce their consumption of white table sugar in addition to sweets, cookies, and cakes.

However, other forms of sugar can also cause a rise in blood sugar. Including brown sugar and “natural” sugars such as honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup.

Although these sweeteners are not severely processed, they contain at least as many carbohydrates like white sugar. In fact, most contain more.

Here are the carbs in a tablespoon of popular sweeteners:

  • Honey: 17.3 grams
  • White sugar: 12.6 grams 
  • Agave nectar: 16 grams
  • Maple syrup: 13.4 grams

In one study, people with prediabetes experienced a similar rise in blood sugar, insulin, and markers of inflammation, regardless of whether they consumed 1.7 ounces.

Your best strategy is to avoid all forms of sugar and use natural sweeteners with low carbohydrates.

7. Sweetened breakfast cereals

Taking cereal can be one of the worst ways to start your day if you have diabetes.

Despite health claims on their jars, most cereals are highly processed and contain far more carbohydrates than many people realize.

In addition, they provide very little protein, a nutrient that can help you feel full and satisfied while keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day.

Even some “healthy” breakfast cereals are not a good option for diabetics.

For example, half a cup (about 56 grams) of granola contains 44 grams of carbohydrates, and grapes – 47 grams. In addition, they both provide no more than 7 grams of protein per serving.

To control your blood sugar and hunger, skip most cereals and choose a low-carb breakfast that contains protein.

8. Packaged snack foods

Pretzels, salted crackers, and other packaged foods are not good to snack options.

They are usually made from refined flour and provide little nutrients, although they contain large amounts of quickly digestible carbohydrates that can quickly raise blood sugar.

Here are the number of carbs in one serving (28 grams) of some popular snacks:

  • Pretzels: 22.5 grams of carbs, including 0.95 grams of fiber
  • Graham crackers: 21.7 grams of carbs, including 0.95 grams of fiber

In fact, some of these foods may contain more carbohydrates than indicated on the label. One study found that snacks provide an average of 7.7% more carbohydrates than the notes on the label (47 trusted sources).

If you’re hungry between meals, it’s best to eat nuts or low-carb vegetables with an ounce of cheese.

Also, See… Healthy foods for cravings.

9. French fries

French fries are foods you can avoid, especially if you have diabetes.

Potatoes themselves are relatively rich in carbohydrates. Moreover, the average potato contains 34.8 grams of carbohydrates, of which 2.4 grams is fiber.

However, after cleaning and frying in vegetable oil, potatoes can not only raise blood sugar but much more.

Fried foods have been shown to produce large amounts of toxic compounds such as final glycation products (AGEs) and aldehydes. 

Additionally, these compounds can promote inflammation and increase the risk of disease. In fact, many studies have linked frequent potato chips and other fried foods to heart disease and cancer.

If you don’t want to completely avoid potatoes, eat a small portion of sweet potatoes – your best option.

10. Dried fruit

Fruit is an excellent source of many important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.

Additionally, when dry out, the process leads to water loss, leading to higher concentrations of these nutrients. Unfortunately, its sugar content is also becoming more concentrated.

One glass (151 grams) of grapes contains 27.3 grams of carbohydrates, including 1.4 grams of fiber. 

On the contrary, one cup (145 grams) of raisins contains 115 grams of carbohydrates, 5.4 of which – fiber.

Thus, raisins contain more than four times more carbohydrates than grapes. In other types of nuts, carbohydrate levels are higher than in fresh counterparts.

If you have diabetes, you don’t need to completely give up fruit. 

However, consumption of low-sugar fruits, such as fresh berries or a small apple, can benefit health by keeping blood sugar levels in the target range.

11. Fruit juice

Fruit juice is often considered a healthy-drink. However, its effect on blood sugar is similar to that of sodas and other sugary drinks.

This applies to 100% unsweetened fruit juice, as well as types that contain added sugar. In some cases, fruit juice has more sugar and more carbohydrates than soda.

For example, 8 ounces (250 ml) of applesauce and soda contain 22 and 24 grams of sugar, respectively. An equivalent serving of grape juice provides 35 grams of sugar.

Similar to sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice is packed with fructose. Which drives insulin resistance, obesity, and heart disease.

A much better alternative is to enjoy the water and lemon wedge, which provides less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and has virtually no calories.

Also, See… What are Foods to avoid for arthritis?


Remove these Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes to manage your diabetes. Sometimes it can seem difficult to know what foods to avoid when you have diabetes. 

However,  your goals should include staying away from unhealthy fats, liquid sugars, processed grains, and other foods that contain refined carbohydrates.

Moreover, avoiding foods that increase blood sugar levels and strengthen insulin resistance can help you stay healthy. 

In addition, it will reduce your risk of developing diabetes complications later in life.