12 Specific Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes: What you need to know 

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12 Specific Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes: What you need to know 

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Foods & Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes based on Research. Diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin or faces problems using it. The insufficient production and usage of insulin cause hyperglycemia. 

Hyperglycemia is a rise in blood glucose levels in the body. Diabetes is a chronic illness that has begun affecting ample people, including kids. Uncontrolled diabetes results in serious consequences, including blindness, heart problems, kidney diseases, etc. 

Importance of Food to Avoid Diabetes

Some food options are always better than others if you have diabetes. Restrictions bind you. But, nothing is off-limits completely. Delicacies that are considered worst for diabetics, can also be enjoyed sometimes. But that would not help you in any way. So, it is best to follow it . 

Why People With Type 2 Diabetes Should Follow Diet? 

Why People With Type 2 Diabetes Should Follow Diet? Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition when the body cells face problems getting enough glucose. When the sugar does not reach the cells, its level increases in the bloodstream. Increased blood sugar levels can damage your eyes, kidney, nerves, and cardiovascular system.

Food items with a low glycemic content cause a moderate rise in blood sugar levels. A better glycemic control helps to prevent long term complications. If you have type 2 diabetes, eating a balanced diet is very helpful. A balanced diet helps in managing blood sugar level and body weight. Also, with a healthy weight and stable blood sugar level, you face lesser risks and heart problems. 

Why does carb intake matter for people with diabetes? 

Why does carb intake matter for people with diabetes?

Your body intakes 3 macronutrients for energy – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Out of all these, carbohydrates affect your blood sugar levels the most. They break down in your body to form glucose or sugar and are absorbed by the body cells.  

Carbohydrates include fibre, starches, and sugar. Fibre does not get digested and hence is not absorbed like the other carbs. Therefore, it does not raise your blood sugar levels, unlike the additional carbs. 

When diabetic people consume too many carbohydrates in a go, they have a chance of facing spiked blood sugar levels. And with time, high blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels, nerves, eyesight, kidney, etc.  

If you maintain a low carbohydrate intake, your blood sugar level can stay stable. Therefore, when suffering from diabetes, it is essential to intake mindful food to prevent diabetes. 

Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes 

Foods & Drinks to Avoid 

Foods To Avoid With Diabetes

High Carb Foods 

High Carb Foods to avoid with Diabetes

To manage diabetes, it is important to intake a controlled amount of carbohydrates in your diet. After digestion, the human body transforms carbohydrates into glucose. This causes blood sugar levels to spike. Therefore, it is essential to count the carbohydrates you consume. Excessive carbs can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and cause obesity.  

A person with diabetes can only intake half of the required calories from carbohydrates. Anything more than half can cause high blood sugar levels. Therefore, if your calorie intake is about 1600, you must intake only 700-800 calories from carbohydrates. It would be best to avoid simple carbs as they feature a high glycemic index.  


Proteins to avoid with Diabetes

Protein is one of the three main macronutrients of the body. It helps in the repair and growth of new tissue in the body. In addition, it also breaks down to provide glucose for the body. Therefore, protein can break down into glucose, and you can notice the effects if you consume fewer carbohydrates. 

Proteins break down into glucose less efficiently than carbs. Resultantly, the effect of protein on blood glucose levels might occur anywhere between several hours to a few hours after eating a meal. Any person with diabetes on insulin must intake a protein-rich meal with precaution. It is best to know how your sugar levels fluctuate during protein-rich meals. 

Trans Fat 

Trans Fat, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat. They come in both synthetic and natural forms. Trans fats are found in 2 states listed below:  

  1. Natural trans fats:- Natural trans fats are not considered harmful and occur in a few animal products. 

  1. Artificial trans fats:- Artificial trans fats pose serious health consequences and are present in hydrogenated vegetable oils. 

Natural trans fats occur in dairy and meat from ruminant animals like goats, cattle, sheep, etc. When bacteria in these animals digest, trans fat formation takes place. These kinds comprise 2 to 6 percent of fat in dairy items and 3 to 9 percent fat in the cut of lambs and beef. However, meat and dairy consumers need not be concerned. Various reviews state that moderate intake of such fats does not appear harmful.  

The relation between diabetes risk and trans fat is not completely clear. A study where more than 80,000 women consumed more trans fats faced a 40% increased risk of diabetes. Learn more about the survey here. (18Trusted Source). 

However, other studies did not find any relationship between diabetes and trans fats. Various studies examining diabetes risk factors and trans fats have shown inconsistent results. Several animal types of research show that increased trans fats harm glucose and insulin function.  

Conclusively, trans fats might drive type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, but the results in human studies are quite mixed. 

Processed foods 

Processed foods, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

People who eat a lot of processed foods are more susceptible to develop diabetes. People who eat healthy are at a lower risk of developing diabetes. Highly processed food items are often high in fats, calories, and sugar. Eating loads of processed food items have been linked to risks of many health problems. You can have diseases like high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels, heart diseases, and kinds of cancers.  

Various studies show evidence of linking type 2 diabetes to processed food intake. It is advised to lower the consumption of processed food such that you have a healthy diet that is low in salt, sugar, energy, and fat. You must limit the intake of processed food items and drinks, if you wish to lower your risk of diabetes. Limit eating fatty foods, processed sodas, meat, and other sugary items. 

Processed foods have characteristics that stimulate overeating. It also displaces your healthy eating choices like grains, fruits, and vegetables. Thus, you should altogether avoid consuming processed food. 

White Sugar 

White Sugar, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

As diabetes is a disease characterized by raised blood sugar levels, several people wonder if consuming sugar can cause it. Consuming large sugar amounts might indeed increase your chances of diabetes. Other facts that impact the risk include diet, genetics, and lifestyle. 

Many studies show that people who consume sugary beverages have a 25% greater risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. Consuming merely a single sweetened drink a day can boost your risk of diabetes by 13%. Many types of research show that sugar increases the risk of diabetes directly and indirectly. Consuming large sugar amounts can indirectly raise your body weight, another chance of developing diabetes. Therefore, diabetic patients must bar their sugar consumption. 

Starchy Vegetables 

Starchy Vegetables, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

ating plenty of vegetables every day is essential for maintaining good health. They are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They offer protection against heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. 

There are two kinds of vegetables – starchy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables. The main difference between the two types is the content of starch.  

Some starchy foods include vegetables like corn and potato, that are high in starch content. You can consume starchy vegetables in moderate quantities though some suggest avoiding them. In short, starchy veggies are vegetables for diabetics to avoid. 

High-protein Foods 

High-protein Foods, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

For people at a high risk of developing diabetes, the suggestion is to lose weight. As per research, losing weight with a high protein diet does not enhance insulin sensitivity. The opposite happens in the case of a conventional diet. The traditional diet helps to manage diabetes by 30%. And, a high protein diet shows no improvement at all. 

Dairy Products

Dairy Products, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

Dairy products are required by all, whether we are diabetic or not. It is a rich source of calcium and other minerals. Some dairy items are also rich in fats; thus, overconsumption can be a cause of diabetes. Hence, you can choose low-fat alternatives and maintain an optimum intake. 

Many people think that sugar causes type 2 diabetes. A major cause of diabetes is fat. Fat causes insulin resistance in the body. About 49% of calories from whole milk come from fat. While speaking of skimmed milk, 35% of calories come from fat. Other dairy products like cheese and paneer contribute about 60 to 70% fat. And ghee contributes about 100% fat. 

In India, dairy consumption is huge. Indians consume dairy food products with almost every meal. Also, India is home to the second-largest number of diabetics globally. 


Drinks To Avoid With Diabetes

Drinks, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

Diet Soda 

Diet sodas are sugar-less drinks, and one might find them suitable to consume even with diabetes. However, the absence of calories or sugar does not make it ideal for people with diabetes.  

A recent study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 66,118 females for 14 years, tracking the drinks they consumed. Concludingly, artificial and sugar-sweetened beverages lead to a high risk of type 2 diabetes.  

Obesity is a great contributor to diabetes. Controlling and maintaining a stable weight is essential in avoiding and managing diabetes. Long-term effects of diet soda on the waist size or belly fat are harmful to diabetic people. Centralized body fat increases the risk of chronic diseases more than the fat in other areas. Studies show that the waist size increases for people who drink diet sodas than those who do not. Thus, there is a long-term link between diet sodas and diabetes. 

Energy Drinks 

Energy drinks are not ideal for a person with diabetes to consume regularly. A sip here and there might not make a significant difference, but consuming it in huge quantities can be a problem in the long run. In the points below, let us know why energy drinks are harmful to people with diabetes: 

  • Energy drinks contain a huge amount of caffeine. Caffeine causes various ailments in an individual. There can be anxiety, increased blood pressure, dehydration, sleeping problems, and heart issues. People with diabetes are already at risk of sleeping issues and increased blood pressure. 

  • A 16-ounce energy drink container contains about 54 to 62 grams of added sugar. This amount of sugar and calories is more than what can be consumed by people with diabetes for an entire day. Such excess sugar is harmful to both weight management and diabetes. 


Alcohol, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

Alcohol might cause the blood sugar level to rise or fall if you have diabetes. In addition, alcohol contains a lot of calories. If you desire to consume alcohol, do it when your blood sugar levels and diabetes are well controlled. And, make sure you do it moderately on rare occasions. 

Listed below are some ways in which alcohol can affect diabetes. Let us take a look: 

  • Sweet wine and beer contain carbohydrates that might raise your blood sugar levels. 

  • Alcohol boosts your appetite, which can cause over-eating, which may elevate your blood sugar levels. 

  • While moderate amounts of alcohol can cause your blood sugar levels, excessive alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to decrease. Sometimes, it can cause your blood sugar levels to drop drastically, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. 

  • Consuming Alcohol might increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. 

  • It contains many calories, which makes you obese and makes it difficult to lose excess weight. 

  • It may affects your willpower and sense of judgment, causing you to make poor food selection choices. 

  • Alcohol interferes with the positive effects of insulin or oral diabetes medicines. 

  • It might also cause nausea, spiked heart rate, flushing, and slurred speech. 

[Know More : Can Quitting Alcohol Reverse Diabetes?]

Milk & Milk Products 

Milk & Milk Products, Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

Researchs suggest that people with type 2 diabetes react differently to caffeine. It might raise insulin and blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.  

A study featured type 2 diabetic people consuming 250 milligrams of caffeine pills at lunch and breakfast. It is equivalent to having two coffee cups with every meal. The result showed an 8% hike in blood sugar levels on days when they consumed caffeine. The blood sugar reading also hiked more after finishing every meal. This concluded that caffeine could affect the response of your body to insulin. It may lower insulin sensitivity. 

If you are a type 2 diabetic patient, your body does not use insulin well. After each meal, the blood sugar level rises more than usual. Caffeine makes it challenging to bring the blood sugar level down to normal. This might take your blood sugar level to a spiked number. Over time, it can raise the chances of heart diseases, diabetes complications, and nerve damage.   

Healthy Fruits & Vegetables for Diabetes  

Healthy Fruits & Vegetables for Diabetes  

Diabetic Friendly Fruits 

To begin with, one must know that sugar patients can eat fruits. Fruits offer you carbohydrates, minerals, fiber, and vitamins. Most fruits are naturally low in sodium and fat. But, they contain more carbohydrates than vegetables. There are ample fruits diabetics can eat and include in their regular meals. Listed below are the fruits to eat for diabetes. Let us have a look: 

  • Fresh fruits 
  • Sugarless applesauce 
  • Low sugar or sugar-free preserves or jams 
  • Fruits canned with no added sugar 
  • Plain frozen fruits 

Diabetic Friendly Vegetables 

Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes, Diabetic Friendly Vegetables 

Vegetables are great in fiber content, minerals, vitamins. There are two kinds of vegetables: starchy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables are good for people with diabetes, and starchy vegetables are vegetables for diabetics to avoid.  

Vegetables like corn and potatoes are counted as starchy vegetables. Thus, they are vegetables for people with diabetes to avoid. Listed below are various vegetables that are good for people with diabetes. Let us have a look: 

  1. Grilled vegetables 

  1. Raw vegetables 

  1. roasted and steamed vegetables 

  1. steamed and frozen vegetables 

  1. Unsalted and low sodium canned vegetables 

  1. Green vegetables like arugula, spinach, and kale 

  1. Iceberg lettuce 

A diabetic person must opt to eat various vegetables like dark greens, oranges, and reds. For orange and red vegetables, opt for red peppers and carrots. When speaking of white vegetables, opt for onions. Eggplant is a great purple vegetable. 

Know more about the [Best Fruits for Diabetics]

Vegetables & Fruits To Be Avoided By Diabetics 

Foods & Drinks to avoid with Diabetes

List of Fruits To Be Avoided 

Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diabetes, Fruits are a good source of starch and can be a part of your diet even if you are a diabetic. However, you must wisely choose the fruits to eat and avoid. There are certain fruits that diabetic patients can eat while there are some to avoid. In the list below, let us have a look at the fruits for diabetics to avoid:  

  • Canned fruits that contain loads of sugar syrup
  • Chewable fruit rolls 
  • Sweetened applesauce 
  • Fruit drinks and fruit punches 
  • Fruit juices 
  • Regular jelly and jams 
  • Fruit preserves  

Vegetables To Be Avoided 

Vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They also contain a good amount of fibre and water. There are starchy and non-starchy vegetables, and you must choose wisely if you have diabetes. Starchy vegetables like corn and potato are vegetables for diabetics to avoid. Let us know more about what vegetables to avoid for diabetics in the list below: 


Can diabetes eat fruits and vegetables? 

You can meet your daily nutritional needs with every meal if you have fruits and vegetables. However, many fruits and vegetables are rich in starch. This has raised questions about whether vegetables and fruits are suitable for people with diabetes.  

Some studies suggest that every fruit is suitable for people with diabetes. You must not be allergic to the fruit. Some studies show that higher fruit intake is related to a low risk of type 2 diabetes. But, not every fruit and vegetable is healthy. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better than processed and canned fruits and vegetables. The reason being, canned fruits and vegetables contain added sugar, flavors, and preservatives. The added sugar can cause blood sugar level to spike. 

What fruit and vegetables are bad for diabetics 

A sugar patient can eat fruits and vegetables on all days. But, one should be smart enough and make smart choices to main diabetes. Listed below are the vegetables and fruits that diabetic patients can eat.  Let us have a closer look: 

  • High sugar fruits like ripe bananas, pineapples, dried dates, watermelons. 
  • Canned fruits with high amount of sugar syrup 
  • Sweet applesauce 
  • Fruit juices 
  • Fruit punches 
  • Drinks with fruit juices 
  • Chewey fruit rolls 
  • Fruit jams and jellys 
  • Fruit preservatives 
  • High starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes 
  • Canned vegetables that contain high amount of sodium 
  • Vegetables cooked with ample sauce, butter, ghee, and cheese 
  • Sauerkraut and pickles 

What fruits and vegetables help with diabetes 

If you are a person with diabetes, make intelligent choices about what vegetables and fruits to eat for diabetes and which ones to avoid. Below are the fruits and vegetables that a diabetic can eat and relish. Let us take a look: 

  • Tart Cherries: A cup of cherries contain 12.5 grams of carbohydrates and 52 calories. They are suitable for fighting inflammation, are good antioxidants, and help fight several diseases. You can get them fresh, dried, canned, or frozen. But, since dried and canned fruits contain additional sugar, you must check these off your list.  

  • Peaches: A medium-sized peach contains 14 grams of carbohydrates and 59 calories. It is also rich in Vitamin C and potassium. You can either have it raw or prepare iced teas and smoothies using crushed ice, low-fat milk and ginger. 

  • Apricots: These are sweet summer fruit with 4 grams of carbohydrates and 17 calories. It also contains a good amount of Vitamin A and is rich in fibre. You can either add some of these to salads or mix them in hot or cold cereal. 

  • Oranges: Oranges provide you with 78% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. It offers you 62 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates. A medium-sized orange is also rich in folate and potassium, which help manage blood pressure.   

  • Pear: These are an excellent source of fibre that tastes great when eaten raw or even when clubbed with some dishes like spinach salad. 

  • Kiwi: Kiwi is a powerhouse of potassium, fibre, and vitamin C. A decent-sized kiwi contains 10 grams of carbohydrates and 42 calories. These are great diet-friendly fruit and are available all around the year. 

  • Avocados – These are high in monosaturated fat, a fat that is beneficial for the body. You can mash and slice them up and mix them with vegetables and herbs to make guacamole dip. You can also add lemon and add a citric boost to it. 

  • Green leafy vegetables – Green leafy vegetables contain many fibre, minerals, and vitamins. These are an excellent option for people with diabetes. You can include these in your daily meals. 

  • Citrus Fruits – Citrus fruits are great for people with diabetes. You can add lime and lemon to your iced tea, sauces, seafood, etc. You can also enjoy refreshing fruit water by adding citrus slices to the water and letting it rest overnight. 

  • Berries – Berries taste best when eaten raw. You can also make fruit compote and add them to meat dishes or desserts. This way, you can enjoy it in moderate quantity. 

  • Apples – Apples are yet another excellent option for people with diabetes. You can enjoy them as a dessert, snack, or mid-morning delicacy. You can also cook it with spices like ginger and cinnamon to flavor it well.  


When facing diabetes and managing it in the best possible way, make wise eating choices. Fruits and vegetables add nutrition and fiber to your meals. Besides, you can also enjoy a few starchy food choices once in a blue moon with moderation.