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12 Foods To Avoid In Diabetes

Nutritional goals for diabetics are quite different from those of healthy individuals. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they have to be a picky eater for the rest of your lives. To promote a healthful dietary pattern consisting of all micronutrients, diabetics must be particular about every food they consume. [1]

A well-balanced diet lowers the risk of complications associated with diabetes. It helps improve their quality of life and manage their symptoms. Bad food choices can only heighten the risk of other diseases such as heart problems. Take a look at the foods which diabetics should avoid for a healthy life.


1. Potatoes

Potatoes are high in starch and have a high glycemic index. As we know, foods high in glycemic index are linked to the risk of diabetes, high consumption of potatoes may cause diabetes or related complications. Also, potatoes come under starchy vegetables which is why it is excluded from a diabetic diet. [2]

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2. Corn

Corns are basically considered a sweet vegetable. Though it is rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, it may increase glucose levels when consumed in a large amount. Consumption of high fructose corn syrup can lead to diabetes.

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3. Plantain

Plantains belong to the family of banana packed with many vital nutrients. Though they are low in sugar, they are starchier which may contribute to the risk of diabetes. Plantains can help manage diabetes but their large amount may have a hypoglycemic effect.


4. Highly processed white flours

Highly processed white flours contain processed carbs which may provide quick energy but are less in nutrients due to too much of processing. Baked goods such as cakes and muffins made with white flours should be avoided if you have diabetes. [3]

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5. White rice

White grains such as white bread and white pasta are high in starch. Though all grains are starchy but white grains contain more of it compared to whole grains. Diabetics must switch to fibre-rich whole grains food products for the management of diabetes. [4]


6. Meat products

Proteins are vital for the growth and development of the body. Some meat products like beef, lamb and port are high in protein but may cause diabetes if consumed in higher proportion. However, its low consumption is also linked to the risk of diabetes. Consume proteins from plant sources like beans, nuts and lentils.


7. Full-fat dairy products

Dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamins. However, full-fat dairy products like full-fat yoghurt, whole milk, high-fat cheese and sweetened curds can increase glucose levels and the risk of heart diseases due to their high lactose levels. [5]

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8. Fruit juices

Fruits are an important part of a diabetes diet, but fruit juices made from those fruits can spike blood glucose levels. When fruits are converted to juices, the fibre in them breaks down. Also, added sugars can be harmful to diabetics. [6]


9. Canned and pickled foods

Canned and pickled foods are high in sodium count which can increase the risk of high blood pressure in people with diabetes. These foods should be avoided and also, the intake of salt in meals should be reduced.

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10. Saturated and trans fats

Foods such as butter, french fries, potato chips, burgers, pizza, mayonnaise and many others contain saturated and trans fats which are associated with increased risk of heart diseases, a complication fo diabetes.


11. Energy drinks

Market-based energy drinks contain artificial sweeteners and caffeine in a high proportion which can spike insulin levels for long hours after their consumption. Avoid its consumption to manage diabetes.

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12. Dried fruits

Dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, figs and dried berries are rich sources of antioxidants with many health benefits. However, they contain concentrated natural sugars and are high in calories. They can heighten the glucose levels in the body when consumed in a large amount.

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Common FAQs

1. What fruits diabetics should avoid?

Diabetics should avoid fruits which are high in a glycemic index such as ripe banana and mangoes. They should also avoid fruit juices and dried forms of fruits as they are packed with a concentrated form of sugars.

2. What vegetables are bad for diabetics?

Starchy vegetables that mainly grow under the earth can increase the risk of diabetes or complicate its symptoms. They include vegetables like potatoes and yam.

3. Can diabetics eat bananas?

Unripe and green banana is low in calories and sugar content. Diabetics can safely consume them without spiking their glucose levels. However, when bananas ripe, their sugar content increases which may spike glucose levels when consumed in a high amount.