10 Diabetic Foods to Avoid For Good Blood Sugar Control

These ten diabetic foods to avoid are your enemies if you are trying to control blood sugar. That is because of insulin resistance in a type 2 diabetic and the insulin impairment in a type 1 diabetic.

The foods listed here cause huge spikes in insulin, so your pancreas has to respond quickly. But diabetics have impaired insulin response.

We need to stay away from those foods that are easily digested and release glucose in a flood.

Of course, table sugar causes a blood sugar spike. Sugar in all its forms tops the list of diabetic foods to avoid. All type 1 and type 2 diabetic have been told this.

The problem lies in the other things, foods that act like sugar when they hit our stomach and start being digested. Here are the ten worst of them.

White Rice and White Pasta

  • White pasta is made from refined flour, one of a diabetic's worst enemies. That makes it one of the top diabetic foods to avoid.

White flour has every bit of fiber and vitamins stripped away, leaving only simple carbohydrate, which is one step away from simple sugar. It is in nearly all processed foods in some form, and in your digestive system it becomes pure glucose very fast.

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  • White rice has been polished, a refining process that removes the outer parts where fiber and vitamins are found.

All that is left is the endosperm, which is also a simple carbohydrate. Like white flour it turns to glucose very fast.

Blood sugar spikes, insulin is pumped out to meet it, and very soon you have a sugar low and feel hungry again.

If you are fighting obesity and diabetes, white rice and white pasta are bound to make your battle harder.

You Don't Have to Give Them Up Completely

Does that mean no pasta or rice in your diet? No, it means you look for alternatives. Two great ones are brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Both are available at your grocery store next to the white versions.

They are still carbohydrates, and you have to watch portions, but they have fiber to slow down digestion.

That means their "glycemic load" is lower. (They require less insulin.) And if you add some good protein and fat (olive oil, perhaps) it lowers the glycemic load even more.

You don't have to give up rice and pasta. Learn how to use brown rice in your recipes, and don't overcook your whole wheat pasta until it is mushy. That raises the glycemic load.


  • Bagels have become a favorite in our fast food Western diet. But most are made from refined white flour, making them another one of the diabetic foods to avoid.

You can find whole wheat ones, and that helps some. Plus, if you eat your bagel with some protein and fat you'll slow down the blood sugar spike.

This is your rule of thumb for anything you've been eating that has white flour as its first ingredient. These days it is not hard to find a whole wheat substitute.

But if you find something else you like just as well to replace bagels, you'll be giving your type 2 diabetic body some help in fighting high blood sugar.

Potatoes and Ketchup

  • The french fries I used to love are a thing of the past. As you know, potatoes are an easily digested starch. Frying them just makes potatoes a diabetic bomb, adding AGEs into the mix.

What can you do? You could learn to like baked sweet potato fries. They are satisfying carbohydrates with lots of antioxidant qualities and a low glycemic load.

Red potatoes are lower glycemic than white. And if you love potato salad, here's some good news.

When you cook your potatoes, add some lemon juice and refrigerate them. The acid and cold alters the starch molecules so potatoes are digested more slowly. Use them in potato salad and enjoy!

  • Ketchup is one of the worst condiments for blood sugar, because sugar is the second ingredient. No, you won't find it listed second. My page on label reading explains how sugar is hidden on the ketchup label.

If you love ketchup, measure how much you are using and the amount of sugar you are eating. It will help you decide whether to keep it or let it go. Or find ketchup without sugar added. It is available.

Fruit Juice

  • If you have an attack of hypoglycemia, fruit juice will bring your blood sugar up fast. That is why orange juice in the refrigerator is part of my diabetic life.

But it is also one of the diabetic foods to avoid. We cannot drink it every day because fruit juice spikes blood sugar too high. It is concentrated carbohydrate without the fiber.

Fresh whole fruits are full of fiber and packed with antioxidants, which is why they belong on your diabetic diet. It is best to save fruit juice for hypoglycemic emergencies.

Sport Drinks and Energy Bars

  • Sport drinks are worse than fruit juices. They have little nutritional value and are packed with sugar, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
  • Why energy bars? Most have as much sugar as a regular candy bar.

If you like them, read the labels and choose bars with whole grain, nuts and very little added sugar. The ingredient list might confuse you, but the nutrition list will make things clearer.

Sweetened Yogurt

  • Yogurt has few calories, which makes it seem like a good snack, but added sugar makes blood sugar spikes. That will lead you to get hungry again, something you don't want in a diabetic snack.
Try some of these diabetic dessserts.

A lot of sugar can be added to yogurt without raising the calories much. Then the sugar will spike your insulin needs. But do not stop eating yogurt. It is a real superfood.

Buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit to it. Or buy some real Greek yogurt. It has lots of protein naturally, and the best ones have fruit with little added sugar. The protein in the yogurt keeps you satisfied for hours after eating it as a snack.

Artificial Sweeteners

It is surprising because we thought sugar substitutes would make diabetic life easier. What has been found to be true is the opposite. They actually slow down your metabolism and encourage more fat deposits in your body.

Type 2 diabetes already increases fat deposits by the actions of impaired insulin response, and using medications to control blood sugar adds to storage of fat. So adding a sugar substitute is a mistake.

Increased Risk of Diabetes

What is more disturbing is the increased risk of becoming diabetic among regular users of artificial sweeteners. The statistic is a two-thirds increase!

So depending on artificial sweeteners as the source of sweet taste to help you lose weight is a bad idea.

They belong on the list of diabetic foods to avoid.

Natural sweetness from fruits, honey and small amounts of sugar is going to be better for you in the long run.

There is no shortcut to controlling sweets, but you can still have them if you are watchful.

Diabetic foods to avoid include all of these and more. But this small list of foods that are bad for your blood sugar is here to help you decide what to phase out of your diet. I hope it makes the choices easier for you.

"I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday."

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