Top 10 Foods That Cause Diabetes!

The latest study from the Lancet showed – over half a billion people are affected by diabetes globally. The projection also depicts that within the next 30 years, over 1.3 billion people will come within the grip of this lifestyle health issue. That will include men, women, and children as well. 

With most of the global cases being of type 2 diabetes, it is time to check out our food and lifestyle habits. So, what are the 10 foods that cause diabetes? Also, are there any alternatives to those picks? 

If you too have been looking for such alternatives and want to know about certain critical lifestyle changes you must make – let us update you on the same – 

What are the 10 foods that cause diabetes? 

Note: You must note that there is ‘no food as such’ that ‘causes diabetes.’ However, some foods aggravate the condition and act as catalysts in pushing you to ‘get diabetic in the future.’ Also, certain individuals have a family history of diabetes. For them, these foods are extremely harmful and enhance their chances of becoming ‘diabetic’ in the future. 

Let us identify them – 

1. Sugar-laden toffies/cookies/pastries 

10 foods that cause diabetes
Image Credit: Scandi Culture

You already have an idea about this, but let us make it clearer to you! One of the 10 foods that cause diabetes is sugar-coated pastries, toffies, cakes, and candies! These foods are high in added sugar and have absolutely no protein or fibre content! When eaten regularly, they cause a sudden spike in your glucose levels. What’s more frightening is – that your glucose levels nosedive equally fast, without any prior symptom. 

Thus, on the whole – excessive consumption of such sugary foods fluctuates your body’s sugar levels considerably, affecting your body’s metabolism. Additionally, it also increases your body’s weight and makes you prone to more of such health issues! 

2. Packaged/processed snacks 

processed foods cause diabetes
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They are easy to eat and tastier. But they are terrible for your body! Most of these packaged products are high in added sugars and flavouring agents and have a host of preservatives to them! These packaged foods tend to cause a sudden increase in your blood sugar levels. 

You must have wondered why you have an excessive craving for these over time. This constant fluctuation in your body is creating cravings, and the more you fulfil those, the more harm you are doing to your body. 

3. Refined grains and white carbs 

Refined grains and white carbs
Image Credit: The Washington Post

The ‘white’ and ‘refined’ features in carbs lack nutritional value. Made of white flour, these grains have a high GI, which immediately spikes your glucose levels. Along with that, it also increases the ‘bad’ cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) which acts as a catalyst in spiking sugar levels. So, for those of you busy searching for 10 foods that cause diabetes – mark this category of foods on your list! 

4. Processed meat and fat portions of meats 

Processed meat and fat portions of meats cause diabetes
Image Credit: Heart Research UK

Take a walk through the grocery section of any of the supermarkets, and you will find rows of processed meat stacked on the shelves! However, the problem is – these packaged foods are high in sodium content as well as preservatives. Secondly, the so-called ‘fatty’ portions of meats (pork rib fat, beef fat, and red meat) are harbingers of heart diseases and contribute to the risk of diabetes. Therefore, you must considerably steer clear of these food products, and concentrate on lean proteins.

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5. Full-fat dairy products 

Full-fat dairy products cause diabetes
Image Credit: Medical News Today

Foods that are high in ‘fat’ increase your body’s calorie levels and affect its metabolic capacities. Also, most of these dairy products are high in ‘saturated’ fats and increase your weight (to be specific, make you obese). Naturally, in the long run, it increases the chances of you getting Type 2 Diabetes. 

6. Trans fats/Saturated fats  

trans fat foods that cause diabetes
Image Credit: Harvard Health

Saturated or trans fats have no known benefit in terms of the diet chart. Their only job is to increase the ‘bad’ cholesterol and decrease the ‘good’ cholesterol, thereby making the body more prone to diabetic attacks. 

To function properly, the body requires ‘healthy fats’ and that comes from – vegetable fats and Omega 3 fatty acids

7. Sugary breakfast cereals 

10 foods that cause diabetes 1
Image Credit: Lovefood

You love those breakfast crackles and sweetened mueslis! Despite the adverts claiming them to be a ‘packaged nutritious breakfast option’, they are not what you want to consume the first thing in the morning! Rather than providing you with the required set of protein, nutrients, and carbs, they cause your insulin levels to rise untowardly. 

Though initially, it would help your energy level rise, very soon that ‘spike’ goes downward and you are left with reduced to zero energy levels. That is not what your body needs, and hence, you must include it in your list of 10 foods that cause diabetes! Avoid it at all costs! 

8. Fried foods 

fried foods cause diabetes
Image Credit: Harvard Health

You love your chicken and potatoes fried! But do you know that they increase insulin resistance and inflammation levels in the body? That directly increases the chances of your getting diabetes! How do you deal with the cravings? Opt for grilled or baked options of the same product to fulfill your sudden urges! 

9. Dried Fruits 

dried fruits cause diabetes
Image Credit: Diabetes Care Community

Are you surprised to see the name of this food on the list? Well, for the unversed, these dry fruits contain a significant amount of fiber. But at the same time, they are high in terms of their sugar content. Hence, for diabetics, this can do harm than good. After all, a small amount of raisins (say 50 grams) has about (25-30 grams of sugar).  

10. Sugary beverages 

packed bottled sweet drinks cause diabetes
Image Credit: Boston University

The last of the names on this listicle of 10 foods that cause diabetes comes – sugary beverages! Having a cola or soda and opting for sweetened, packaged fruit juices increases your chances of a glucose spike. Once in a while, it is alright. But if you are a regular consumer of these, then that needs to stop. 

These are foods that cause diabetes or act as catalysts in enhancing your glucose levels. Hence, it is time to delete them from your diet chart. 

What are the alternatives available? 

Who says your diet cannot be happy and healthy if you ditch these foods? The healthier alternatives to the sugar-coated foods above are – 

foods to eat to prevent diabetes
Image Credit: The Diabetes Council
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. If you do not prefer to eat them like that, you can always punch out a cup of juice from your choicest basket. 
  • Whole grain carbs. Rather than white bread and pasta (or any of those), you can always opt for brown bread, quinoa, brown rice, and multigrain options. 
  • Unsweetened beverages. Though at first, it might not taste well, green tea (no sugar), fruit-sliced water (water infused with fruit slices), fresh unsweetened juices, and water can be your best friends. 
  • Vegetable fats. Rather than the ‘unhealthy’ fats, include natural sources of fats in your body like – vegetable fats from seeds/nuts and mackerel, tuna in your diet. 
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These are some of the best alternatives available. Create a schedule to introduce these food alternatives to your routine in a categorical manner to prevent a sudden glucose spike. 

What lifestyle changes must you make? 

You have already figured out the 10 foods that cause diabetes. Surely, you will mind your diet and work accordingly. However, the question now is – the lifestyle changes you need to make to avert this health issue. 

exercises to control diabetes
Image Credit: BarBend

Here are some of those – 

  • For starters, get your medical checkup done. Note your ‘fasting’ and ‘general’ sugar levels and get them checked by a medical professional. It is crucial to know, at the beginning, where you stand. 
  • Fix a schedule for yourself and follow it. This will synchronize your body and help it avert such critical health issues. 
  • Note your meals. Try to keep a gap between them. Also, do not eat up to the full at every meal. This will help balance your hormones and help regulate your eating measures. 
  • Cut down on your cigarette (quitting is best) and alcohol consumption. Also, tone down your stress levels comparatively to avoid further health complications. 
  • Lastly, make it a point to work out. Either go for cardio like – running, weightlifting or swimming. If not, then regular free-hand exercises and yoga will also benefit you in the long run. 

When you make these lifestyle changes, you will see it reflected at a physical level. That will not only save you from diabetes but also a host of other lifestyle health hazards. 

Parting thoughts 

Diabetes is a chronic lifestyle issue that has been plaguing the society for quite some time now. While initially it affected middle-aged men mostly (worldwide), in recent times, it has started affecting females and even kids. If you haven’t, it is time to care for your health. Now that you have read this listicle of 10 foods that cause diabetes you can easily eliminate them from your diet. Additionally, replace them with other beneficial options (as mentioned above, or otherwise) and soon you will see the difference. 

You can look through the FAQs mentioned below for those of you who have further queries. Also, if you liked this post, and want more of such posts, keep watching this space. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Which drinks should diabetics avoid? 

If you are a diabetic or have a family history of diabetes (which makes you more prone to it), then avoid – sweetened drinks, colas and sodas (any such beverages), alcohol, and sugar in general. 

2. Are there any high-carb foods diabetics must avoid?

On that record of 10 foods that cause diabetes surely add – white rice, fried food, tortilla chips, tempura, or any other food made from refined flour as high-carb foods to avoid. 

3. Can you only control diabetes by managing your diet?

To a great extent, yes. Apart from that, you need to focus on creating a proper exercise routine, with intensity training and cardio as key features. This will enhance your body’s metabolism and help in managing the hormones. That automatically lowers the chances of getting affected by diabetes (or managing it if you have it). 

4. Is consuming high protein good for diabetics? 

For the unversed, when you consume a high-protein diet, that helps satiate your sudden food cravings. Additionally, it preserves lean body mass and manages your sugar levels considerably. 


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