Foods a diabetic should never eat

Updated February 21, 2017

Diabetic diets all have one thing in common: They limit "carbs"--15g units of carbohydrates that may come from sugars, starches or preservatives that form blood glucose during digestion. Most Type 2 diabetics are not forbidden to eat these foods, but their consumption of them must be limited. For Type 1 diabetics, though, certain foods are used only as insulin replacements in crises. These foods should never be consumed in more than minor portions in a supervised diet.


Sugar-dense frosting, regular soda and fudge all have concentrated refined sugar and little else in the way of nutrition. They immediately elevate blood glucose above safe levels.


Fruits and vegetables contain fructose, which is one step closer to glucose than sugar in the digestion process. Diabetics should severely limit consumption of fruits like plums, mangoes and all dried fruits. Interestingly, carrots contain more fructose per ounce than most fresh fruits.


High-starch foods like rice, potatoes, gravy and breakfast cereals are converted into sugar during the digestion process, adding to the glucose load.

Refined Grains

Avoid refined or single grains. White bread, fried foods and cupcakes generally contain refined, single-grain flour, which goes straight to sugar in the digestive process. It's also used heavily in restaurant food.

Prepared Foods

Frozen dinners, "instant" potatoes and even frozen vegetables contain more sugar and starch (and thus more carbs) than their freshly prepared counterparts. Preservatives often include more sugar and large measures of salt.


Garnishes, croutons, fries, sauces and dressings---particularly those served in restaurants or with fast food---add carbohydrates, as well as calories.


Alcohol is toxic for everyone, but distilled spirits cause diabetics' blood glucose to "crash." Dry wine and beer in moderation appear not to be as dangerous.

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About the Author

An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.