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What Foods Should Type 2 Diabetics Avoid


Will I Need Medication Or Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes

How to avoid Type 2 Diabetes

Some people take medication to manage diabetes, along with diet and exercise. Your healthcare provider may recommend oral diabetes medications. These are pills or liquids that you take by mouth. For example, a medicine called metformin helps control the amount of glucose your liver produces.

You can also take insulin to help your body use sugar more efficiently. Insulin comes in the following forms:

  • Injectable insulin is a shot you give yourself. Most people inject insulin into a fleshy part of their body such as their belly. Injectable insulin is available in a vial or an insulin pen.
  • Inhaled insulin is inhaled through your mouth. It is only available in a rapid-acting form.
  • Insulin pumps deliver insulin continuously, similar to how a healthy pancreas would. Pumps release insulin into your body through a tiny cannula . Pumps connect to a computerized device that lets you control the dose and frequency of insulin.

Can A Strict Diet Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

New research has shown that blood-sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes can be returned to normal by following a very low-calorie diet. The participants in the studies followed total diet replacement programmes under close medical supervision.

The studies found that significant weight loss reduced the amount of fat present in the liver and pancreas. This in turn caused blood-sugar levels to return to normal and improved insulin function. The results were less encouraging for participants who had had Type 2 diabetes for more than four years and medical supervision was a crucial component of the research.


Avoid Alcohol Or Drink Only In Moderation

Before you indulge in a cocktail or even a glass of wine with dinner, check with your doctor to make sure that its safe for you to drink alcohol, since it can interfere with your blood-sugar levels. If you do drink, keep it in moderation, advises the ADA. Moderation is generally defined as no more than one serving per day if youre a woman, and no more than two if youre a man. A typical serving is measured as 5 ounces of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of distilled liquor.

Diabetes medication is processed through the liver, and so is alcohol, explains Kimberlain. This double whammy can be too much for your liver. If youre taking insulin, it can cause low blood sugar, especially if youre drinking and not eating.

As for best and worst choices at the bar, Kimberlain recommends mixed drinks like diet soda with rum , or hard liquor with ice or calorie-free mixers. Avoid sweet wines like prosecco and foofy umbrella drinks with lots of sugar.

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Bacon And Processed Meat

Yes, Im afraid so, bacon is one of our foods to avoid the reason being that it is so often a Read the back of a pack of bacon and youll most likely be faced with a list of preservatives.


Researchers are yet to fully understand why processed meats are so bad for us but the statistics repeatedly show a significant increase in risks of bowel cancer , heart disease and even type 2 diabetes associated with processed meats.

Note that processed meats include burgers, sausages, hotdogs and store bought hams.

Healthier alternative unprocessed red meat: Healthier options are larger cuts of meat that you can roast and slice yourself. Instead of bacon, look for belly pork and check to make sure there are no added sauces or unwanted ingredients. Chop or slice belly pork finely for a healthier alternative to bacon.

Another option is to ask your butcher to cut you fresh slices of bacon.

What Is The Mediterranean Diet

Diabetics Must Eat and Avoid Foods to Cure

The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables. This refers to the true Mediterranean pattern traditionally followed in the south of Italy and Greece, not “Americanized Italian,” which is heavy in pasta and bread. The Mediterranean pattern includes:


  • Lots of fresh vegetables
  • Some wine
  • Occasional meat and dairy

This pattern of eating is very nutrient-dense, meaning you get many vitamins, minerals, and other healthful nutrients for every calorie consumed. A very large recent study demonstrated that two versions of the Mediterranean diet improved diabetes control including better blood sugar and more weight loss. The two versions of the Mediterranean diet that were studied emphasized either more nuts or more olive oil. Since both were beneficial, a common-sense approach to adopting the Mediterranean diet would include both of these. For example, sprinkle chopped almonds on green beans or drizzle zucchini with olive oil, oregano, and hemp seeds.

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Simple Steps To Lowering Your Risk

Control your weight

Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven-fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.

Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7-10% of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half.

Get movingand turn off the television

Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells. So trade some of your sit-time for fit-time.


Long bouts of hot, sweaty exercise arent necessary to reap this benefit. Findings from the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study suggest that walking briskly for a half hour every day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%. More recently, The Black Womens Health Study reported similar diabetes-prevention benefits for brisk walking of more than 5 hours per week. This amount of exercise has a variety of other benefits as well. And even greater cardiovascular and other advantages can be attained by more, and more intense, exercise.

Tune Up Your Diet

Four dietary changes can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Dont smoke

Light to moderate alcohol consumption

What Foods Should I Limit To Control My Blood Sugar

To keep your blood sugar under control, you may need to cut back on foods and drinks that are high in carbs. This doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy them. But you will need to have them less often or in smaller amounts.

The high-carb foods and drinks you should limit include:

  • Sugary foods, such as candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, sweetened cereals, and canned fruits with added sugar
  • Drinks with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
  • White rice, tortillas, breads and pasta – especially those made with white flour
  • Starchy vegetables, such as white potatoes, corn, and peas

You may also need to limit how much alcohol you drink, as well as how much fat and salt you eat.


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Aim For A Healthy Weight

If you are overweight, your body is less sensitive to the insulin it makes . Losing weight will help your body respond better to the insulin and may improve your blood glucose levels.

  • A realistic weight loss is about one pound / half a kilogram a week.
  • To lose weight you need to reduce your calorie intake from food. Increasing the amount of physical activity you take can help with weight loss but to less of an extent than making dietary changes.
  • Many people lose weight just by cutting down on fatty and sugary foods.
  • Making changes to reduce portion sizes may also be helpful.
  • It is usually better to make small changes to your eating habits, which can then become permanent, rather than going on a crash diet which you cannot keep to for long.
  • Be more active. Build up to 30 minutes walking each day.
  • Ask your dietitian if you need more information.

Who Is At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes

Diet for type 2 diabetes,Foods to choose & Foods to avoid

You are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are over age 45. Children, teenagers, and younger adults can get type 2 diabetes, but it is more common in middle-aged and older people.
  • Have prediabetes, which means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes
  • Had diabetes in pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are overweight or have obesity
  • Are Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • Are not physically active
  • Have low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • Have acanthosis nigricans dark, thick, and velvety skin around your neck or armpits

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Diabetes Diet Plans To Lose Weight

If youre overweight, finding a way to lose weight has huge benefits. It can help you manage your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And theres strong evidence to suggest that losing extra weight can put your type 2 diabetes into remission. We know this is more likely nearer to you being diagnosed, so find out everything you can about remission and speak to your healthcare team about it.


There are different ways to lose weight, like a low-carb diet, Mediterranean diet and very low-calorie diets.

Get our guide to losing weight weve put together some meal plans to help you. But speak to your healthcare team too, they can refer you to a dietitian for more specific advice and help you stick to your plan.

We haven’t created low- or very low-calorie meal plans as these could be challenging using foods. Most people who follow these diets use special meal replacement products which are nutritionally complete. If you chose to try a low-calorie diet, speak to your GP or nurse first, especially if you use medication like insulin.

Foods To Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes Conclusion

We hope that you are clear about the top 7 food groups and top 9 foods you should avoid if you have type 2 diabetes in this article. Keep in mind that the choice you make today determines your tomorrow. Refrain from consuming these foods as much as possible because they will worsen your condition and sabotage your healing effort.

It brings us to the end of our article on foods to avoid with type 2 diabetes. Your support is our encouragement, so if you find this article helpful, please like and share! Please do not hesitate to leave a comment below if you have other suggestions.


We look forward to seeing you again.

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Your Weight Is Important

Losing weight will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, and can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol.

To know whether you’re overweight, work out your body mass index .

If you need to lose weight, it is recommended for most people to do it slowly over time. Aim for around 0.5 to 1kg a week.


The charity Diabetes UK has more information on healthy weight and weight loss.

There is evidence that eating a low-calorie diet on a short-term basis can help with symptoms of type 2 diabetes. And some people have found that their symptoms go into remission.

A low-calorie diet is not safe or suitable for everyone with type 2 diabetes, such as people who need to take insulin. So it is important to get medical advice before going on this type of diet.

Page last reviewed: 18 August 2020 Next review due: 18 August 2023

What’s The Best Diet For Diabetes

Diabetes foods to avoid

There isn’t a specific diet or meal plan that works for everybody. Your health care provider may have you see a registered dietician or a diabetes educator who can help design the best eating plan for you. The plan will consider:


  • Any medicines that you take
  • Your weight
  • Any other health conditions you have
  • Your lifestyle and tastes
  • Your goals

All eating plans for diabetes have a few things in common, including eating the right foods in the right amounts at the right times.

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Choose Drinks Without Added Sugar

We know there is a link between having full sugar fizzy and energy drinks, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Cutting down on these can help to reduce your risk and support keeping your weight down. Evidence also shows that drinking unsweetened tea and coffee is associated with a reduced risk. If you are finding it hard to cut down, look out for diet or low calorie versions of soft drinks and check theres no added sugar. Try not to replace sugary drinks with fruit juices or smoothies as these still contain a high amount of free sugar. Try plain water, plain milk, tea or coffee without added sugar, as replacements.

Can I Snack In Between Meals

Some people with type 2 diabetes hear about hypos and think they need to eat snacks to avoid them. But this isnt the case for everyone.

You dont need to eat snacks if youre not taking any medication for your type 2 diabetes. If you treat your diabetes with medication that puts you at risk of hypos, like insulin, you may need a snack to prevent a hypo. But if you find youre having to snack a lot to prevent hypos, talk to your healthcare team so they can give you more advice.


Snacking in general can make it harder to manage a healthy weight though, which is really important for managing your diabetes. So if you do feel like a snack, go for a healthier option like carrot sticks and hummus or some dark chocolate rice cakes.

Weve got lots of simple snack swaps to try.

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Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with your:

  • Heart and blood vessels. Youâre up to five times more likely to get heart disease or have a stroke. Youâre also at high risk of blocked blood vessels and chest pain .
  • Kidneys. If your kidneys are damaged or you have kidney failure, you could need dialysis or a kidney replacement.
  • Eyes. High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in the backs of your eyes . If this isnât treated, it can cause blindness.
  • Nerves. This can lead to trouble with digestion, the feeling in your feet, and your sexual response.
  • Skin. Your blood doesnât circulate as well, so wounds heal slower and can become infected.
  • Pregnancy. Women with diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or a baby with a birth defect.
  • Sleep. You might develop sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing stops and starts while you sleep.
  • Hearing. Youâre more likely to have hearing problems, but itâs not clear why.
  • Brain. High blood sugar can damage your brain and might put you at higher risk of Alzheimerâs disease.
  • Depression. People with the disease are twice as likely to get depressed as people who donât have it.

The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your type 2 diabetes well.


  • Take your diabetes medications or insulin on time.
  • Eat right, and dont skip meals.
  • See your doctor regularly to check for early signs of trouble.

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Effect Of Physical Activity On Blood Glucose Levels

Foods to limit or Avoid in a Type 2 Diabetes Diet I Best Home Remedies
  • Being physically active helps to use up sugar from your blood.
  • If you take insulin or some tablets to treat diabetes, exercise can cause your blood sugar levels to fall too low. You may need to make some changes to what you eat or to your medication before the exercise. Ask your dietitian or nurse for more guidance.

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Type 2 Diabetes Can Be A ‘devastating Diagnosis’ Says Expert

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Getting your diet right when youre diabetic can be a tricky balance. You have to eat regularly enough to prevent your blood sugar levels dropping too low, while avoiding any foods causing dangerous blood sugar spikes. In order to manage type 2 diabetes properly, or reduce your risk of developing the condition at all, there are some foods you should cut from your diet right away. How many of these foods do you eat?

Foods To Avoid When You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider has likely told you the importance of diet when it comes to managing your blood sugar. And if you’re not sure what foods to avoid, all you may have to do is listen to your body for clues.


Certain foods, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even make you gain weight.

You may even be surprised to realize that some of the foods you consider healthy are on this list because of their high carb content, lack of fiber, and generally limited nutritional value.

Here’s a look at a few of them and why they should be avoided or eaten in moderation if you have diabetes.

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Best And Worst Diet Plans For Type 2 Diabetes

According to the ADA, a Mediterranean-style diet, a plant-based diet, and a diet known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension are all good starting points for a type 2 diabetes meal plan that can be modified to accommodate your personal eating preferences.

These diet approaches have two important factors in common: mostly whole foods and meals built around vegetables and fruit. The ADA also now recommends low-carb diets as an option for people with type 2 diabetes.

If you like following a formal diet plan, you can talk with your doctor or diabetes educator about which plan or combination of plans might make sense for you. Here is more information on the plans mentioned above as well as other popular diet plans that have been studied for the prevention or treatment of T2D.

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