The Worst Foods for Diabetics (Even Ones That Seem Healthy)

In 2015, over 9% of the American population had diabetes, and that number has only grown. Diabetes is a chronic disease that influences the body’s response to insulin. Once people get diagnosed with diabetes, their diet significantly changes.

Some foods that appear healthy are actually detrimental. Many contain hidden sugars, preservatives, and salts that can be hard to spot on the nutritional label. Read on for the worst foods for diabetics.

How Diet Soda Is Just As Bad As Regular Soda

A bottle of diet cola sits on a restaurant table.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Most people know that soda doesn’t fit into a diabetic diet. But did you know that diet soda carries risks as well? Research by the American Diabetes Association found a consistent link between diet drinks and diabetes. Participants who drank it daily had a 67% higher chance of type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar levels, belly fat, and metabolic syndrome.

Another study in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology linked diet soda to a higher risk of diabetic retinopathy. This damages the blood vessels around the eyes and may cause diabetics to go blind. Do yourself a favor and avoid diet sodas.