13 High Sugar Foods to Avoid If You Have Diabetes

High Sugar Foods to Avoid If You Have Diabetes
Eating sugary food on sofa

Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot properly regulate blood glucose. This can lead to serious complications if it isn’t managed correctly. However, there are many foods that you can eat that will help keep blood sugar levels under control and prevent diabetes from worsening. It’s important to know which foods are good for people with diabetes and which aren’t healthy!

In this blog post, we’ll share a list of high sugar foods to avoid if you have diabetes. We’ll also provide some tips for making healthier choices.


The high sugar content in candy can lead to some serious health problems. In addition to the calories, a lot of things in candy are bad for you:

  • Sugar is addictive, so it’s easy to become hooked on sweets.
  • The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces and the less sensitive your cells become to it. This can lead to diabetes or other blood glucose disorders (more on this later).
  • The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar left behind after eating candy and cause tooth decay.

Sugar-sweetened beverages

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the most common source of added sugar in the diet. These drinks include soda, energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, and fruit. They are linked to weight gain because they have little nutritional value but many empty calories. You should also avoid sugary beverages if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain by cutting out processed foods from your diet.

Sugar-sweetened beverages may raise blood glucose levels more quickly than other food items because they don’t require digestion before entering your bloodstream. This could be why drinking sugary beverages have been shown to increase your risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries.

Cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries are high in sugar and calories. They can cause your blood sugar to spike rapidly after eating them. These foods also have an increased risk of heart disease because they typically contain saturated fats that can raise bad cholesterol levels. Also, avoid eating breakfast cereals that have more than 10 grams of sugar per serving, as well as ice cream or sherbet with more than 13 grams of sugar per half cup; regular soda has about 12 teaspoons of added sugars per 12-ounce serving; juices with 25 grams or more may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes; fruit juices are also high in sugar content so limit these beverages to no more than 8 ounces daily.

Doughnuts, ice cream, and frozen yogurt.

These foods are high in fat, sugar, and calories. They have also been linked to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. They can be considered a treat food if you’re careful about portion size, but remember that treats should only be eaten occasionally — not every day!

Syrups, sweeteners, and jam.

Syrups and sweeteners are the highest in sugar content. For example, cane sugar makes maple syrup and maple-flavored syrups; high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) makes most other flavored syrups. These sweeteners are typically added to foods like cereals, yogurt, and ice cream—and they may also be found in ketchup and barbecue sauce.

Too much sugar can raise your blood glucose levels rapidly. This can leave you feeling hungry again sooner than expected, so it’s important to know how much sugar you are consuming with each serving of these products:

  • Maple syrup: About 4 teaspoons have 16 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar per tablespoon.
  • Molasses: A teaspoon has about 2 grams of carbohydrates plus 1 gram of sugar per teaspoon.

Packaged foods such as potato chips, french fries, and oatmeal.

You might be surprised to learn that some packaged foods have surprisingly high sugar content.

  • Potato chips, french fries, and oatmeal are all packed with carbs. And if you’re eating these foods regularly, you could be setting yourself up for trouble.
  • The secret’s in the salt: Many people think that low-sodium diets are the best way to manage diabetes (although this is debatable). But when it comes to carbs, more sodium means less blood sugar spike after eating—which can help keep your glucose levels under control.

Trans fats

Trans fats are artificial fats linked to heart disease and serious health problems. They’ve been used for years in the food industry, but recent research shows that they’re not safe at all.

Trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings and margarine spreads, which means they can often be found in cookies, cakes, pies, pastries—and even deep-fried foods like french fries and doughnuts!

Refined or processed foods

Refined foods are processed foods that have been stripped of their natural nutrients. In other words, when you remove the good stuff from food, you’re left with a less healthy product than the original. The less natural a food appears on your plate or in your pantry, the more likely it is to contain added sugar, salt, and preservatives—and therefore be high-sugar. Processed foods also often contain trans fats (which can increase heart disease risk) and partially hydrogenated oils (which can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes).


Ketchup is a high-sugar food. It’s also high in sodium, which can cause problems for people with diabetes. Ketchup isn’t good for your health in general, but if you have diabetes it’s even worse.

Honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup

Honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup are all forms of sugar. While they may be healthier than refined white table sugar, they’re still high in calories and can cause weight gain—not to mention other health problems. If you want to use one of these sweeteners as an alternative to table sugar (which has no nutritional value), choose raw honey over processed honey or the other two types of sweeteners.

Dried fruit

Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, so it’s not a good choice for people with diabetes. If you have diabetes and enjoy dried fruit, carefully count your carbs or eat only small amounts (one serving).

Fruit juice

Fruit juice is a good source of vitamins and minerals. However, it’s not a good substitute for whole fruit. It can have up to three times the amount of sugar as 100 percent fruit juice drinks that are naturally sweetened with no added sugars.

Fruit juices also tend to have less fiber than their whole-fruit counterparts, which means they’re absorbed more quickly into your bloodstream. That can cause blood sugar levels to spike faster after eating them versus eating whole fruits with their fiber intact.

So if you drink fruit juice regularly, consider cutting back on how much you drink each day so you won’t consume excess calories and sugar (which will put an extra strain on your pancreas).

 French fries

French fries are a high-carbohydrate food. They are also high in calories, with no fiber to help slow digestion (1 cup of French fries contains about 400 calories). The high starch content of French fries makes them easy to digest, so blood sugar levels spike quickly after eating them. While you may be able to eat a few French fries and still maintain good blood sugar control, the effect is likely to be more pronounced if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Thus, we recommend limiting your intake of French fries to one serving per month if you have diabetes or prediabetes. A single serving size is 15 grams; this amount provides approximately 61 calories and 14 grams of carbohydrates (6 percent DV), 1 gram of protein (2 percent DV), 3 grams of fat (5 percent DV), 8 milligrams sodium (3 percent DV) and 1 gram fiber (4 percent DV).

Conclusion on High Sugar Foods to Avoid

We hope this article has given you a clearer understanding of what foods to avoid if you have diabetes. Remember, some people with diabetes can tolerate high-sugar foods, while others cannot. The best thing to do is try it out for yourself and see how your body reacts!