May 24, 2018 0

The Seven Worst Foods For Blood Sugar

Posted by:Dr. Brian Mowll onMay 24, 2018

Whether you have diabetes or not, there are some foods that are simply better, or in this case, worse, for your health. Do they taste good? To most of us, yes they do. Should you eat them? No, no you shouldn’t.


Because, the seven foods on this list either cause blood sugar spikes in those with diabetes, or they cause insulin resistance (a pre-curser to diabetes), which means eventually your body’s cells don’t respond normally to the insulin produced by your pancreas.

” Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” – Bethenny Frankel

Here are 7 food types you should avoid for better control over your blood sugar and better overall health.

Baked “Bads”

I don’t know why they call them baked goods when they are so bad for us. Things like bagels, donuts, cakes, cookies, bread… well pretty much anything classified as a pastry can wreak havoc on your blood sugar.

The problem with these foods is that they are made from refined flour that can be quickly digested causing blood sugar spikes, something every diabetic wants to avoid. Eating too many of these food items can also quickly add on the pounds, which can lead to diabetes for those who don’t already have it.

But the news gets worse…

These foods tend to be very high in trans fats, which raise the bad cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol, resulting in inflammation and the onset of disease, including diabetes. [1]

Instead of reaching for these baked “bads”, opt for wholesome snacks like a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit and cheese.

Sweet Drinks

Soda and other sugary drinks such as fruit juice, vitamin waters, sports drinks, or sweetened tea or coffee can spike your blood sugar and should be avoided as well.

Research has found that people who drink one or two sugary drinks a day are at a 26% higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. [2]

Best to stick to water and seltzer. While I don’t advocate diet sodas, which use fake sweeteners, if you are having an overwhelming craving for soda, drink one sweetened with stevia.

Artificial Sweeteners

While we’re on the subject of artificial sweeteners, let me tell you why drinking diet soda, or eating anything that uses artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, is really bad for your health. In order to do this, I’ve got to talk about your gut health.

If you know anything about gut health, you know that our GI tracts require a diverse population of “good” bacteria. You may also know that things like antibiotics and stress can kill the good bacteria and let the bad bacteria have a field day. This imbalance leads to an unhealthy gut and a compromised immune system, as 80% of the immune system is located in the gut.

What you may not know is that the foods we eat also alter the diversity of our gut microbes. For years, science has pointed to artificial sweeteners, labeling them as carcinogens, but new research suggests these sweeteners can also alter the gut flora specifically responsible for metabolism and the conversion of food into energy or stored fuel (AKA fat). [3]

It appears the artificial sweeteners support the “bad” populations of gut bacteria that turn food into stored fat. In one study, a group of thin volunteers (who normally didn’t consume artificial sweeteners) were asked to consume the FDA’s recommended maximum dose of saccharin for a period of five days. Four of the seven participants showed a reduced glucose response as well as an abrupt change to their gut microbes.

So, artificial sweeteners may be one of the leading causes of obesity (a tragic irony) as well as diabetes. Again, one diet soda once a month if you are having a bad craving is okay, otherwise, stay away from these chemicals.

Grains – The Real Deal

Food manufacturers and advertisers would have you believe that all grains are great for you. But that is simply not true.

Common grains like wheat, rice and corn, as well as others like oats, barley and rye can absolutely wreak havoc on your blood sugar, depending on what form they are in. For instance, you may think corn is good for you, but you know (or at least you should) that high fructose corn syrup (which is made from corn) is not good for you. And let’s not forget that foods like bread, pasta and breakfast cereals, as well as a whole host of processed junk foods, are made from grains.

Whole grains consist of 3 main parts – the bran, or outer layer of the grain; the germ, or nutrient-rich core; and the endosperm, containing mostly carbs in the form of starch and which is the biggest part of the grain.

A refined grain has had the bran and germ removed, leaving only the endosperm. [4] This is why refined grains are bad, because you are essentially eating none of the nutrients and just the starch of the plant.

” This thing being sold to us called wheat is this stocky little high-yield plant, a distant relative of the wheat our mothers used to bake muffins, biochemically light-years removed from the wheat of just 40 years ago.” – Dr. William Davis

Don’t be wooed by product packing that makes claims of using whole grains, as many use grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour that has similar metabolic effects as their refined counterparts.

Whole grains, REAL whole grains, can contains some nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and selenium. But all whole grains are not equal.  And unfortunately, most grains contain high amounts of starch which can raise blood sugar.

In conclusion, stay away from grains, especially the refined and processed versions.

Bad Fats

I will admit, like most human beings, I love the smell of beach fries wafting on a warm summer breeze as I walk down the boardwalk. Smelling french fries is one thing, eating them is something altogether different.

When foods are fried in vegetable oil, the chemical composition of the oil is radically altered. The foods end up absorbing the oil’s new chemical structure along with other unhealthy compounds. This new, altered oil causes weight gain, dangerous cholesterol levels, and higher levels of oxidative stress. All of these lead to numerous diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. [5]

Make sure you read labels and stay away from anything that says “partially hydrogenated [vegetable] oil.” Choose instead a trans fat-free cooking oil such as olive oil or avocado oil.

Simple Sugars

Simple sugars found in desserts and candy are pure poison for those with blood sugar problems. At least that’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it.

When it comes to reading labels to ensure you’re not buying something with added sugar, be careful as you will rarely find a label that lists “sugar” as an ingredient. Instead you will find ingredients such as:

  • Fructose
  • dextrose
  • lactose
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • malt syrup
  • sucrose
  • white granulated sugar
  • honey
  • glucose
  • maltodextrin

These sugar sources can be found in all sorts of candy and desserts. They are simple carbohydrates and will quickly spike your blood sugar.

Translation: NO!

Toxic Meats

Not all meats are created equal. For starters, some meats are commercially raised and the animal is fed a diet consisting mostly of grain (read: corn). Just as we don’t want to eat lesser grains, we also shouldn’t be eating anything that ate lesser grains.

Even more startling is the fact that toxins generated by industrial commercial farming processes, including pesticide and herbicide production and waste incineration, end up on plants, soil and in the water. These toxins then build up in the fatty tissue of the animals that we consume. [6] These toxins can lead to inflammation and eventually to diseases like diabetes.

Processed meats like bologna and hot dogs are also extremely unhealthy for anyone, especially diabetics. According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, eating processed meat leads to a 19% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. [7] This is most likely due to the nitrates and nitrites used to preserve the meat. These chemicals are converted into nitrosamines in the stomach, and these have been found to be toxic to pancreatic cells and increase the risk of diabetes in animal studies.

Eating meat is fine as long as it is not processed and is grass-fed, wild-caught, pastured, or free-roaming and organic.

” Your fork, the most powerful tool to transform your health and change the world.” – Dr. Mark Hyman

Believe me, I understand that the food items on this list can be delicious. But they are NOT AS DELICIOUS as living a long, healthy life free from diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Now chew on that for a while.


[1] Molecular Link between Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Reveals Potential Therapy, UC San Diego Health

[2] Soft Drinks and Disease, Harvard School of Public Health

[3] Scientific American

[4] Associations of whole-grain, refined-grain, and fruit and vegetable consumption with risks of all-cause mortality and incident coronary artery disease and ischemic stroke: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

[5] Eating fried foods tied to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, Harvard School of Public Health

[6] Environmental Working Group

[7] Eating processed meats, but not unprocessed red meats, may raise risk of heart disease and diabetes, Harvard School of Public Health

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