Foods To Avoid on a Low-Carb Diet

by David Mendosa Patient Advocate

Because the carbohydrates that we eat raise our blood sugar, and because high blood sugar is the definition of diabetes, it makes sense for those of us who have diabetes to reduce how much carbohydrate we eat, write Drs. Eric Westman and Mary Vernon in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism. The list of those carbohydrate foods to avoid is actually a short one that’s easy to remember.

Bread with wheat and flour.
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Wheat is worst

Most important is to avoid wheat in any form -- and this specifically includes wheat flour. Wheat is addicting, and of course breaking any addiction is difficult, so for most people the better approach is to go cold turkey. Wheat is a poison, as Dr. William Davis makes clear in his book that I reviewed at Lose Your Wheat Belly for Diabetes Health.

Roasted potato wedges.
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Starch spikes your sugar

Eliminate as much of the other starches besides wheat as you can. The worst of these are baked potatoes, because they have the highest glycemic index, meaning that they make your blood sugar spike the most. Grains in general have a lot of high-glycemic starch. After wheat and potatoes, the starches that will raise your blood sugar the most are rice and corn.

Sugar in a wooden spoon.
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Sugar is shocking

As much as possible, eliminate table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and fructose, except in small amounts of low-glycemic fruits like avocados, green peppers, and citrus. You can't eliminate these sugars when you eat out, but try your best. Eliminating these sugars at home is easy because we have a great natural non-caloric sweetener, stevia.

Glass of soda.
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Sodas are sad

Stop drinking any sugar-sweetened beverage. They raise both our blood sugar level and our weight. Avoiding sodas sweetened with sugar, including those sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, is easy because of the non-caloric alternatives that we have.

Oranges being juiced.
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Juicing is jeopardous

Don't juice fruits or vegetables. Studies show that food in liquid form are much less satiating. Juicing needlessly raises glycemic index of any food by stripping out the fiber.

Person jogging on the beach.
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This is just a start

These are the most concentrated starches and sugars that wreak the most havoc with our diabetes. As soon as you eliminate them from your diet the sooner you will be able to control your diabetes and regain your health.

David Mendosa
Meet Our Writer
David Mendosa

David Mendosa was a journalist who learned in 1994 that he had type 2 diabetes, which he wrote about exclusively. He died in May 2017 after a short illness unrelated to diabetes. He wrote thousands of diabetes articles, two books about it, created one of the first diabetes websites, and published a monthly newsletter, “Diabetes Update.” His very low-carbohydrate diet, A1C level of 5.3, and BMI of 19.8 kept his diabetes in remission without any drugs until his death.