More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. While it may seem rare, it’s becoming more common as obesity rates in the Unites States rise. However, it’s not just obesity that increases your risk of diabetes; it has a lot to do with your diet. There are plenty of foods to help prevent diabetes, but the foods listed here will only help cause it.

Energy drinks

Energy drinks

These drinks are full of sugar. |

Sugary beverages like energy drinks or soda can quickly cause a spike in blood sugar. A study done in teenagers showed that drinking sugary drinks increased blood insulin levels, which in turn made it difficult for blood glucose levels to return to normal. According to the study, about 30% of adolescents and 50% of college athletes regularly consume energy drinks.

White bread

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Toast bread

Go for whole-grain bread instead. |

Simple carbohydrates behave like sugars in the body’s digestion process. Foods with a high glycemic index can affect the body’s blood sugar level. Refined starches, like white breads, white rice, and white pastas can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes. Stick with whole grain versions of your favorite carb-filled foods. Also, studies showed that whole grain cereal was linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Fast food

fast food sign

Fast food is full of salt. | David McNew/Getty Images

Most fast food options contain a high amount of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels, which results in a higher risk of heart disease. Since those with diabetes are already at risk of heart disease, it’s important to avoid foods with high saturated fats as a preventive measure, even if you don’t have diabetes. Trans fats raise cholesterol just like saturated fats, but they are even worse for you. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating as little trans fat as possible.

Red meat or processed meat

Person seasoning steaks

Limit your red meat consumption. |

Researchers who conducted a study in Finland found that those who ate more animal protein than plant protein had a 35% greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Harvard conducted a similar study that focused on red meat and processed meats, and researchers found that those who ate a serving of red meat every day increased their diabetes risk by 19%. Those who ate processed meats daily, like a hot dog, increased their risk by 51%.


Snicker bars

Limit your candy consumption! |

A study sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes found that too much sugar consumption, especially fructose, can lead to type 2 diabetes. Essentially, when there is too much sugar in the liver, it triggers the activation of a certain protein that would make the liver unable to stop producing a form of sugar called glucose. Fructose is found in products like candy, soda, and even fruit (although, yes, fruit is still very healthy). It’s important to eat chocolate and other candies in moderation in order to avoid excess fructose.


Pretzel background

Pretzels are loaded with salt. |

To most, pretzels seem healthy. Toasted little snacks; how bad can they be? Actually, pretzels are made with white, refined carbs that are just as bad for you as white bread. Also, pretzels tend to be salted, and too much sodium can lead to heart disease. Plus, if you’re living with diabetes, you’re already at a greater risk of developing heart disease.


Caramel Cappuccino frappe coffee

Go with black coffee. |

Actually, coffee itself is not so bad. The problem with coffee is that nowadays, coffee shops serve more than just coffee in their drinks. They pack tons of sugar, carbohydrates and fat into them as well, which in turns means all of those bad things enter your body. Since refined carbs, too much sugar, and too much fat are all staples for a diabetes diagnosis, it’s better to stick with just a simple cup of coffee.