10 Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Published on 
June 18, 2024
February 26, 2024
Virta Health
Virta Health
Virta Health

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, joining Virta Health can help you reverse your diagnosis and reduce or even eliminate your medications. By making dietary changes with the help of a Virta health coach, you can regain control of your health and feel like yourself again... all while still enjoying delicious meals. 

Even so, there are a number of foods we here at Virta Health recommend you avoid if you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. These foods tend to raise your glucose levels, so instead of eating them, you should try to find a Virta-friendly substitute. For inspiration, look to Virta Health patient Greg, who replaced his love of sugary drinks with flavored seltzer on his journey to diabetes reversal. 

Here’s 10 types of food (with examples) you should avoid when trying to reverse your diabetes.

10 Foods to Avoid with Type 2 Diabetes or Prediabetes

High-Carb or High-Sugar Proteins


  • Breaded meats
  • High-sugar deli meats
  • High-sugar jerky
  • Meatballs (which contain breadcrumbs)
  • Meatloaf (which contains breadcrumbs).

Dairy Products that are high in sugar


  • Frozen yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Milk (heavy cream or half-and-half is okay!)

All Grain-based Products

These are high in carbs, and include:

  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Corn
  • Couscous 
  • Crackers
  • Dumplings 
  • Oatmeal or oats
  • Pasta
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa 
  • Rice
  • Wheat

Most Sweeteners


  • Agave syrup or nectar
  • Beet sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Corn syrup 
  • Fructose syrup
  • Honey 
  • Maple syrup
  • Palm sugar
  • Sugar (in all forms)

Instead, consider a Virta-approved alternative sweetener.

High-Carb or High-Sugar Vegetables

Such as:

  • Beans (black, kidney, pinto, refried, etc.)
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Celery root
  • Chickpeas
  • Corn 
  • Green peas
  • Lima beans
  • Parsnips
  • Plantains
  • Potatoes 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Winter squash


Almost all fruit is high in sugar, and should be avoided. This includes:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Plums

Oils containing Omega-6 Fats

These include:

  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Flax oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Walnut oil

Sugared Nuts & Seeds

For example:

  • Most snack or trail mixes
  • Sugared nuts 
  • Candied nuts 
  • Honeyed nuts
  • Yogurt-covered nuts


Anything sweetened, like:

  • Juice
  • Sugary sodas
  • Hot chocolate
  • Anything with milk (half-and-half and heavy cream are okay)
  • Alcohol (unless specifically low-carb, and even then in moderation)

The Takeaway

The list of foods to avoid when you have diabetes might seem like a long one, but the good news is that most of the ingredients above have a number of delicious Virta-approved alternatives which are just as tasty, and a lot healthier for you.

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and want to live a healthier lifestyle, Virta Health may be able to help. By making healthy lifestyle changes in a medical setting with supportive resources like 1:1 virtual coaching, you can regain control of your health and feel like yourself again. See if you’re eligible for Virta Health here.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or any advice relating to your health. View full disclaimer

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