Fresh fruit is good for you. Frozen fruit is a great option when fresh fruit isn’t available or practical. But enjoying canned fruit that’s been sitting in heavy, sticky, sugary syrup is basically like eating candy. If you don’t have access to fresh or frozen fruit, opt for canned fruit that’s packaged in unsweetened fruit juice.
5. Sugary soft drinks
A can of cola may contain as many as 10 teaspoons of sugar—and that’s 10 teaspoons you can avoid by simply choosing a diet soda sweetened with a calorie-free sweetener. An even healthier option is to go for unsweetened tea or water with a twist of lemon or lime. If you prefer carbonated drinks, opt for sparkling water.
6. Blended coffee drinks
You’re probably sensing a trend here: foods that contain lots of extra sugars are not the best choice for someone with diabetes. Those tempting coffee beverages are tempting for a reason—they’re full of syrups, whipped cream and sugar that could send your blood sugar through the roof.
7. Chips and other snacks made with trans fats
Trans fat is considered to be the worst type of fat, since it raises your ‘bad’ cholesterol and lowers your ‘good’ cholesterol levels; this combination increases your risk of heart disease. People with diabetes already have a higher risk of developing heart disease, so avoiding this unhealthy fat is a good strategy. Trans fats often lurk in foods like chips, crackers and other snacks. Examine nutrition facts labels carefully for words like “partially-hydrogenated oil”—then put that package right back on the shelf.
8. Meat that’s high in saturated fat
Eating meat that’s high in saturated fat can increase your chances of developing clogged or hardened arteries, so it’s a good idea to bypass the hot dogs at the next sporting event you attend. Some other culprits include bologna, sausage and regular ground beef. These foods can also be high in sodium, and a diet high in sodium increases your risk of developing high blood pressure.
9. Full-fat dairy products
Once again, foods with a high saturated fat content are hard on your arteries and your circulatory system. Swap out high-fat dairy products like sour cream and ice cream for the reduced-fat or fat-free versions. But be aware that sometimes reducing the fat means increasing the sugar, so checking out nutrition facts labels is never a bad idea.