A study suggests that in 2015, over 9 percent of the American population is diabetic. Diabetes can be type 1 or type 2, depending on the age this condition affects you. But one thing is common to both – the worst foods for diabetics. These items can raise blood sugar levels and increase the body’s resistance to insulin. Not only that, but not drinking enough water can play a crucial part in blood sugar control. For diabetics in particular, blood sugars are more concentrated if you are dehydrated. Keeping fluid levels up by drinking tap water, spring water, filtered Brita, and premium sparkling water from brands like Culligan, Nestle, and Evian, can help you stay hydrated throughout your day.

Some of the following foods also contribute to weight gain, which can exacerbate the symptoms of diabetes and cause other complications like heart disease.

5 worst foods for diabetics
Starchy foods
Among the worst foods for diabetics are items that are rich in starch. These contain simple carbohydrates that are easily digested and cause blood sugar levels to spike in no time. Some of these high-starch foods include white rice, white bread, tortillas, french fries, mashed potatoes, sweetened cereals, among others. However, this doesn’t mean you need to cut out starch completely. Certain healthy, complex carbs like baked sweet potato, quinoa, oatmeal, and amaranth can be safely consumed.

2. Salty foods
Even if the food is not high in sugars, it can still cause a lot of complications in people with diabetes. So, the worst foods for diabetics include canned and pickled items that are rich in sodium. Sauerkraut, pickled onions, pickled olives, canned soup, among others. are all rich in salt and can lead to an increase in blood pressure. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests keeping the salt intake at 2,300 milligrams per day.

3. Full fat dairy
Dairy, which contains a lot of fats, is among the worst foods for diabetics. Many people already know that trans fats in dairy can increase cholesterol levels. But recent studies indicate that full-fat dairy can develop insulin resistance in the body. So people with diabetes should limit their intake of foods such as full-fat cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice creams. A lot of these foods can also lead to weight gain, which can worsen the symptoms of diabetes.

4. Processed meats
A study conducted by Harvard in 2010 found that consuming a lot of processed meats can increase your chances of getting type 2 diabetes by 19 percent. So, it’s easily counted as one of the worst foods for diabetics. Processed meats have a higher concentration of sodium and preservatives that are unhealthy for the body. Also, red meat contains more trans fats that are linked to weight gain and heart disease.

5. Alcohol and caffeine
While coffee may not increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, it does cause a lot of harm to diabetics. Caffeine can wreak havoc on the blood sugar levels and increase insulin resistance as well. So it’s best avoided. Alcohol can be consumed by those with diabetes in moderation. However, research shows that drinking a lot of alcohol while on insulin can trigger hypoglycemia.

Limiting the intake of these foods can lead to a better quality of life for people with diabetes. But that doesn’t mean you should cut them out completely. You can still have them once in a while in small quantities. Just make sure these occasion treats do not become a habit.