Processed Meat To Refined Carbs, Foods That Can Lead To Diabetes
Image Credit: Foods that cause diabetes, Pexels

Diabetes is a chronic illness and today it has turned into an epidemic impacting millions of individuals worldwide. The condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels is commonly associated with inadequate insulin production or utilisation by the body.  While genetics and lifestyle factors play a role, there is evidence that certain foods can increase the risk of developing diabetes. This article will explore the most common food that work as culprits.

What is Diabetes?

When someone has diabetes, their bodies consistently struggle to keep their blood sugar (glucose) levels within normal ranges. Glucose, which is derived from the food sources we eat, is the body's main source of energy. Pancreatic insulin is a hormone that aids in controlling blood sugar levels. High blood sugar sets in when the body either fails to generate enough insulin or is unable to properly utilise the insulin it does make.

The immune system mistakenly targets the pancreas, leading to type 1 diabetes, which is typically identified in young children. Because of this, insulin injections are necessary on a regular basis to replace the hormone. When insulin production and usage are inadequate, the body develops type 2 diabetes. Medication, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can help with this condition, which is commonly caused by improper living habits. There is also gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy and can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Common Risk Factors for Developing Diabetes

While anyone can develop diabetes, several risk factors increase the likelihood. Overweight or obese is a significant cause leading to Type 2 diabetes. Excess body fat makes it challenging for the body to use insulin effectively. A family history of diabetes can also increase the risk, as can be over 45. Physical inactivity is another significant risk factor, as regular exercise helps the body to use insulin more effectively.

Food that may cause diabetes

While genetics, pregnancy, unhealthy lifestyle can be causative factors leading to diabetes, there are certain foods that can contribute to the onset of this lifestyle disease. 

Sugary Beverages

Consumption of sugary drinks including soda, energy drinks, and sweetened teas and coffees has been associated with an elevated danger of developing Type 2 diabetes. This is because they generate quick increases in blood sugar because of their high glycemic index and calorie content. Insulin resistance and diabetes are possible long-term outcomes of this condition.

One Harvard study indicated that compared to people who consumed less than one sugary beverage per month, those who drank one to two sugary beverages every day were 26 percent more likely to acquire Type 2 diabetes.

Processed meats 

Sausages, frozen meat nuggets, hot dogs, salami, bacon, and deli meats, among others, are among the processed meats that have been associated to a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Since inflammation and insulin resistance are both exacerbated by the high quantities of salt and saturated fat found in many of these meals.

Unhealthy chicken sausages, Image Source: Pexels

Being high in calories can lead to obesity, contributing to developing diabetes. Processed meats are often made by combining low-quality meat scraps and adding various chemicals and preservatives to enhance flavour and prolong shelf life. These chemicals can include nitrates, which are associated to a raised risk of cancer and other health issues. 

Refined carbs like bread and unhealthy fries, Image Source: Pexels

Refined carbs 

Many people's daily meals consist mostly of refined carbs such white bread, polished rice, refined flour, and pastries. Unfortunately, these meals tend to induce sharp increases in blood sugar because of their high sugar content. This is due to the rapid spike in blood sugar levels triggered by the digestion of refined carbohydrates, which are broken down into glucose and absorbed into the circulation very quickly.

Long-term exposure to this elevated glucose level can cause insulin resistance and diabetes to develop. Insulin resistance arises when cells in the body no longer respond normally to insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels. This can lead to an uncontrolled spike in blood sugar levels, which can have negative effects on health in a number of ways.


Making healthy food choices is essential in reducing the risk of diabetes. Limiting sugary beverages, processed meats, and refined carbohydrates in your diet and instead opting for nutrient-dense whole foods can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and overall health.