Top 10 Vegetables for Diabetics to Avoid (2023 Guide)

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Updated and medically reviewed by Dr. Sharon Baisil MD on 29 April 2023

Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects millions of people. If you are living with diabetes, it’s important to make sure your diet is tailored specifically to the needs of your body and medical condition. While there are many vegetables that can be beneficial for those with diabetes, some should be avoided in order to ensure better long-term blood sugar management. In this article, we will discuss nine vegetables that diabetics need to avoid.

As a doctor, I understand the importance of dietary choices when managing any chronic health condition or disease such as diabetes. Eating the right types of food is vital to maintaining good blood sugar levels and reducing other potential risks associated with this condition. Knowing what foods to stay away from can help prevent complications down the road caused by poor nutrition.

By reading this article, you can gain valuable insight into which vegetables may not be best suited for those living with diabetes, so you can maintain healthy eating habits and take care of yourself now and in the future. Let’s get started!

#1 Potatoes

Potatoes are a starchy vegetable, and when consumed can increase blood sugar levels for those living with diabetes or prediabetes. For this reason, potatoes should be avoided as part of the diabetes diet. This includes all types of potatoes, including sweet potato varieties. Consuming white bread has similar effects to consuming potatoes on blood glucose levels; thus, it is important to avoid both items. In summary, while many individuals enjoy eating potatoes, they should not form part of a healthy diet plan for people who have been diagnosed with either type 1 or 2 diabetes.

Veggie causing Diabetes

#2 Corn

Corn is a vegetable that may be avoided for diabetes management. When consumed in large amounts, corn can increase blood glucose levels due to its added sugar content. It’s important to note that the type of corn matters: sweet corn has more sugar than white or yellow kernels, so those should be limited when it comes to diabetics. Registered dietitians recommend avoiding eating too much canned and frozen varieties as well since they often have added sugars and starches which could raise blood glucose levels.

It’s also important to remember that moderation is key no matter what kind of food you’re consuming; this applies to vegetables like corn too! Eating small servings of fresh, boiled, or steamed whole ears every now and then won’t disrupt your diabetes management plan. While sticking with other healthier veggie options such as leafy greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cauliflower is recommended over processed ones like canned or frozen corn.

#3 Peas

Moving on from corn, we now come to the next vegetable in our discussion: peas. Peas are a great source of vitamins and minerals and therefore can be beneficial for diabetics if consumed in moderation. However, as with many other vegetables, they contain carbohydrates which should be taken into consideration when planning your meals.

When looking at the nutrition facts of one cup (160 grams) of frozen green peas, you will see that it contains 21 grams of carbs and 10 grams of fiber. This means that there are 11 grams of net carbs per serving – so this needs to be factored into your daily carb intake goals. The fiber content also helps slow down digestion; however, it does not affect blood sugar levels directly as some other types of dietary fiber do. As such, always monitor your glucose levels after consuming them to ensure that you remain within safe ranges.


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Overall, peas offer valuable nutritional benefits but should only be eaten in moderate quantities due to their carbohydrate content. It’s important to keep track of your portions and make sure that your overall diet remains balanced and healthy. Always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider before making any major changes to your meal plan.

#4 Winter Squash

Winter squash is one of the winter vegetables that can be high in carbohydrates. As a result, it should be avoided or limited by people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends limiting starchy vegetables like winter squash to 1/2 cup per day and getting most of your carbs from non-starchy vegetables instead.

Here are five tips for how best to manage blood glucose levels while eating winter squash:

  • Choose whole grain versions when possible – this will help you get more fiber, which helps slow down digestion and absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
  • Measure out servings carefully – One serving size is usually equivalent to 1/2 cup cooked winter squash, or about 80 grams (100 calories).
  • Select varieties that are lower in starch – Acorn and butternut squashes have less starch than other varieties.
  • Add filling ingredients – To increase satiety without increasing the carb load, add healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado slices to your meal.
  • Incorporate other low glycemic index veggies – Try adding some leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, etc., which are among the best vegetables for diabetics because they contain fewer carbs and more fiber than starchy vegetables.

With careful planning and mindful consumption of winter squash, diabetics can enjoy its seasonal flavors without compromising their health goals or spiking their blood glucose levels too much.

#5 Beets

Moving on from winter squash, let’s discuss beets. Beets are an often overlooked vegetable that could have a significant impact on health. They contain high levels of nitrate and can help to lower blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, they provide fiber, folate, and various vitamins and minerals which makes them a great choice for diabetics looking to improve their diet without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

BenefitBest OptionBenefits of Weight Loss
Blood Pressure ReductionFreshly cooked or steamed beetsYes
Low Fat & Heart Disease Risk ReductionBoiled or pickled beetsNo

Beets also offer reduced calorie options such as beet juice and frozen diced beets that are low fat and still full of essential nutrients. Therefore, regardless if someone is trying to lose weight or maintain it, fresh or canned beets make for a nutritious option when incorporated into a diabetic diet plan. Moreover, those who are concerned about sugar intake may opt for unsweetened versions in order to best control the glycemic index. Ultimately, incorporating moderate amounts of this tasty vegetable into one’s diet can bring numerous benefits while helping individuals reach wellness goals more efficiently.

#6 Parsnips

Parsnips are a starchy vegetable that can be high in sugar content, which makes them an unsuitable choice of food for diabetics. Registered dietitians recommend avoiding parsnips if you have diabetes and high blood pressure since they are higher in fat foods, such as fatty acids than other vegetables. Eating too many of these root vegetables can cause your blood sugar levels to go out of the target range. This could lead to serious health complications, so it’s best to avoid eating them or consuming them in very small amounts once in a while. In summary, while parsnips do contain some nutritional benefits, their high sugar content makes them an inappropriate choice for people with diabetes or those who suffer from high blood pressure.

#7 Yams

Yams are an important part of many diets, but diabetics should be cautious when consuming them. Yams contain a high amount of carbohydrates and can affect blood sugar levels if not consumed in moderation. Despite the fact that yams have some health benefits, they should be avoided by those who suffer from diabetes as they may cause serious health complications.

Here is a list of 5 items to keep in mind while considering whether or not to include yams into your diet: – Yams contain a high amount of carbohydrates, so eating too much could lead to spikes in blood glucose levels for diabetics. – Yams are not as nutrient-dense as other starchy vegetables such as white rice and potatoes. – Eating large portions of yams regularly can result in weight gain, which can further complicate diabetes management for those who are overweight or obese. – French fries and other processed foods made with yam should also be avoided due to their unhealthy fat content and lack of nutrients. – If you do decide to eat yams, it’s best to consume them steamed, baked, or boiled rather than fried or roasted, since this will reduce the glycemic load on your body.

When making decisions about what types of food to include in your diet as someone living with diabetes, it’s important to consider how each type might affect your health and well-being. As always, consulting with your doctor before changing up any dietary habits is highly recommended!

#8 Cassava

Cassava is a starchy root vegetable that diabetics should avoid. It contains high levels of carbohydrates and has the potential to raise blood sugar quickly, making it difficult for people with diabetes to maintain their glucose levels in check. Additionally, cassava can be turned into ice cream, which may seem like an enticing option; however, this type of frozen dessert is even higher in carbohydrates than regular cassava, meaning that consuming it could cause your blood sugar to spike significantly. Therefore, if you are diabetic, it is best to stay away from products made using this root vegetable – including ice cream. As an alternative, try low-carbohydrate dairy treats or non-dairy options such as sorbet. By following these guidelines and monitoring your blood sugar closely, you can enjoy a variety of desserts without putting yourself at risk.

#9 Rutabaga

Rutabaga is not recommended for those with diabetes. It contains a high amount of carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index rating, meaning it can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Additionally, this root vegetable is quite starchy and may be difficult to digest if consumed regularly by diabetics. Consuming too much rutabaga could potentially lead to complications such as weight gain or an increase in the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Therefore, while some people might enjoy its flavor and texture, those with diabetes should avoid consuming rutabaga on a regular basis. If someone must consume it, they should make sure to only eat small amounts at one time and pair it with other foods that are lower in carbohydrates or have a higher glycemic index rating so as to balance out the effects on their blood glucose levels.

#10 Jerusalem Artichokes

Diabetics should avoid Jerusalem artichokes due to their high glycemic index. This is because they are composed of carbohydrates that can be quickly digested by the body, resulting in a spike in blood sugar levels.

FoodGIServing Size (g)
J Artichoke63150

It is important for diabetics to note the difference between Jerusalem artichokes and other vegetables such as carrots which have much lower glycemic indices. For example, when compared with a serving size of 150 g for Jerusalem artichokes, a serving size of 80 g for carrots has been found to have a lower glycemic index rating of 39. Therefore, it would be wise for those with diabetes to limit their intake of this type of vegetable or even eliminate it from their diet altogether.

In addition to its potential impact on blood sugar levels, Jerusalem artichokes contain small amounts of oxalates which can accumulate in the body if consumed frequently and may lead to the development of kidney stones. As such, it’s highly recommended that individuals living with diabetes consult with their healthcare provider before adding these starchy tubers to their diets.


Based on the glycemic index, diabetics should avoid consuming certain vegetables. It is important to understand which vegetables are high in carbohydrates and how much of each vegetable should be consumed daily. Low-carbohydrate alternatives can also provide a healthy option for those with diabetes.

It is essential to note that some vegetables have health benefits even if they have higher carbohydrate content. For example, dark leafy greens like spinach contain vitamins A and C as well as other necessary minerals. Other low-GI options such as mushrooms, cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli can be beneficial sources of fiber and micronutrients while still maintaining a lower carb intake.

In conclusion, it is best practice for individuals with diabetes to monitor their carbohydrate consumption level by avoiding or limiting certain vegetables deemed too high in carbs. However, there are many healthier choices available including non-starchy vegetables and mushroom varieties – so one does not need to completely exclude all vegetables from their diet plan! By making informed decisions about what veggies you choose, you can enjoy delicious meals without compromising your health goals.



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