If you have diabetes, watching what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. “The basic goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to avoid blood sugar spikes,” said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Candy and soda can be dangerous for diabetics because the body absorbs these simple sugars almost instantly.

But all types of carbs need to be watched, and foods high in fat—particularly unhealthy fats—are problematic as well because people with diabetes are at very high risk of heart disease, said Sandy Andrews, RD, director of education for the William Sansum Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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