Diabetes Management

These Foods Can Increase Your Risk Of Diabetes

3 min read

By By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 20 February 2023, Updated on - 22 February 2024

  • Share this article

  • 0

  • 0 like

Article Banner

Generally, the human body uses insulin to control glucose levels and convert them into energy. However, in the case of type 2 diabetes, the body develops insulin resistance and cannot effectively use insulin to regulate blood sugar levels, resulting in elevated glucose levels in the blood. In addition, consuming foods containing nitrates and nitrites have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in studies. Let us know more about these foods and how they are related to diabetes.

What Are Nitrates and Nitrites?

Both nitrates and nitrites are nitrogen compounds that are often found in several food items including:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce
  • Radish
  • Parsley
  • Beetroot
  • Processed fish
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Processed meats like hot dogs, sausage & salami

While nitrates are least likely to harm the body, nitrites can convert either into nitric oxide (beneficial for the body) or nitrosamine (harmful for the body).

How Nitrates and Nitrites can Cause Type 2 Diabetes

The essential role by which nitrates and nitrites may contribute to type 2 diabetes development is unknown. However, several theories have been proposed, including the following:

  • Increased insulin resistance due to the formation of nitrosamines
  • Higher levels of inflammation due to eating processed and cured meats
  • Weight gain due to the intake of processed and cured meats

The following foods can be eaten if you have type 2 diabetes:

1. Whole-grain foods such as oatmeal and wheat bread can help you regulate blood sugar levels and provide adequate energy.

2. Non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower are high in fibre and low in carbohydrates.

3. Protein-rich foods like beans, lentils and chickpeas help regulate blood sugar levels and improve overall health.

4. Berries such as strawberries and blueberries are high in fibre and antioxidants.

5. Fish high in fat, such as salmon and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

It is important to remember that eating a balanced diet low in refined carbohydrates, high in fibre and rich in nutrient-dense foods is the key to managing type 2 diabetes.

You can consult a dietitian about developing an individualised eating plan that meets your needs.

Consult An Apollo Diabetologist

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What effect does food containing nitrates and nitrites have?

Foods containing nitrates and nitrites tend to increase insulin resistance, thereby increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

2. Does consuming vegetables having nitrites or nitrates lead to type 2 diabetes?

The relationship between vegetable intake and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is complex. However, research has shown food containing nitrates and nitrites can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

3. What foods are good for people having type 2 diabetes?

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains are some foods that are good for those with type 2 diabetes.

4. What are some symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Increased thirst, tiredness, weight loss, dry mouth, mouth and headaches are some of the common symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

5. Can consuming processed food lead to type 2 diabetes?

Consuming processed foods high in added sugars, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and sodium has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Consult An Apollo Diabetologist

You can also try the Apollo 24|7 Diabetes Self-Management Tool to log your sugar values, track patterns, know all about food nutrition and more.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Madhushree Agarwal


Diabetes Management

Leave Comment


Email Id



Sign up for our free Health Library Daily Newsletter

Get doctor-approved health tips, news, and more.


Visual Stories


8 Fruits That are Incredibly Healthy for Diabetes

Tap to continue exploring

  • Share this article

  • 0

  • 0 like