Well, almost never.

For those who don’t have diabetes, nibbling a cookie here or some French fries there isn’t a big deal. Those unhealthy treats may run counter to your diet or weight-loss goals, but eating them isn’t the end of the world. For diabetics, on the other hand, one too many slip-ups could carry potentially life-threatening consequences.

“It’s hard to say exactly what’s okay and what’s not because every patient with diabetes is a little different, and every patient’s tolerance for carbohydrates is different,” says Dr Matthew Freeby. “But if a patient eats enough carbohydrates that the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to drive blood sugar down, that’s what we worry about.”

As Freeby’s comment suggests, carbohydrates—a macronutrient group that includes sugar—pose the greatest threat to diabetics. Foods heavy in protein and fat, on the other hand, “tend to be the ones we have patients gravitate toward,” he explains. 

What exactly is Freeby worried about? Too-high or too-low blood sugar levels—known as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively—can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or confusion. In extreme cases, high or low blood sugar could lead to unconsciousness and death.

If you’re diabetic and you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s time to get your doctor on the phone—or head to the hospital.

Which foods are most likely to get diabetics into trouble? Keep reading.

(Want to pick up some healthier habits? Sign up for FREE to get healthy living tips, weight loss inspiration, slimming recipes and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

© prevention.com