Be Aware of Foods With Hidden Sugar
If you have diabetes, you’ve undoubtedly been told to watch your carbohydrate intake. High carbohydrate intake = high blood sugar levels, right?
Well, foods that are high in sugar are high in carbohydrates, as I’m sure you’ve noticed after years of looking at food labels. However, if you’ve gotten lazy or out of practice with label reading, it may time for a refresher.
These foods and beverages are high in sugar, which means they are high in carbohydrates.
Remember, this does not mean you need to omit these foods and beverages from your diabetes diet. You may need to balance the other foods you are eating if you want to eat them, or you may need to eat them with less frequency.
No food is inherently “bad” — they just have different components of macronutrients that may need to be managed for your specific needs.
Juice is often touted as a health food in the wellbeing community. It’s true that juice may be loaded with vitamins and minerals — but it is often loaded with sugar.
Juice can come in a variety of types: some types of juice will have sugar added, and some types will be 100% juice — meaning they are made completely from fruit. Regardless, they will all have carbohydrates because even the juice made completely from fruit is chock full of carbs.
Drink juice with caution and keep the portions in control. Know that while it may be “healthy,” it will still make your blood glucose rise if you do not account for it with insulin or your diet plan.
In the same vein, fruit is a carbohydrate, meaning it has sugar in it. While there are a variety of different types of sugar, the type of sugar in fruit is called fructose.
Fruit also contains fiber, making it is a great choice for a snack because the fiber will help to fill up the stomach. The average serving of fruit is about 15 grams of carbohydrates, so this is an adequate serving size for a snack for most people, but individual needs will vary.
However, pieces of fruit can also vary. As stated previously, the average serving is 15 grams of carbohydrate. But, a small banana is actually closer to 30 grams of carbohydrate. Berries can be harder to estimate because their portions are not in “single” servings.
Low-fat foods are also often touted as health foods. However, keep in mind that when something comes out of the food (fat), something may have to be added into the food to make it taste good — and sometimes that may be sugar!
Low-fat foods can contain as much as 20 percent more sugar than full-fat equivalents, making them incredibly misleading for people thinking they’re making a healthy choice.
Here’s a confusing one for all of you!
Diet soda will not really increase your blood sugar. After all, we’ve all looked at the labels — there is no sugar, sodium, carbs, calories, or fat.
In fact, when you read down the label, there is basically nothing but zeros. So why in the world is diet soda included in this list?
Well, recent research is currently still inconclusive, but it is worth mentioning that diet soda may wreak havoc on the gut microbes in our stomachs and set the stage for type 2 diabetes to develop. Indirectly, it may cause blood sugar levels to rise, but not immediately.
In a study performed by the Wiezmann Institute of Science in Israel, zero-calorie sweeteners were fed to mice. The mice developed glucose intolerance.
The researchers then studied people who consumed high amounts of diet soda and found them to have slightly higher HbA1C levels. Then they asked seven people to consume 10-12 zero-calorie sweetener packets daily for one week. Four of those people had significant increases in their blood glucose levels and these seemed to be caused by disturbances in the gut biome.
Obviously, this research is preliminary so take this with a grain of salt. If your doctor or diabetes educator advises you to drink diet soda instead of regular soda, please stick with that advice.
You can also read about artificial sweeteners and diabetes if you still want to add some additional sweetness to your life.