The advice of many physicians when faced with patients whose blood sugar levels are starting to creep up is to “Go easy on the desserts. I have patients report this doctor-derived admonition to me with quite some regularity when I ask them about their present blood sugar condition.
So, a well-intentioned patient who cuts back on desserts—or cuts them out altogether—may still find their blood sugar surging. Why is this? It’s because “sweet treats” aren’t the only culprit of runaway blood sugar.
There are two primary areas within the common diet which surge blood sugar to levels which are harmful to the body and overtime create the condition of insulin resistance, the precursor to Type 2 diabetes: sugar-laden drinks and refined carbohydrates.
Many people who are semi-health conscious would likely think twice before biting into a doughnut dripping with glaze, but will then turn around and pour themselves a can of soda, apple juice, or sweet tea without so much of a thought towards the amount of sugar contained within. Here’s a short list which will make you want to reach for a tall glass of water instead:
Beverage Teaspoons of sugar (per 12 oz serving)
Grape juice 14.5
Orange juice 8
Apple juice 10.5
Sweet tea 8.5
Now picture yourself scooping out that much sugar from the bowl and stirring it into a tall, cool glass of water and drinking that syrupy mess down!
The other area of stealth sugar intake is from foods that wear a “white coat”—white bread, rolls, muffins, pasta, cookies, cake, rice, etc. Before those foods have travelled from your mouth to your stomach, their bran-stripped starch molecules have already begun to degrade into sugar molecules. As a young mother I used to chuckle (to myself) when another mom of young children would say “no” to their toddler’s pre-lunch request for a cookie, but would instead hand them a small stack of Ritz crackers and a cup of apple juice to wash it down—same sugary difference!
So carefully weigh your fueling decisions. Sweet snacks = sugar-laden beverages = refined carbohydrates = a grand ol’ blood sugar surge!