You have to become label smart and look beyond just the number of grams of sugar. You have to check the carbohydrate content. I find many health food protein bars etc. that show low sugar content, however they might contain 15 to 27 or more grams of carbohydrate. The simple carbs turn to sugar in your system and elevate both your blood sugar readings and your triglyceride levels. The complex carbs of course provide fiber which can slow down the rate of absorption of sugar, however if you want to get your A1C down in the 6.5 or lower range and try to get off some of your medications, you have to pay attention to labels.
Here is an excerpt from MSN's Dr. Rob on this topic:
Q: My wife bought me a dessert advertised as "no sugar added," yet after having a slice my blood sugar spiked to 300. Why?
A: Carbohydrates. Here's the deal: When a product says "no sugar added," it doesn't mean it’s carbohydrate-free. That little dessert of yours was probably loaded with them. Many people don’t realize there’s a close relationship between the amount of carbs you consume and your resulting blood sugar level.
Carbohydrates are one of three macro-nutrients found in food; the other two are fats and proteins. Carbs can either be simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, have names such as fructose, lactose and sucrose, among others. (Basically anything with the suffix "-ose" is a sugar.) Simple carbs are found in milk, fruits and, the one we all know, table sugar. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are starches, which are made up of many glucose units joined together. Some examples of starchy foods include breads, pasta and cereals.
Exactly how much your sugar levels rise depends on the carbohydrate. Some grains and fruits contain fiber, which is a good thing because the more fiber present, the less potential there is for the food to affect your blood sugar. Other carbs are very easily converted by your body into sugar. Over 90 percent of simple carbs and some starches are in this category and, therefore, can play havoc with blood sugar levels.
And let's unravel the mystery of those ingredients in products that claim "no sugar added." Sure, they may not contain sugar, per se, but they could use other simple carbohydrates, such as turbinado, dextrose, honey, maltose, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, sorbitol or lactose. All of which can raise your blood sugar levels. So, please don't be fooled into thinking that if label says no sugar added that it’s a free pass on the food train, because at the end of this ride the conductor is counting your carbohydrates!
I was amazed recently to discover that my lower sugar instant oatmeal packets contain 22 grams of carbohydrate each. I found out that even though I was adding flax seeds and flax seed oil, I was still starting every day with 44 grams of carbs. I realize they were complex carbohydrates with lots of fiber, however after seeing my blood lipid profile, I have to rethink the package labeling concept more closely.
Here is a short list of foods with zero or miniscule carbs or sugar:
- Meats / chicken, pork and beef, watch out for processed meats, which can contain additives and sugar
- Fish / most natural cuts of fresh fish, tuna & salmon
- Eggs / white are pure protein & the yolk is pure fat
- Fats / extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, flax seed oil etc.
- Beverages such as water, tea etc. as long as they are not flavored
King James Bible Proverbs 18:21
Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.