Diabetes is a real evil, and India is seeing a massive spike in the number of cases diagnosed each year. The prescription to those already suffering from it, as well as to those trying to avoid it, is largely the same — avoid sugar. But is it really as simple as it sounds?
The first step to reducing your sugar intake is the simplest and the most obvious — ditch the sugar you can see. That means no added sugar in your daily tea or coffee, or even in your nimbu paani. That’s right, you’ve got to be strict with yourself!
Once this step is done, our nutritionists often hear from patients that their blood sugar still won’t stabilise. So what’s the problem? After all, they’ve eliminated all the sugar from their diet, right?
Wrong! While cutting out the visible added sugar is a huge and vital step, it is equally important to identify where hidden processed sugars manage to creep into the food and beverages you enjoy every day. For instance, most of us think little of ordering a cola drink when we’re out at the movies or meeting friends. But as infamously popularised over the past few years, many popular cola brands contain as much as 53gm of sugar per 500ml — that’s over 10 teaspoons of sugar!
So there you go, open your refrigerator right now and toss that cola out (pssst… we hear it makes a great drain cleaner!) And while you’ve got that fridge open, let us help you ditch a few more culprits that are raising your intake of processed sugar, and increasing your risk of getting diabetes.
Jams: Yes, even the ones that claim to be “all-fruit and no sugar”. Jams contain a lot of simple sugars, and can really send your insulin levels into a tizzy. So clean out those jars, and try to opt for savoury spreads for your morning toast. Don’t forget to check the labels on those, too!
Sauces and Ketchups: Your favourite dip with your french fries and pakoras could be spiking those blood glucose levels. Most bottled sauces and ketchups contain high amounts of hidden sugars, which can wreak havoc on your system. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, bid them farewell today.
Breads and Pastas: While they may not be inherently “sweet”, the carbohydrate content in breads and pasta can cause your blood glucose levels to fluctuate significantly. Instead, try baking your own breads at home using specially formulated low carb flours.
Biscuits: Yes, even those labelled ‘high-fibre’, ‘digestive’, or ‘healthy’. Nearly every biscuit or cookie brand available in the market has a significant enough sugar content to warrant you putting it right back on the shelf! Instead, look for savoury crackers made from flax seeds and almond meal, which fill you up without affecting our blood sugar.
Fruit Juices: We can imagine this one has you confused. After all, fruits are supposed to be healthy, right? And they are. Fruit juices, on the other hand, usually contain multiple portions of whole fruit per serving. So a glass of fruit juice would contain anywhere between 3 to 15 times the sucrose of a single portion of fruit. Instead, we recommend you opt for eating whole fruit instead. Your sucrose intake will be balanced by the fibre content of the fruit, and you’re unlikely to ever eat as many fruits in one sitting as would be used to make that one glass of fruit juice.
So there you have it, simple steps to eliminate excess sugar from your diet. Keep these in mind, and you can make a massive difference towards avoiding diabetes, or keeping it in check.
Stay Healthy. Grow Fit.