How Much Do You Know About the Food and Drink You Consume?

How Much Sugar is in Your Snack?

The image above is an interesting one I found on one of the diabetes support sites, about how much sugar is in the snacks and drinks that we consume on a regular basis. But what's interesting is the way that it shows the sugar content in terms of sugar cubes which I think is quite shocking. Although the image is of American origin, it's still a really interesting way to look at the foods we consume.

Something that has interested me for a long time is the fact that when I'm at home and I'm experiencing low blood sugars I need to treat them with a fast acting drink. When I'm out of the house this is usually in the form of Lucozade Energy as it acts quickly and gets my blood sugars backup to safe levels until I can consume some carbs to maintain them. But whilst in the house I treat my hypos with orange juice. Now what's interesting about this is that orange juice is often touted as the healthy alternative to 'unhealthy drinks'. But the sugar content of orange juice is not that different to that of energy drinks and as you can see from the picture above, it's not a million miles away from the sugar content of cola. This is not to say that there are not other health benefits of drinking orange juice of course, as it does contain more natural nutrients and ingredients than some carbonated drinks. But it's just an example of how important education is, not just in diabetes but in everyday health and diet.

On the subject of sugary drinks, for people with or even without diabetes. How many times have you asked for a diet drink at the bar and when the drink arrives you're not convinced that it is actually diet. The person who served you swears that it is, you drink it against your best judgment and see your blood sugars shoot up resultantly. My family and I go out to the same place for Sunday lunch every week, but for some reason 3 weeks in a row, the restaurant served me full sugar coke instead of the diet that I requested. After living with diabetes for over 13 years I'd say I'm fairly wise to telling diet and full sugar drinks apart. I can smell the sugar and I hate the way the drink feels as it coats your teeth. Yet when I politely mentioned to the waitress that the drink was not diet, she looked at me dubiously and went off to speak to the bar person to 'confirm'.

In the mean time I had a brainwave, (not that I advocate misusing medical supplies). But as someone who is dangerously susceptible to ketones, it's important for me to be able to tell the difference so as to avoid them. I set up my blood sugar monitor with a strip and used it to test the solution and low and behold it showed sugars of 19.9mmol high in the drink! And thankfully because of this I was able to avoid drinking a whole pint of sugary drink. It dawned on me the other day that I think what upsets me the most about when people make mistakes or treat you like you're fussy when you ask for a diet drink is that it's a dangerous thing to give someone. But opposed to being treated like an allergy, it's treated like an annoyance by many.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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