Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
As a nutrition and diabetes professional AND a person with 50+ years of successful personal diabetes management experience, I am a little miffed at inaccurate diabetes management information. And, it’s everywhere. One YouTube channel constantly pits one food against another, checking blood glucose levels (at an inappropriate after-eating interval) to draw unfounded conclusions – like maybe people with diabetes shouldn’t eat fruit. I felt a need to debunk that ridiculous idea.
I’ve seen a series of videos on YouTube about what foods spike your blood sugar, but there is a lot more to the story than what is being portrayed. Unfortunately, they don’t share the science or the research and are just throwing info out that you may “want to hear.” Science gives us the answers. So in today’s video, I’m going to dispel the myths or things you may be hearing. Is it Fact or fiction?
Table of contents
Let’s Review: Reasons Behind Some Foods And Blood Sugar Spike Claims…
Banana vs a chocolate candy bar… what do you want to hear? Ha, my guess is you’d love to see that a candy bar won’t raise your blood sugar as much as fruit.
Here’s The Facts
Well, here are the facts, we wouldn’t expect that the candy bar will bring up your blood sugar as much as a banana, initially.
As a reminder, we want our blood sugar to be between 80 and 130 before a meal and 180 or less two hours after the start of eating. This information is science-based. It comes from the latest American Diabetes Association position paper which reviews the latest research. To come up with these target ranges, they were looking for the suggested blood sugar range to prevent complications from diabetes. After all, that’s what we all want; we are managing our blood sugar to prevent any complications from diabetes and feel well. So that’s our overall goal. Oh, and one other important piece of information, checking the blood sugar of people who aren’t diagnosed with diabetes, is not information that’s comparable.
Through lots of research, we also have answers on what combination of foods or elements in food will slow down the absorption of carbohydrates to prevent spikes in blood sugar readings.
What Does The Banana Bring To The Table?
So, in the case of a healthy food choice like a piece of fresh fruit, we need to look at the portion size – a 4-ounce banana, in this case, is equal to a 15-gram carb portion and we need to consider how much nutrition a piece of fruit offers (like it’s a great source of potassium). The amount of protein, fat, and fiber for this portion of a banana is negligible. And protein, fat, and fiber help slow down the absorption of carbohydrate consumption.
So we may see a higher reading initially, and as a dietitian, I always recommend consuming foods like this with another food that will have protein, fiber, or fat to help slow down the carb absorption. But there also is something you can do here to slow down the absorption, and that is to eat the banana when it is not fully ripe! An unripe banana contains resistant starch, which will pass through your gut undigested and not raise your blood sugar. SOLUTION
Be Sure To Check Out – Can People With Diabetes Eat Fruit?
Does The Chocolate Candy Bar Have A Chance?
So… For a milk chocolate candy bar… Hmmm… Well, there is a whole lot of calories, fat, saturated fat, and carbohydrate. The high-fat content of the candy bar helps slow down the absorption of the carbohydrate, but doesn’t help with any of the negative parts like lots of added calories, added sugar, and saturated fat that will raise our risk for heart disease. No, thank you.
And note….depending on your level of insulin sensitivity it’s very possible your blood sugar will spike but it will be later in the day.
Be Sure To Check Out – Can People With Diabetes Eat Chocolate? (spoiler alert – YES!!!)
When we are looking at our food choices, always look at the whole picture instead of looking at only one part of the equation. Remember we want to manage our overall health which includes managing our blood sugar.
Thanks for watching.
Until next time, cheers to your health.
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