Living with diabetes can be a bit difficult at times. You can’t eat everything like you once did. You need to cut down your sugar and check on what you are supposed to eat. Follow these diabetes tips to fight diabetes.

One thing you need to do to cut down the sugars is to look for the hidden sugars. 

Even though some foods say they contain no added sugar, their sugar load can still be high. 

Fruit juices

fruit juices have a higher glycemic index
Fruit juices have a higher glycemic index

Yes, fruits make an essential part of a healthy diet. But sometimes when processing their sugar levels can go high. 

When making fruit juices, it is going to reduce the fibre content. This will cause an increase in the sugar absorption from your GI tract, and ultimately end up giving you sugar spikes.

So if you are buying fruit juices from supermarkets, even though they say they don’t include any added sugar, make sure you check their sugar value on the packaging. 

Sports drinks and alcohol

Marketed as healthy drinks, they may contain added sugar or glucose. These will also increase your blood glucose levels.

Certain wines can shoot-up your blood glucose levels because they contain fruits.

Alcoholic beverages like beer can also give a short term spike in blood glucose levels and then progressing to a hypoglycemic state. Rapid fluctuations of blood glucose levels is not good for long term control of diabetes.

Keep an eye on sugar alternatives

Sometimes food may contain sugar alternatives, such as jaggery and date palm. 

However, they have a high glycemic index and it can still increase your blood sugar levels.

So before eating make sure to check whether your food contains any of these alternatives. And it’s better to avoid these foods with sugar like additives with a high glycemic index.

Avoid high carb food even though they don’t have sugar

Sri Lankan meal
Even without sugar white rice and white bread have large number of carbs

Some food can include a high carb level even without adding sugar. 

Certain food like white rice and white bread which are low in fiber content but they are loaded with carbs.

The carbs in these foods are easily converted to glucose and quickly absorbed in your GI tract. This causes a swift and high surge in blood glucose levels.

Certain medications include added sugar

Not just food, certain syrups may also include added sugar to make them easier to drink. Some common syrups with added sugars include lactulose and antacid syrups. 

If you have diabetes, make sure you check whether the syrup contains any added sugar and make sure you pick a brand with no added sugar.

So next time when you are shopping keep an eye on these hidden sugars in food and medications. Try to avoid them as much as possible. This will help you to have a good long term glycemic control and control your diabetes.


Dr Rukshan Ranatunge is a graduate from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya (MBBS). He is currently studying for his masters in health informatics.

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