You Can’t Hide From Me, Sugar…

One of the big things people seem to misunderstand about Diabetes is that it isn’t all about the sugar. The total carbohydrate count is what tends to affect overall blood sugar. And a lot of the time, to someone who may not know better, those carbs can sneak up on you.

It’s pretty understandable. For the most part, people have always associated Diabetes mainly with the consumption of sugar. I, myself, only learned about carb-counting in 2015 when I was introduced to the insulin pump. I was amazed at how many things I was consuming that would drastically increase my blood sugar that I always assumed wouldn’t.

Things like crackers, milk and bread, which my parents always considered “sugar-free” caused increases in my blood sugar because of their higher carb-count. And unfortunately, a LOT of labelling advertises “sugar free” when it’s anything but…

Note that this bag of chips indicates 0g of sugar

Stuff like this is the problem… If someone who hasn’t spoken to a nutritionist, dietitian or Diabetes educator picked up this bag of chips, they may be inclined to think that’s it’s fine to consume, since it has no “sugar”. But they’d be wrong…

Meanwhile on the back, the total carbohydrate count is 29g

Once you look at the back of the bag, you see that the total carbohydrate count is 29g. If you subtract the 2g of fibre (fibre doesn’t affect blood glucose), that means that every portion of those chips you eat actually carries 27g worth of carbs.

Depending on your insulin sensitivity, that requires a significant amount of insulin. Especially since the average person tends to consume more than the “portion” amount listed on the back of any product. For example, based on my current pump settings, a 27g portion of carbohydrates requires 4.90 units of fast-acting insulin. It can add up quickly, especially if you don’t know to bolus for it.

If you have Diabetes, be sure to check the total carbohydrate count in order to know how to bolus appropriately. More than that, every person is different. Be sure to recognize how long certain foods take to release those carbs into your system. It could mean the difference between getting the right amount of insulin or bottoming out because the insulin outruns the carbs. ☯

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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