I'm Dr. Frita, and today I'm giving you 17 toxic foods in your refrigerator that secretly raise your blood sugar levels. It is very important to maintain normal blood sugar levels for both adults and children because if you have elevated blood sugar, it can lead to complications like diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, depression, rotten teeth, and liver disease. Sometimes when we're eating foods, we know good and well that they're high in sugar.
It's obvious for foods like ice cream, pies, and sugary drinks. But we eat those foods, number one, because they taste good, and also because they stimulate pleasure centers in the brain and cause dopamine release. And if you're really starving, these high-sugar foods can give you a quick fix. But that quick fix comes at a cost, and the cost is your health.
Sometimes you know what you're doing when you eat foods that raise your blood sugar levels, but other times it could really surprise you because even savory foods or foods that you might think are healthy can secretly raise your blood sugar. So today, we're doing an expo. I want you to go right now and take a peek in your fridge because I'm giving you 17 toxic foods in your refrigerator that secretly raise your blood sugar.
A Quick Guide To Understanding Blood Sugar Levels and Diabetes
Among other complications, we know that high blood sugar can lead to diabetes. Millions of Americans have diabetes, yet one in four don't even know that they have it. And let's talk about pre-diabetes. One in three people in the United States have pre-diabetes, and largely it's because of eating foods that raise your blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, we should be taking in less than 10% of our calories in foods that are high in sugar. But you already know we do much worse than that. It's an issue. And the foods that we eat that really have a high glycemic index are the ones that cause a big problem.
Now, when I say glycemic index, I'm talking about a measure of how quickly your body absorbs food that raises your blood sugar numbers, and the measurement is from 0 to 100. 0 is a nice low glycemic index, and 100 is the highest, meaning that it's a food that you eat, and, boom! The blood sugar rises very quickly. And we're talking about the really simple sugars and the high fructose corn syrups. Things like that have a super high glycemic index. We'll talk about that. So now with no further ado, let's get started. Let's talk about some of these foods that can secretly be raising your blood sugar and they're sitting there, right there in your refrigerator.
1. Fruit Juices and Soda
I mentioned that the American Diabetes Association recommends that we take in less than 10% of our calories in sugar. So if you have a 2,000-calorie diet, you should have no more than 200 of those calories in sugar. And the American Heart Association is actually a little stricter. They recommend that if you are a man, you have no more than 36 grams of sugar in a day. And if you are a woman, no more than 25 grams of sugar in a day.
Sugar in Fruit Juice
So let's talk about a 10-ounce glass of fruit juice. That has 25 grams of sugar. So if you're a woman, you've already gone up to your limit in just one 10-ounce glass of fruit juice, and you probably normally will drink more than that.
Sugar in Sodas
One 12-ounce can of soda has 32 grams of sugar or more. So if you are a man and you had that one soda, you've already gone over your limit. One 20-ounce bottle of soda has as much as 65 grams of sugar. And you may not even know that because if they label the bottle as two and a half servings, you might think, "Oh, I just had one serving." But it's really two and a half. So now we're looking at about 160 grams or more of sugar.
2. Flavored Milk
Now, it's one thing to have the natural sugars that come in milk. And of course, if you want to choose a healthier milk, go with something that's non-dairy, like unsweetened almond milk. But when it comes to flavored milk, please don't be fooled when you're giving that to yourself or to your kids. Don't think that it's healthy because if you're adding chocolate syrup or strawberry syrup to your milk, that can really raise your blood sugar. In fact, one tablespoon of chocolate syrup that you might put in your milk has around 9 grams of sugar. And if you have kids with a sweet tooth, they might want more than that.
3. Jams and Jellies
A lot of us, when we're eating our breakfasts, even if we think we're being healthy, we'll get our multigrain bread and we'll put jam on it or we'll put some grape jelly on it. Well, be careful because that can raise your blood sugar. Just one tablespoon of jam has 10 grams of sugar.
4. Energy Drinks and Sports Drinks
Energy drinks and sports drinks can really spike your blood sugar quickly. And of course, if you're an athlete and you're exercising, you're losing your electrolytes. When you drink that sports drink, you're trying to be healthy. But just one 20-ounce sports drink can have 32 grams of sugar.
5. Sweet Tea
Now, if you are in the South, sweet tea is really probably one of your staples. Now, I'm not talking about natural teas or teas where you're not adding sugar. I'm talking about sweet, good, old, sweet, sugary, syrupy tea. If you run by one of these fast food restaurants and you order yourself a medium sweet tea, it has 30 grams of sugar. Now imagine if you're at the cookout and you're sitting there and you're just drinking tea all day. You're outside, it's hot, and you're drinking multiple cups of that tea. Well, that's 30 grams after 30 grams after 30 grams, and you are raising your blood sugar.
Typically, when you think about your condiments, like ketchup, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, sweet chili sauce, and some of your dressings, you're not thinking about sugar, but please read the labels because they are loaded with added sugars. One tablespoon of barbecue sauce might have 7.5 grams of sugar. And you know you use more than one tablespoon at the barbecue.
And how about ketchup? Who doesn't load their french fries up with ketchup or their burgers? One tablespoon of ketchup has 12 grams of sugar. Get my drift? So please, when you're putting these condiments on, be cognizant, look in that refrigerator. These can be raising your blood sugar.
7. Fruit Yogurt
Now, certain plain yogurts, and Greek yogurts definitely can have some health benefits. They can have probiotics. They're definitely low in sodium, but some of these fruity sugary yogurts can be high in added sugar. So just make sure you're watching the label on the yogurt that you eat. Just one container of a popular brand of strawberry yogurt, one little small container can have 16 grams of added sugar.
Can you name a food right now that's in your refrigerator that you think might be secretly raising your blood sugar? Leave a comment below and lwt me know.
8. Flavored Water
Now, flavored water can be tricky because there are a lot of flavored waters that have zero sugar added or zero calorie sweeteners, but some flavored waters and some of these frizzy, sparkly flavored waters can have even more added sugar than some sodas. So again, read your food labels because some flavored waters in your refrigerator may be secretly raising your blood sugar.
9. Frozen Pizza
Now this one might surprise a lot of people because many folks think that if something is not sweet, then it doesn't have a lot of sugar. But pizza is a very savory, and sometimes salty dish, but it can be loaded with added sugar. Let's just take one slice of pizza, for example. One average slice of pizza can have as much as 13 grams of sugar. Seven in the crust and six in the sauce. It's not just that bready, starchy crust, but the tomato sauce can be loaded with sugar as well. That's one slice of pizza. But how many do you eat? Two slices, three slices? Multiply it out.
Leftovers like pasta, rice, and mashed potatoes are savory foods that can be loaded with added sugar. Take pasta, for example. Just one cup of leftover pasta can have 8 to 15 grams of sugar depending on the type of sauce that you use. And who only eats one cup of pasta? Most people probably eat two or three and if you're not careful with the amount of sauce or toppings you add, your blood sugar levels could be skyrocketing. So if these are in your fridge, be careful.
11. Processed Meats
Please read the labels on these different processed meats that you may be eating: salami, turkey, and ham. Many of them have added sugars and can raise your blood sugar. Ham, for example, can have around 4g of added sugar per serving. So be mindful of how much processed meats you consume in your diet.
12. Flavored Coffee Creamers
Now see, this is a real secret, okay? It's really tricky because we know that coffee tends to have like zero calories. And so a lot of people will sit there and drink all their large cups of gourmet coffee all day thinking they're just being so healthy, at least as far as blood sugar levels are concerned. But it's those coffee creamers, those sweet coffee creamers that can really get you. If you think about just like one little tub of coffee creamer, like the little 11-milliliter coffee creamers, like a French vanilla one. It has three grams of sugar. And if you add two creamers, three creamers, or four creamers, multiply that out, you might be having 12 grams just from the creamer. So be careful. If you've got those sweet coffee creamers in your fridge, they can be secretly raising your blood sugar levels.
Okay, this one is no big secret. The frosting on a cake, the icing on a cookie, that may be raising your blood sugar. But what you may not know is that many frosting and icing products also have trans fats which can also raise cholesterol levels. So opt for low-calorie or no-calorie alternatives.
14. Ice Cream
Ugh, ice cream. Who doesn't love ice cream? Well, ice cream doesn't love you because it is loaded with sugar. So just think about one cup of butter pecan ice cream. One little cup has 32 grams of sugar. Now if you know good and well, you run to the grocery store and get a pint of ice cream and you sit there and eat it while you're watching TV, well, that pint of butter pecan ice cream has 64 grams of sugar. And I already told you that if you are a grown man, you should have no more than 36 grams in a day. So ice cream can definitely raise your blood sugar levels!
15. Cookies and Biscuits
Cookies and biscuits, yes, they can raise your blood sugar level. And let's talk about the glycemic index, okay? It's that measure of how quickly your body absorbs the food and raises your blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index, the worse. Well, one chocolate chip cookie has a glycemic index of up to 75. And remember, the measure is between 0 and 100. So that's pretty high. And one biscuit has a glycemic index of up to 72. Again, these are high glycemic index foods. They can be toxic and raise your blood sugar levels.
16. Fruit Smoothies
Don't get mad at me. I know that a lot of you think you're really doing something when you get your fruit smoothies. "Oh, I'm drinking smoothies. I'm dieting. I'm drinking smoothies." But you have to be careful. If you're adding fruit juice, like that 10 ounces of fruit juice that's loaded with sugar, that could be raising your blood sugar. If you're adding certain frozen fruits or fruits with a high glycemic index, that could be raising your blood sugar levels. So you still need to do the research. If you're adding a milk and you're adding a flavored milk, that could be raising your blood sugar. Or if you're just outright adding other sweeteners, make sure you pay attention, read the labels, and especially if you're doing a pre-mixed or a pre-processed fruit smoothie, pay attention. All of these things can be high in sugar.
I know you didn't think you were going to get out of here without me mentioning alcohol. There are some beers that are low carb and maybe some that don't have any sugar, but you need to read the label because one 12-ounce of beer can have 10 grams of sugar, and many of you on a Friday night will have more than a 12-ounce of beer. So just be careful. If you have beer in your fridge, that could be one of these foods that's raising your blood sugar.
So these are just 17 of the foods in your fridge that could be raising your blood sugar levels. By no means is this list exhaustive. There are more foods than that.
Question. How many of these foods surprised you that they could be raising your blood sugar levels? Comment down below. Please let me know.
Remember, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, for adults and children, can only promote better health. It'll help you to prevent weight gain, prevent being a person living with obesity, help to prevent heart disease, help you to prevent diabetes, and even help you to prevent depression in some cases. So it is really important that you are label watchers and that you watch these foods that could be raising your blood sugar, both the sweet foods and those savory foods that might surprise you.
If you found this article to be helpful and informative, please be sure to share it with the people you care about. And make sure if you want to have a one-on-one consultation with me, check out my concierge medical service. As always, I want you to do your best to live your healthiest, happiest life.
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