What do you mean by “simple”?
There are two types of sugars: Complex and Simple carbohydrates. Complex sugars are starchy carbohydrates which are slowly digested. If they’re simple, they’ll be digested quickly and give us a quick buzz of energy, but they have little nutritional value (almost the opposite of complex carbohydrates).
You will find the “simple” group if you look at the nutritional information on food packaging, under the carbohydrates row usually named “of which sugars”.
Learn more about reading the food label, here.
If they have little nutritional value, why do we need them?
They can be useful to give us a boost of energy when we feel low or to quickly recover energy. They are common in breakfast bars, sweets and chocolates. Despite being high in calories, athletes use them to recover. So in the right situation, they can be useful.
Surely it would be stupid for diabetics to eat sweets and chocolate?
Remember, the only true purpose of confectionery is for quick release energy, which they are good at doing. If a diabetic has exercised – say in the morning – they may want to eat a breakfast bar for this reason. Provided they only have one portion of a decent bar, it WOULD NOT necessarily be stupid to do so.
Don’t forget, our blood sugar (in the form of glucose) travels around the body to give our body parts energy. If we are starved of glucose, we will take longer to recover and feel very sleepy.
So as long as I exercise I can eat chocolate?
If you are diabetic you have to be very careful. Sweets and chocolate tend to have high sugar content so you would have to check the food label carefully.
But I’m a sugar addict!
Eating excess sugar is bad enough for people WITHOUT diabetes! Your essentially, pumping extra glucose through your body, the very thing a diabetic is trying to control!
You’ll throw your chemical balance totally out of control. It can cause serious and age you faster than normal!
But my sugar addiction is also OUT OF CONTROL.
Then we’d best solve this know before it gets you in hospital!Follow this proven 7 day guide on beating those sugar cravings. It will give you back control over your cravings and make you look and feel younger.
Remember, simple sugars AND fats only form 7% of your daily diet. So unless you exercise beforehand you should avoid simple sugars. If you don’t avoid them, spread your sugar intake over the day but to be safe, it would be better not to eat too many these sugar types.
Our bodies can make plenty glucose from complex carbs. The cheery “Grains” group has the best source of complex carbs. So if you can keep that group in control you can keep your blood sugar level in control.
But I’m a chocoholic!
Most branded chocolate is unhealthy and they are also very popular. But not all chocolate is unhealthy. In fact, Cocoa, the fruit that makes up chocolate – is VERY healthy. Cocao can improve your memory and reduce your blood pressure.
Want to learn how you can eat chocolate that’s good for you? Click here to learn more about cocoa and eating chocolate.
Are there any sweet alternatives that aren’t high in simple sugars?
If something is sweet, chances are that they will have simple sugars in them. It is hard to avoid them but you don’t need to try so hard…
- Eat natural sugars.Whilst you still have to be careful these are better for us than unnatural ones. Try eating various fruits, particularly berries or raw vegetable sticks like carrot, celery and baby sweetcorn. For more info on fruit and veg, head to the fruit list page.
- Fruity or herbal teas. My personal favorite. Take three tea bags of some fruity teas. Put them in a jug/bottle with 500ml of hot water. Shake/mix it. Then put in the fridge/freezer until it cools. You’ll make iced tea. This is perfect on the go and is great for improving your water intake.You can experiment with this ore keep it simple and have a hot herbal drink to relax and sweeten your day.
- Sweet and sour
The main healthy alternatives involve fruit and veg. Alternatively, you can mix your meals by eating something sweet and sour.
It doesn’t have to be sour though. If you have a meal with something quite sweet as long as your meal overall is low in sugar, your blood sugar levels shouldn’t spike out of control.