By Mona Morstein, ND
Why does a diabetic patients need to be so strict regarding eliminating from our diet refined sugar and high glycemic white flours, potatoes, and so forth? Does eating a little bit of that really matter?
YES, it matters! The fact is that normal glucose levels in the human body represents less than one teaspoon of sugar in the whole body! Let me prove it to you!
First, we need some basic measures:
1. One liter (l)= 10 deciliters (dl)
2. One gram (gm) = 1000 milligrams (mg)
3. One teaspoon = 5 grams
A healthy glucose in a human body is 80 mg/dl—that’s a perfect number to have during the day.
We know that a typical human has about 5 liters of blood, so we need to figure out how much sugar dissolved into that 5 liters of blood gives us a reading of 80 mg/dl.
Since one liter = 10 deciliters we multiply 80 mg/dl by 10, which gives us 800 mg, the amount of sugar in one liter. Multiple the 800 mg in one liter times 5, the number of liters of blood in the typical human body, and we have 4000 mg of sugar. If we divide the 4000 by 1000, the number of mg in a gram, we get 4 grams of sugar, or about 4/5th of a teaspoon. 4/5ths of one teaspoon is all you need to have the energy to do all you do in a day!
According to the American Diabetes Association, the line between a healthy fasting blood sugar and a pre-diabetic fasting blood sugar is set at 100 mg/dl (100 milligrams per deciliter). A fasting blood sugar of between 100 mg/dl and 125 mg/dl earns a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, and a fasting blood sugar of over 125 mg/dl is diabetic.
So how much sugar is 99 mg/dl, the highest fasting blood sugar you can have and not be diagnosed as pre-diabetic? Let’s figure it out. If we do the same math we wind up with 4.95 of a teaspoon or essentially one teaspoon.
If you run the calculations for 126 mg/dl, the amount of sugar in the blood of someone just over the line into the diagnosis of diabetes, you find out that it is 6.25 grams, or 1 1/4 teaspoon.
So, the difference between having a heatlhy, normal blood sugar and a diabetic blood sugar is about one quarter of a teaspoon of sugar.
And, what if your glucose is 200 mg/dl? Clearly diabetic and dangerous to your body? How much glucose is in your serum then? Doing the math—200 x 10 x 5 ÷ 1000 = 10 teaspoons.
So, imagine what happens if you drink down a soda pop with 10 tsps of sugar in it, what kind of chaos it will throw the body into! That’s the amount of glucose in your body when you have out of control diabetes. Do it for years and yes, a body, will lose control of maintaining good glucose levels, develop insulin resistance, and likely become a diabetic.
So, cheating on a cookie here, or a piece of chocolate there, adding in teaspoons or tablespoons of glucose can definitely affect your blood sugar!
This is why a low carb diet is so vital to patients with diabetes.
Credit given to: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/sugar-and-sweeteners/a-spoonful-of-sugar/