Question: I'm confused about sugars and starches. Which raises my blood glucose the most-a brownie or a piece of bread?
Tip: Sugars and starches are carbohydrates and, eaten in equal amounts, they raise blood glucose about the same. A small brownie (15 grams of carbohydrates) raises blood glucose the same as one slice of bread (15 grams of carbohydrates). For years, we thought that the body absorbed sugar more quickly than starch, and people were told to avoid sweets. Research has shown that sugar is okay for people with diabetes if it is part of a meal plan. It is substituted for other carbohydrate foods. Certain carbohydrates are absorbed at different rates, but when combined with other foods in a meal, this effect can be hard to predict. Focus on the total amount of carbohydrates that you can eat rather than on whether it comes from starch or sugar.
Certain factors affect the way your blood glucose responds to sugars and starches. When you eat sweets, observe whether other foods are eaten at the same time, how quickly you eat, how the food was prepared, and the amount of protein and fat in the food. Measure your blood glucose 1-2 hours after eating and note the effect sugar has on it. Use this information to make decisions about including sweets in your meal plan.