Sugar!

Yesterday my husband and I were at Lowe’s, looking at this and that. When we found something we wanted, we moseyed our way up to the cash register. I looked at him and asked if he was okay. He said “Yes”, but I could tell by the look on his face that his blood sugar was low. I asked him if his blood sugar was low and he said “yeah, it might be”.

It was just a quick trip to Lowe’s while the baby was napping and I didn’t know if we had glucose tablets in the truck. The soda fridge was right there, so I grabbed a Mt. Dew, “just in case”.

As we walked to our vehicle, I looked at the nutrition label and gasped. “This has 77 grams of sugar in it!”‘ I told him that if his blood sugar was low, he only needed to drink like a third of it. He tested at 54, and drank just a third. I was actually surprised. He typically chugs a soda if his blood sugar is low, which makes it go sky high. Those of you with diabetes know the drill. Too low, too high, just right is somewhere in between.

When we got home, I got our little scale out and measured out 77 grams of sugar:

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It’s not the world’s greatest picture, but LOOK AT ALL THAT SUGAR! In one 20 oz soda!

How much is 77 grams of sugar? There are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon. (77 grams = about 19 teaspoons) Three teaspoons in one tablespoon. (19 teaspoons = about 6 tablespoons) Four Tablespoons in a quarter cup. (6 tablespoons = 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup)

To say I was flabbergasted is an understatement!

I have never been a diehard sugar avoider, but this made me look at some of the foods I eat. Yikes.

The World Health Organization recommends that the maximum amount of added sugar per day for women is 25 grams. For men, 37.5. So if you are a woman, a Mt Dew is three times the daily allowance, and twice the daily allowance for a  man.

Whoah.

At first I was confused, because milk has 12 grams of sugar per 8 ounces and I thought “Wait! That is half the daily allowance!” Thankfully, it is ADDED sugars, although we should not be overindulging on the natural sugars either.

If it wasn’t for my husband’s diabetes, I might not have even noticed how much sugar is in stuff. I tell you, I was a crazy woman, running around, checking the nutrition label on EVERYTHING I put in my mouth. It’s not pretty. Sugar is added to nearly everything. They don’t make it easy for you either, because added sugars and natural sugars are counted together on nutrition labels. So you kind of have to super sleuth it.

How much sugar is in your favorite food? Have you ever realized how much sugar is in everything we eat?

As a side funny, my husband told me that the 77 must have been a misprint, he’s never seen it that high. I used that trusty Google to visit the manufacturer’s site and there, right on the site, 77 grams! I showed it to him, then he brought up that time that I thought the speed limit on our road was 40 and went to prove it and it was only 35. I don’t know what that has to do with sugar, but whatever. 😉

Let’s Grab a Bite to Eat

I prepare, shop for and cook meals approximately a bazillion times a month. There are some days that I just don’t want to do it again.

Or

There are times we are out and about. We didn’t plan very well and someone gets hungry and/or my husband needs to eat because he can feel his blood sugar dropping.

So let’s grab a bite to eat!! A burger, some fries, a soda! Yum.

If only it were that easy for my husband, a type 1 diabetic. It’s easy to grab a bite. It’s more difficult to figure out how many carbs are in a meal so he can dose properly for it. Fortunately with smart phones and web sites, the nutrition info is usually right at our finger tips. I have the mad Googling skillz yo!

I’m going to be completely honest here. My husband and I were blown away, flabbergasted, and shocked at the nutrition info for a lot of meals. One glass of regular soda at Shari’s had 48 carbs. 48! If my husband were to drink that, he would need to take 6 additional units of insulin. (he always orders diet, but recently we went to Shari’s and our totally distracted waitress brought him a regular soda and not diet. And this is how we know how many carbs are in a regular soda)

Typically, a meal from a restaurant has more than DOUBLE the carbs of a meal I prepare at home. And do you want to talk about the calories? My husband’s employer often orders lunch for everybody. We looked up the menu online and an order of a burger and fries had 1800 calories! This is how many calories it is recommended that my husband eats per day. IN ONE MEAL!

I can’t even imagine the people who don’t need to know the nutritional info. Downing 3 or 4 sodas because they are unlimited. UGH!

When my husband orders a meal now, he immediately asks for a to go box and splits his meal in half. He only eats half and saves the rest for his next day’s lunch. Meals at home are typically 30-45 carbs, Meals in a restaurant, or the meals he likes, are typically 90. Splitting his meals in two reduces the amount of insulin he takes, and carbs and calories he consumes.

We are also attempting to be proactive. His employer orders from the same restaurants frequently. We are looking up meals and noting how many carbs are in what he orders. This way he never has to guess at the last minute how many carbs he is about to consume. He has proven time and again that diabetes and guessing just don’t play well together.

In summary, grabbing a bite to eat is just not that easy for a diabetic. And there are more calories and carbs in that bite to eat than you realize. (UGH!)

Do you eat out a lot? Do you know how many calories or carbs are in the meals you eat? 

As a side note, I was so disgusted when the next city over from us started posting the calorie count of items on their menus. I never ordered a milkshake again. 😦