The “Teaspoon of Sugar” charts

By Katie Caldesi

How much sugar do you think there is in your blood stream at any point in time?

It may surprise you to know that there are less than 2 teaspoons of glucose in your 8 pints (5 litres) of blood. Consider then that a can of coke (330ml) delivers a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar, and even starchy foods break down quickly have a massive sugar impact on your system – two slices of brown bread toast releases 6 teaspoons of glucose.

Dr Unwin has calculated the sugar equivalent of popular starchy foods to drive home the point that these foods are lethal for someone with blood sugar issues:

Some of you will have heard of the low-GI diet. This refers to the Glycaemic index, a system that ranks carbohydrates in terms of how sugary they are relative to pure glucose, which counts as 100. I used the same glycaemic index to produce a set of infographics to help people understand how foods might affect their blood glucose compared to a teaspoon of sugar (see above). Many people are surprised to learn that a small bowl of rice will raise your blood sugar by the same extent as 10 teaspoons of table sugar. If you have diabetes, pre-diabetes or central obesity, it can make sense to avoid not just sugar but starchy carbs, replacing them with green veg and more protein from meat, fish, dairy products and nuts. This is at the heart of the low-carb diet and the basis for these delicious recipes on this site.