You know how some foods just instinctively seem low-carb — or appear to genuinely be so, based on the package labels, but somehow aren’t? Isn’t that maddening? Here’s my personal list of dreaded “fake-out foods” that spike my blood sugar when they seem like they shouldn’t:
- protein “shake” drinks [tasty and filling, they're supposedly only 9 grams of carb per an 11 oz. can, but my post-drink blood sugar disagrees with that assessment]
- rice cakes [I like the more "gourmet" compressed variety, which state that they only contain 8g carb per TWO cakes, but my blood sugar tells me VERY differently]
- light beef bologna [a favorite snack of mine, which supposedly has virtually no carbs — but not dosing for it at all is always a mistake]
- hummus [me loves it, but must I remember that it's made of mashed garbanzo beans, so must remember to dose for at least 20g carb if I'm going to indulge at all — despite the fact that the packaging says 7g of carb per 2 Tbsp, which sounds so insignificant...]
- light Ranch dressing [we buy this as a dip for the kids, but I it like on veggies, too. Why does my BG always spike even though the bottle says just 3g of carb per 2 Tbsp? How much of it could possibly adhere to a handful of mini-carrots, anyway?]
- peanut butter [OK, the mainstream brands are all fat bombs, but couldn't they at least be low-carb? The labels say just 7g carb per 2 Tbsp, so the problem's gotta be that I eat too much once I get started. Hey, it IS addictive.]
- cocktail sauce [once again the jar gives that magic value of 7g per 2 Tbsp, and I never eat too much of this stuff. What's even in there besides tomatoes and spices? And darn it don't you know, even teriyaki sauce can catapult your BG.]
- baco bits [I add 'em to my salads and more; it's all about the garnish and condiments when you're stuck with bland gluten-free foods. But the stupid baco bits always seem to contribute to a BG spike despite the label: only 2 carbs per 1.5 Tbsp?]
Wherever is a body safe? I mention all this because a major recurring theme in my diabetic life is guilt over eating too many carbs. I’m keenly aware that less carbs = better BG control. I work pretty darn hard to keep ‘em in check. But I find I CANNOT limit my food intake strictly to meats and fats and vegetables. I’m desperate for variety, in textures and flavors, as well as nutrients.
And even these foods I’ve traditionally considered “carb-safe” seem to have betrayed me — in what I take as a personal affront to both my mood and my health. Darn you, Food!
Editor’s Note: If it’s any consolation, you can revisit my list of actual, bona fide low-carbohydrate favorite foods recommended by the experts HERE.