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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can I have sugar in my tea if I have diabetes?

    And what about sugar in fruit and milk? How much can I have?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 49


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Yes. Eating sugar doesn't cause diabetes and people with diabetes do not need to have a sugar-free diet. It's okay to have foods like chocolate and cakes occasionally alongside a healthy diet. Remember sugary foods provide empty calories. So it depends how often you drink tea, and how balanced the remainder of your diet is. If you have a well balanced nutritionally rich diet, the occaional cup of tea with a teaspoon of sugar will do no harm.

  • 17


    Harry Jamieson


    Simple and relaxed nutrition consultations aimed at improving your health. Focus on general wellbeing or more specific areas such as: weight loss, cholesterol, feeding children, … View Profile

    As with fruit juice, you can have sugar within your tea if you are diabetic. You just need to monitor the amount. If you have six cups a day, with four spoons of sugar in each, you can see how that little bit of sugar can start adding up. During the course of the day this can lead to excessive intake. But just a little bit of sugar in tea should be fine.
    It is all about monitoring sugar intake throughout the day with diabetes, but if you do not have much through other meals, a little bit in your tea should be fine.

  • 18


    Dr Dick Beatty

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Dr Dick Beatty is a Full Time Vasectomist - operating across locations in South East Queensland, including Greenslopes Private Hospital. View Profile

    Hi, Diabetes Australia recommends a daily “glycemic load” (GL) of less than 80 and a teaspoon of sugar is a GL of 4.

    Here's how it works … the glycemic load reflect both quantity of carbohydrate and quality of carbohydrate (its glycemic index, or GI). The glycemic load = GI mutliplied by the carbohydrates (in grams) divided by 100. Sugar has a GI of about 100 (everything else is compared to this) whereas carbohydrates that are not absorbed as easily / quickly by the gut have a lower GI. For example, 1 teaspoon of sugar has a Glycemic load of 4 which is about the same as two teaspoons of honey.

     So you can have sugar in your tea, absolutely, but instead of carbs elsewhere. Becoming familiar with different foods' GI's can help you make those choices at the supermarkets, good luck!

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