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Do fried foods raise sugar levels?

Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Answered by: Dr. (Col.) Surender Kumar
Senior Consultant & Head, Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism,
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,
New Delhi
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Q. My father is 65 years old and is diabetic for the last 12 years. He is on regular tablets for diabetes. His sugar levels are in the range of 150-160 mg/dl. Is there a relation between fried items and sugar levels? What happens if diabetic patients eat fried items? Do they increase the sugar levels? My understanding is that fried items affect cholesterol and triglycerides levels directly, but not sugar. Could you please clarify?

A.  The fried items can increase blood levels of cholesterol especially bad cholesterol. If somebody's lipid profile is normal and that person is not obese / overweight there is still justification in avoiding excess fried items in food if his blood sugars are not controlled. Normally, for carbohydrates it takes 1/2 an hour to start appearing in blood as blood glucose, for proteins it takes about 3 hours to appear in blood as glucose, while ingested fats take about 8 hours to raise blood glucose. Fats and proteins are / can be converted, by liver into glucose. Thus food taken in any form is metabolised in the liver and depending upon requirement can be converted into glucose, amino acids or fatty acids. Hence excess fat in food should be avoided, by every body especially diabetics.

A.  The fried items can increase blood levels of cholesterol especially bad cholesterol. If somebody's lipid profile is normal and that person is not obese / overweight there is still justification in avoiding excess fried items in food if his blood sugars are not controlled. Normally, for carbohydrates it takes 1/2 an hour to start appearing in blood as blood glucose, for proteins it takes about 3 hours to appear in blood as glucose, while ingested fats take about 8 hours to raise blood glucose. Fats and proteins are / can be converted, by liver into glucose. Thus food taken in any form is metabolised in the liver and depending upon requirement can be converted into glucose, amino acids or fatty acids. Hence excess fat in food should be avoided, by every body especially diabetics.

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