Blackstrap Molasses & Diabetes

Triple-boiled sugar cane syrup yields blackstrap molasses, a thick syrup that is rich in nutrients. One tablespoon provides up to 20 percent of your daily needs for calcium, potassium and iron, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brewers and distillers use it to make stout beers and rum. Food manufacturers put it in refined grains, such as bread, to give them a darker color. Limit your serving of blackstrap molasses to less than 1 tablespoon if you have diabetes.

Pouring syrup on pancakes (Image: MKucova/iStock/Getty Images)

Carb Counting for Diabetes

With diabetes, your body has trouble making enough insulin or using it efficiently. This results in high blood sugar, which you can control with medication and a healthy diet. Keeping track of your carbohydrate intake, or carbohydrate counting, is one way to keep your blood sugar levels in the target range advised by your doctor. A tablespoon of molasses contains 15 grams of carbohydrate and no fat or fiber.

Molasses and Your Blood Sugar

According to the American Diabetes Association, foods without fiber or fat fall higher on the glycemic index scale. The higher a food is on the glycemic index, the more it raises your blood sugar. Consume low-glycemic-index foods such as whole grains, fruit and nonstarchy vegetables daily. Eat high-glycemic-index foods such as blackstrap molasses and refined breads and crackers less often.

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