Question: What should I consider when eating spices?
Answer: Spices are certainly an opportunity to be used by people with diabetes to do just that, spice up food. I think sometimes people think, 'Oh, I have diabetes. I have to eat this very boring food, doesn't taste very good, it's not my favorite things.' You certainly can enjoy spices when you have diabetes. Most of the evidence around spices does not dictate that they have a whole lot of impact on blood sugar.
Cinnamon is one that has been investigated by some researchers; there's not a large body of evidence around cinnamon, and the results are quite mixed. One study that has looked at cinnamon intake in those with type 1 diabetes, at varying amounts, starting at 1 gram, had really no impact on blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, the evidence did show some impact on blood sugar levels, but it depends again on the amount that you're eating and could be related to some other factors. So the verdict is still out on cinnamon. It should not be used, ever, as a replacement for the medication that you're on. If you're noticing that you're having some concerns with low blood sugar after eating foods with cinnamon in it, then you really do want to talk to your healthcare professional and try to really see whether it's cinnamon that's having any impact on you. But the evidence is still quite mixed and not something at this point that you would want to just make decisions about your insulin dose because you're having some cinnamon in your foods. You would want to really talk about that with your healthcare team and decide whether that is really having an impact on you.
But in enjoy spices. Use them to make your food interesting. It really is important to look at spices that are not containing salts or any sort of salt in them, again, because salt is something that most people should probably be paying more attention to. And again, lots of other spices you can choose from to jazz up your food. So there are many others to choose from than just picking up the salt shaker all the time. So enjoy spices, make your food as exciting and interesting -- you really should enjoy your food.