Does spicy food affect blood sugar?

We ate Thai food yesterday and I thought I had a pretty good handle on the carbs (with only 1/2 cup of rice and lots of veggies) and I ordered my usual level 3 for spiciness (that is, usual from pre-D days). Yum! But I sure did spike so I figure I may have underestimated carbs, the effect of the fat (in the tofu), and/or the the effect of the heat level. Any thoughts? Thanks!

a lot of spicy food has a lot of sugar in it, which sometimes you don’t notice. Thai food is one example (generally imo). but darn it, it sure tastes good :heart_eyes:

Strangely, I went to an Indian restaurant and didn’t spike. I had decided to enjoy the meal, including the rice, and did just that. Was so good. I can’t usually eat rice, but although I was a little high, it was not way out of range.

Thai food is impossible. I avoid it at all costs.

i need to avoid thai food completely. it is loaded w/ sugars. all the sauces, all the starches, and tofu is very challenging to navigate as far as carbs go. tofu has a surprising amount of carbs in it. and, it is a protein as well. also, if you ever order the more creamy types of sauces the coconut has fat in it which can change the entire glucose absorption of the meal. i am certain other PWD eat thai food w/ relatively no problems. its not worth it to me to bother, b/c of all that stated above.

best of luck to you. maybe just look up on the internet the carbs in tofu. i don’t know off hand, but its worth finding out if it is something that you enjoy in your diet.

tofu has 2 grams of carb in 3 ounces, I eat it all the time :smiley:

I don’t think the spice is what caused the spike. I think it is likely that you did underestimate the carbs. As others have already said, the unknown ingredients that you don’t notice are probably high in carbs. Spicy foods often do use sugar to even out the hotness. And veggies are not always low carb options, certainly not those little corn cobs and peas. Totally worth the bolus though :smile:


Hot spices themselves won’t raise bg’s. it’s going to be other aspects of your food that can raise your bg’s. don’t most of us eat spicy food that has too many carbs in them? :slight_smile:

I cook and eat spicy food every day, and the spice does not seem to affect my own BG. By ‘spicy’ I mean that I use stuff like Blair’s 2AM Reserve - 600000 Scoville units. Tabasco is around 5000 Scovilles. I use Tabasco and Cholula instead of salt…

The spicier the peppers, the more bitter they taste, so it’s pretty typical for a recipe to balance spice with fruit or sugar. When at home I can use Splenda but restaurants obviously don’t. So when my adult kids are in town and we go out to Thai, it’s a night on the BG roller coaster for me, even though I leave the rice on the plate. For a special meal with family, once every six months, I’ll pay that price.

Tofu (again, cooked at home) doesn’t seem overly carby for my BG. I haven’t worked out how to eat rice without spiking, but I’m reading Dr Ponder’s Sugar Surfing (again, slowly this time) and trying to suss out how to implement his ideas without a CGM.

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Thanks, everybody, for chiming in! I’ll try that meal again, up my bolus, and not worry about the heat level. :grinning:

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In thai food it’s not the spice its the hidden sugar… Almost everythnig is sweetened.

I eat a lot of hot sauces, but particularly Sambal Oelek, which is a Thai Chili Paste.

Serving Size 1 tsp
Calories 0
Fat 0
Sodium 100 mg
Carbohydrates 0

I eat lots of spicy food. Spicy is my “sugar.” I’ve not experienced any reaction to spicy food unless it is “serious.” And by serious I mean accidentally getting a ghost pepper in your eye. I had Thai food last night, asked for it “Thai Hot” (the hottest possible) and then added spice to the dish. I did fine.

My experience is that with asian dishes, spicy often means “no sugar.” What is the point of adding sugar if you won’t taste it? I have not experienced restaurants wasting sugar on spicy dishes and often feel assured that spicy dishes are low carb.


it affect my blood sugar, i ues to eat it a lot, but now i try to avoid it,.

Brian, you are hardcore, sir! “Thai Hot” with added spice is not for weenies!

Fortunately (I guess) for my daughter with Type 1, she has the same enzyme deficiency I have that results in cilantro (which is in almost every Thai dish) tasting like soap. When I eat something containing cilantro, I experience a split second of this amazing taste that immediately turns into a bad memory I have of my mother washing my mouth out with Lifebuoy soap for swearing. So both my daughter and I avoid Thai food like the plague; my daughter will never have to rage-bolus a Thai food high.

if, i eat that much, Spicy food, Brian, my blood sugar will be high all the time, & sleep will be something, i can forget about,.