How to Test Foods for Sugars

Household sugar is called sucrose and is one of many varieties of sugar.
Household sugar is called sucrose and is one of many varieties of sugar. (Image: sugar image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

While you may think of sugar as something you add to your food to sweeten it, it is in fact a carbohydrate that appears naturally in food, even in those healthy fruits and vegetables you store in your kitchen. Sugar is not necessarily a bad thing; a good level of glucose in your blood gives your brain energy. However, too much sugar is bad for you, as it can lead to diabetes. Testing your food with glucose test strips will tell you the percentage of sugar it contains and help you maintain a healthy blood-sugar level.

Things You'll Need

  • Food to test
  • 8 cups
  • Glucose testing strips
  • Glucose tablets, with 0.14 grams of glucose per tablet.
  • Water
  • Measuring jug
  • Stopwatch
  • Pen
  • Paper

Fill a cup with water. Label this “Negative control.”

Make seven labels from "1" to "7" and either stick these to seven cups or lay the labels down next to the cups.

Fill cup "1" with 0.2 quarts of water, using a measuring jug to increase accuracy. Add two glucose tablets to the cup.

Pour 0.1 quarts of water into all of the remaining cups. Use the measuring jug to do this and for all other liquid measurements.

Pour 0.1 quarts of cup “1” into cup “2.”

Add 0.1 quarts from cup “2” into cup “3.”

Repeat this process of pouring 0.1 quarts from cup “4” to “5,” “5” to “6” and finally “6” to “7.”

Place a test strip into the liquid in cup “1.” Hold this there for 30 seconds, counting with the stopwatch.

Match up the color on the test strip to the color chart that will come with the test strips. This will tell you the percentage of glucose.

Write down your findings.

Repeat steps 8 to 10 for each cup, barring the “negative control” cup.

Slice of a piece of food and place it into a cup. The size is not important.

Press the test strip against to food until it is wet.

Match the test strip’s color to the color chart.

Write down your findings.

Repeat steps 1 to 4 for each food product that you would like to test, making sure to note he glucose percentage using the color of the strip as your guide.

Make a chart of your results and see how the food compares to the diluted glucose mixtures you made previously. Also, see which category each food product’s glucose level falls into: less than 5 percent is high, 1 percent to 2 percent is medium, and more than 2 percent is a high level of glucose.

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