Testing Glucose Levels
Grade Level: 6th – 8th; Type: Chemistry
Determine which foods and drinks contain the most glucose. This can be helpful for people with diabetes so that they know which foods to eat when they experience low blood sugar symptoms.
- Which foods contain the most glucose?
- Which foods are best for a diabetic to eat or drink when her blood sugar is too low?
When people with diabetes experience low blood sugar symptoms, they are supposed to eat something high in glucose (a type of sugar) right away. But which foods are high in glucose? This science experiment lets you figure out the answer.
- Eight different foods
- Scale (e.g., triple beam balance from your school science lab)
- Glucose test strip (e.g., Diastix)
- Stopwatch, or watch with a second hand
- Glucose tablet
- Choose eight different foods and drinks to test for glucose. For example, you might decide to test orange juice, an apple, honey, lemon juice, a tomato, soda, ketchup, and sugar water.
- Use a triple beam balance or other scale to make sure that you have exactly 5 grams of each food or drink. Set the small portions of food and drink out on the table.
- Make a hypothesis about which foods you think will be highest in glucose and which will contain the least amount of glucose. Record your hypotheses in the chart below.
- Create a negative control by dipping a test strip into a cup of tap water. Wait thirty seconds, and observe the test strip. There should be no change.
- Create a positive control by dipping a test strip into a glucose solution. Make this solution by adding a glucose pill to a cup of water that has a mass of 5 grams.
- Test each of the liquids using a different test strip. Do this by simply dipping the test strip into the liquid. Wait thirty seconds before observing each test strip.
- Test each of the solid foods using a different test strip. Do this by pressing the test strip against one of the moist edges of the food. Wait thirty seconds before observing each test strip.
- Compare the color of each strip to the scale on the package. Write down how much glucose was in each food or drink according to the scale. You can record the data in the chart as well.
- Analyze your data. Which foods and drinks had the most glucose? Which had the least? Was your hypothesis accurate?
Terms/Concepts: Diabetes; Glucose; What is considered a low level of glucose in a food? What is considered a high level?
References: Easy Genius Science Projects with Chemistry, by Robert Gardener, pp 99-101.
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