Should I Eat Sugar-free Foods If I Have Diabetes?
I do not recommend eating lots of sugar free foods. The reason being that if you have diabetes you need to reduce refined sweets. Generally foods made with sugar free sweeteners contain refined flours and little fiber and are not great for diabetes. Plus sweets, any kind of sweets, create the desire for more. However, using sugar free foods once in a while is fine and can help you healthfully indulge. The more whole foods you eat, the less sugar cravings you will have. Eating sugar-free foods does not necessarily control blood sugar. A starch is not sweet, but it will raise blood sugar. On the other hand, eating sugar-free foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners is a great choice for people with diabetes. For example, a diet soda is a sweet beverage with lots of flavor with no carbohydrates. Foods with artificial sweeteners will not raise blood sugar and can add a lot of variety to a diabetic diet. Sugar free, calorie free beverages are a good choice if you have diabetes. However sugar free foods are a different story. Food marketers don't make navigating sugar free foods very easy. There are a variety of cookies and ice creams that all say they are sugar free. And while they do not in fact contain sucrose or table sugar they do often contain flour like in baked goods or lactose, the milk sugar in ice cream and they contain carbohydrates which will effect your blood glucose. Also look out for the sneaky claim "no sugar added, juices might say they have "no sugar added" that does not mean they will not effect your blood sugar. Instead of looking at the sugar on the food label, look at the Total Carbohydrate, which is in bold on the label because it includes both the sugar and the fiber, which are indented underneath Total Carbohydrates on the label. Now, if you see su Continue reading >>
What Is Sugar Alcohol?
Q: About six years ago my husband went on an insulin pump, which has been a lifesaver. I can't imagine anyone keeping a better record of his carbohydrates and insulin. In looking for sugar-free products, we've been reading a lot of labels and have discovered that most cookies that claim to be sugar-free are sweetened with sugar alcohol. Can you explain what sugar alcohol is and if it's OK for him to eat? A: First of all, good work on reading labels -- it's the best way to know what's in the foods you're eating. Sugar alcohols are a group of calorie- and carbohydrate-containing sweeteners that are neither sugar nor alcohol. Unlike non-nutritive artificial sweeteners, which are also used to sweeten some sugar-free foods, sugar alcohols can elevate blood glucose levels, but to a lesser degree than the same amount of carbohydrates. Sugar alcohols are metabolized incompletely by your body, so they contribute fewer calories and have less impact on blood glucose levels than sugar has. They can contain an average of 2 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram of other carbohydrate sources. Commonly used sugar alcohols include: hydrogenated starch hydrolysates People who take insulin or some oral diabetes medications may have problems with insulin reactions after eating foods made with sugar alcohol because of the slow digestion rate. You may need to take less insulin if you eat such products. You should also know that desserts made with sugar alcohol typically are not much lower in calories and fat than their regular counterparts. The 2008 Nutrition Recommendation published by the American Diabetes Association states that "there is no evidence that the amounts of sugar alcohol likely to be consumed will reduce glycemia (sugar in the blood), energy intake, or weight." If eate Continue reading >>
Sugar Free Cookies
I was given several packages of sugar free cookies as a gift. I opened one package this morning and I think these cookies are really good. They are Almonette Sugar Free cookies by Voortman. I checked the neutricianal list and the list is fine. However when I checked the ingredients this is stated: " Excess consumption may cause a laxative effect in sensitive persons." I was looking to see what is the sugar substitute which in this case might be ,maltitol or acesulfame potassium. Would those be the substitute ? Soon after being diagnosed with D I bought a small bag of sugar free jelly beans by a top of the line candy maker. Later at home I read the admonishment eating those jelly beans could cause a laxitive effect. I threw the whole bag away ! Since then I knew that sugar free candy could cause a laxitive effect but I didn't think that sugar free cookies could be guilty of that. These are too good to throw away so maybe I'll just eat one cookie per day ! I need to know what ingredients in any food product can cause a laxitive effect. I will list all the ingredients in this cookie if the two I wrote are not the guilt ones. and while they might be sugar free they still contain lots of carbs in the form of flour etc so they still aren't something I can eat! (Look at the ingredients for sugar alcohols - that's were the laxitive effect comes into play) D.D. Family T1, kidney transplant Jan '04 I have found the laxative effect in sugar free gummy bears, taffy or jelly beans to be much more pronounced than in other products with a bit more heft. Things that I would consider pure sugar in their regular form seem to be pure artificial sweetener and flavoring in the sugar free version. Sugar free cookies or even chocolates are not as bad. I do find it ironic that people think I Continue reading >>
Why Some Sugar-free Products Raise Blood Sugar
In the latest “Really?” column, Anahad O’Connor explores why some foods labeled “sugar free” may still raise blood sugar. The culprits are sugar alcohols that are sometimes paired with artificial sweeteners. He writes: Sugar alcohols get their name from their structure, which looks like a cross between a molecule of alcohol and sugar but is technically neither. Companies have added them to more and more “sugar free” products, like cookies, chewing gum, hard candy and chocolate. For people trying to manage their blood sugar, this can make interpreting nutritional labels a little tricky. While sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than regular sugar — in general about 1.5 to 3 calories per gram, compared with 4 calories per gram of sugar — they can still slightly raise your blood sugar. To learn more, read the full column, “The Claim: Artificial Sweeteners Can Raise Blood Sugar,” then please join the discussion below. Continue reading >>
Is Sugar-free Candy The Best Choice If You Have Diabetes?
If you have diabetes you may feel like sugar is your enemy. But when you have a hankering for something sweet, is sugar-free candy a healthy option? Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy In this Q and A, registered dietitian Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDE , answers our questions and discusses what you need to know about sugary treats and other foods that use sugar substitutes. Q: Should people with diabetes eat candy with or without sugar? A: About 90 percent of your diet should focus on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, poultry and fish. There is wiggle room in a healthful diet for treats like sweets whether you have diabetes or not. That is where candy would fit. You should enjoy your food — and food also has social, emotional and physical health benefits. Built into the recommended dietary guidelines is room for getting up to 10 percent of your calories from sugar every day. Treats affect your blood sugar. So if you have diabetes , it’s important to focus on portion control and moderation when you select these foods. In other words, you can eat treats even if you have diabetes. But you need to account for the carbohydrate and calorie content they provide in your diet whether they are sugar-free or not. Q: How much sugar should you allow in your daily diet? A: Everyone with diabetes is different, but here’s what the American Heart Association recommends: No more than 25 grams of added sugar (about six teaspoons or 100 calories) daily for women No more than 36 grams (about nine teaspoons or 150 calories) of added sugar per day for men Q: How does sugar-free candy affect your body? A: Some sugar Continue reading >>
Nutrition Q&a: Sugar Alcohols Are No Panacea For Diabetes
Question: I have Type 2 diabetes. I like to have low-sugar nutrition bars handy for snacks or missed meals, so I’ve begun buying bars that contain sugar alcohols. What do you think about these bars and sugar alcohol in general? Answer: I’m glad you asked. You’re not alone. “Lots of my clients are confused by foods labeled ‘sugar-free’ and containing one or more of these foreign-sounding ingredients with an ‘ol’ ending,” says Lise Gloede, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and owner of Nutrition Coaching, a private practice in Arlington. For people with diabetes, the topic of sugars and sweets is steeped in outdated advice and misconceptions that linger. And new products are showing up on supermarket shelves to catch the eyes of a growing market. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and another 86 million people, one in three U.S. adults, are estimated to have prediabetes. Let’s start with current guidance about sweets, then get to sugar alcohols. Historically, sugary foods were forbidden for people with diabetes. The notion was that calorie-containing sweeteners such as sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc., and foods containing them, raised blood glucose quickly — and faster than starchy foods and other sources of carbohydrates, such as fruit and milk. Then in the late 1980s, research punched holes in this theory, which eventually led to significant changes in the American Diabetes Association recommendation in the mid-1990s. This is the ADA’s basic recommendation: People with diabetes can substitute some sugar and foods containing sugars without affecting their glucose or blood fat (lipid) levels. But, a critical caveat: People are advised to make Continue reading >>
Sugar-free Labels Can Be Deceptive
The only thing I thought I knew about diabetes in the beginning was that I was not supposed to have sugar anymore. Other than that I was completely ignorant. The idea of never eating another chocolate-covered almond threw me into a real pity party. Then one day I was standing at the pharmacy counter waiting for a prescription. Looking around I saw rows of candy with “sugar free” in big letters on the packages. People with diabetes could still have candy? Wonderful! I grabbed a chocolate bar and stuck it in the bag with my diabetes medicine. That candy bar did not make it home. I ate it in the car. It was delicious, with no bitter aftertaste and no guilt. If you have tried sugar-free candy, you know what happened later. In a few hours I had awful stomach pains and gas. My first thought was, “what is diabetes doing to me now?” The problem was not diabetes. It was maltitol. Maltitol and sugar-free labels Many of us with diabetes have learned the hard way about sugar alcohols like maltitol. These modern sweeteners are usually made from sugar by fermentation or chemical reactions. Because it is no longer considered sugar, maltitol can be added to things like candy and other desserts to make them “diabetes friendly.” The makers can claim their product is sugar free. Sugar alcohols are popular because they have no bitter aftertaste like most other artificial sweeteners. But I’ve stopped buying sugar-free candy with maltitol. Here is why: At 2.1 calories per gram, maltitol has a little over half the calories of sugar (which is 4 calories per gram). But maltitol syrup has a glycemic index of 52, which is not that much better than table sugar’s glycemic index of 60. What does that mean to you? Your pancreas perceives maltitol as sugar, raising your insulin needs. Continue reading >>
Shopping List For Diabetics
Control Type 2 Diabetes, Shed Fat Our Shopping List for Diabetics is based on the Pritikin Eating Plan, regarded worldwide as among the healthiest diets on earth. The Pritikin Program has been documented in more than 100 studies in peer-reviewed medical journals to prevent and control many of our nation’s leading killers – heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and obesity as well as type 2 diabetes. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, pay special attention. Research on newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics coming to the Pritikin Longevity Center illustrate how profoundly beneficial early intervention can be. Scientists from UCLA followed 243 people in the early stages of diabetes (not yet on medications). Within three weeks of coming to Pritikin, their fasting blood sugar (glucose) plummeted on average from 160 to 124. Research has also found that the Pritikin Program reduces fasting insulin by 25 to 40%. Shopping List for Diabetics – More Features Here’s another big plus to our Shopping List for Diabetics. In addition to icons that are diabetes-focused like “sugar free,” this list uses icons like “low cholesterol” and “low sodium” because many people with diabetes are working to control not just diabetes but related conditions like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. This list can help you identify those foods most advantageous in helping you reach your personal health goals. Diabetic Food Taboos? Not Anymore! Have you been told you have to give up juicy watermelon or sweet grapes? What if we told you those foods really aren’t taboo? Watch the Video Our Healthy Shopping List for Diabetics also lists the top 10 things to put back on the shelf if you’re trying to: Lose Weight Lower Blood Pres Continue reading >>
Sugar-free Diet And Diabetes: Setting The Record Straight
Sugar-Free Diet and Diabetes: Setting the Record Straight The fact that diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose or sugar levels has led to misunderstandings about the role dietary sugar plays in diabetesand whether a fully sugar-free diet is necessary. Step away from the donuts. That choice might be obvious if you have diabetes. But there is hidden sugar everywhere--soups, bagels, pasta sauce, even low-fat yoghurt. Research over the past few years has provided a much clearer understanding about how sugar should be treated as part of a diabetic or sugar-free diet. Even so, there are still misconceptions about what a sugar-free diet means, exactly. Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone that allows blood glucose to be taken up and used for energy by the bodys cells; when the pancreas cannot produce enough of it, blood glucose levels rise. The amount of sugar someone eats has no bearing on whether or not he or she will develop type 1 diabetes . Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the bodys cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels. Being overweight is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Because weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than your body needs, and because foods high in sugar are also high in calories, sugaralong with other high-calorie foods such as fatsmay play an indirect role in type 2 diabetes. Take command of your diabetes, simplify blood sugar management, and make the most of today's breakthroughs in diabetes treatment! Claim your FREE copy, right now, of our definitive guide on diabetes. Do I Have to Eat a Sugar-Free Diet If I Have Diabetes? In the past, people with diabetes were told to Continue reading >>
Reading Food Labels: Tips If You Have Diabetes
Food labels can be an essential tool for diabetes meal planning. Here's what to look for when comparing food labels. When you have diabetes, your diet is a vital part of your treatment plan. Of course you know what you're eating — a turkey sandwich, a glass of skim milk, a sugar-free fudge pop. But do you pay attention to the details, such as calories, total carbohydrates, fiber, fat, salt and sugar? Reading food labels can help you make the best choices. Start with the list of ingredients When you're looking at food labels, start with the list of ingredients. Keep an eye out for heart-healthy ingredients, such as whole-wheat flour, soy and oats. Monounsaturated fats — such as olive, canola or peanut oils — promote heart health, too. Avoid unhealthy ingredients, such as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. The main (heaviest) ingredient is listed first, followed by other ingredients used in decreasing amounts. Consider carbs in context If your meal plan is based on carbohydrate counting, food labels become an essential tool. Look at total carbohydrates, not just sugar. Evaluate the grams of total carbohydrates — which includes sugar, complex carbohydrates and fiber — rather than only the grams of sugar. If you zero in on sugar content, you could miss out on nutritious foods naturally high in sugar, such as fruit and milk. And you might overdo foods with no natural or added sugar, but plenty of carbohydrates, such as certain cereals and grains. Don't miss out on high-fiber foods. Pay special attention to high-fiber foods. Look for foods with 3 or more grams of fiber. When counting carbohydrates, if a food has more than 5 grams of fiber, you can subtract half of the total grams of fib Continue reading >>
Can I Eat As Many Sugar-free Foods As I Want?
You might be surprised to learn that "sugar-free" does not necessarily mean carbohydrate-free or calorie-free. Although some sugar substitutes do not add calories or carbohydrate, many do. And it is the carbohydrate that has the greatest effect on blood glucose. People with diabetes do not manage their condition by cutting "sugary" foods out of their diet. If you have diabetes, you can eat sugar-containing foods as part of your overall meal plan, as long as you account for the carbohydrate and calories in the food as part of your overall meal plan. Similarly, if you eat lots of so-called "sugar-free" foods, they may have replaced sucrose (sugar) with sweet tasting substances like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. These are all "sugar alcohols," which are technically not "sugar" but are high in carbohydrate. Others may be sweetened with fructose, polydextrose, and maltodextrin, which also contain calories and carbohydrate. These foods will affect your blood glucose just as a sugar-containing food would, in proportion to the grams of carbohydrate in each serving of the food. In addition, foods containing these sugar alcohols can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea if eaten in large quantities. Other foods may be sweetened with aspartame or other non-caloric sweeteners like saccharin, acesulfame potassium, or sucralose. These sweeteners contain no carbohydrate. But again, you need to check the food label to see how many grams of carbohydrate are in each serving, because "sugar-free" does not mean "carbohydrate-free." Some of the foods sweetened with non-caloric sweeteners (like aspartame-sweetened sodas) may indeed have no carbohydrate, and will have no effect on your blood glucose. Others, like an aspartame-sweetened yogurt, sti Continue reading >>
I Have Type 1 – Diabetes What Can I Eat?
From the moment you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes you are likely to be faced with what seems like an endless list of new tasks that need to become part of everyday life – injections, testing, treating a hypo, monitoring and eating a healthy, balanced diet. No wonder it can all seem so daunting and overwhelming. One of your first questions is likely to be “what can I eat?” But, with so much to take in, you could still come away from appointments feeling unsure about the answer. Plus, there are lots of myths about diabetes and food that you will need to navigate too. If you’ve just been diagnosed and aren’t sure about what you can and can’t eat, here’s what you need to know. I've just been diagnosed with Type 1 – what can I eat? In one word... anything. It may come as a surprise, but all kinds of food are fine for people with Type 1 diabetes to eat. In the past, people were sent away after their diagnosis with a very restrictive diet plan. This was because the availability of insulin was limited and the type of insulin treatment was very restrictive. As insulin treatments have been developed to be much more flexible, the days of “do's and don'ts” are long gone. The way to go nowadays is to try and fit the diabetes and insulin around the same healthy, balanced diet that is recommended for everyone, with lots of fruit and veg and some food from all the food groups. Is there anything I should avoid? Before your diagnosis of diabetes, it is likely that you experienced an unquenchable thirst. It is a good idea to avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices as a way of quenching thirst. They usually put blood glucose levels up very high and very quickly – which is why they can be a useful treatment for a hypo (low blood glucose levels). Instead, drink water, Continue reading >>
Sugars, Sugar Substitutes And Sweeteners: Natural And Artificial
If you’re living with diabetes, or even if you’re not, you might think sweet foods are a barrier to your healthy, balanced diet. As a general rule,everyone should be eating less sugar– but sometimes, only something sweet will do. If want to lose weight, or you’re trying to keep your blood glucose levels stable, you may want to know whether artificial sweeteners could help. If you browse around your local supermarket, you’ll see a huge range of sweeteners on offer, so it can be baffling to know which, if any, to go for. So in this section we'll take you through: Sweeteners are ingredients that are added to food to enhance sweetness. They can be grouped in different ways: One way is to loosely group sweeteners as: sugar or sugar substitutes.Another way to group sweeteners is whether the sweetener is: natural or artificial. One of the most useful ways of grouping sweeteners is to look at those that have nutritive value, ie nutritive sweeteners, and those without nutritive value, ie non-nutritive or ‘low-calorie’ sweeteners. Nutritive sweeteners There are different types of nutritive sweeteners, but they all contain carbohydrate and provide calories. They are usually referred to as ‘sugars’ or ‘added sugar’, but they can also appear in the ingredient list of food packaging as: glucose fructose sucrose maltose honey and syrup, etc. Polyols One group of nutritive sweeteners is polyols, which are sugar alcohols, and include: erythritol isomalt maltitol mannitol sorbitol xylitol. They can be natural or artificially produced. Polyols contain carbohydrates and calories, but they have fewer calories and less of an effect on blood glucose levels than sucrose (sugar). Polyols and diabetes It’s not exactly clear how the polyols should be ‘counted’ by peopl Continue reading >>
Sugar Free Sweets | Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community chocoholicnomore Type 2 Well-Known Member I'd just like to recommend Aldi's (no I'm not on commission and I don't own the store :lol: ) "Dominion" sugar free sweets. They are ideal for sooking occassionally between meals and come in four great flavours- strawberries and cream, mint, fruit and creamy butterscotch. I have tried and like them all. There are 2 small pocket size boxes in each packet. Perfect Ok, are they chewy ones are boiled sweets? chocoholicnomore Type 2 Well-Known Member anyone tried the new wearthers original sugar free .. cant find them yet I get those sweets from Aldi's too. The butterscotch are lovely. Wish they did the chewy ones aswell. anyone tried the new wearthers original sugar free .. cant find them yet Haven't, but must tell me when you find them! I've been told that the bigger tescos have just got them in, Im going to try tom, will let you know Grazer ! I'll repeat my warning from a different thread - sugar alcohols (Maltitol, Xylitol etc) will probably blip your BG. Enjoy the sweets, but limit yourself to a few occasionally I've tried the sugar free wearthers and they OK but I can anly eat a couple without noticable effects from the sweetners. It was nice to have somethign I could suck when I had a sore throat but not something I would eat regularly. FWIW I've found them cheepest at ASDA, they were on offer at 2 packs for 1 (or 1.15 each :crazy: ) I got a large bag of the Wearthers sugar frees when I was in the US in October. It was far bigger than the bags over here and has coffee and mint flavours in it too!! They are lovely, quite small so don't have too big an impact as long as you can resist reaching for another all Continue reading >>
The Best Sugar Substitutes For People With Diabetes
With a low to no calorie sugar count, artificial sweeteners may seem like a treat for people with diabetes. But recent research suggests that artificial sweeteners may actually be counterintuitive. Especially if you’re looking to manage or prevent diabetes. In fact, the increased consumption of these sugar substitutes may correlate to the increase of obesity and diabetes cases. The good news is that there are sugar alternatives you can choose from. You’ll still want to count your intake for glucose management, but these options are far better than the marketed “sugar-free” products. Stevia Stevia is a FDA approved low-calorie sweetener that has anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic properties. Unlike artificial sweeteners and sugar, stevia can suppress your plasma glucose levels and significantly increase glucose tolerance. It’s also technically not an artificial sweetener. That’s because it’s made from the leaves of the stevia plant. Stevia also has the ability to: increase insulin effect on cell membranes increase insulin production stabilize blood sugar levels counter mechanics of type 2 diabetes and its complications You can find stevia under brand names like: PureVia Sun Crystals Sweet Leaf Truvia While stevia is natural, these brands are usually highly processed and may contain other ingredients. For example, Truvia goes through 40 processing steps before it’s ready to be sold, and contains the sugar alcohol erythritol. Future research may shed more light on the health impacts of consuming these processed stevia sweeteners. The best way to consume stevia is to grow the plant yourself and use the whole leaves to sweeten foods. What’s the difference between Truvia and stevia? » Tagatose Tagatose is another naturally occurring sugar that researchers are s Continue reading >>