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Sugar Free Chocolates For Diabetics

Can Diabetics Eat Sugar Free Candy?

Can Diabetics Eat Sugar Free Candy?

One of the most persistent myths is that sugar is off limits to people with diabetes. In reality, if you have diabetes, you can enjoy foods like desserts provided you keep within an overall healthy eating plan. But be wary of claims about sugar-free products like candy. They may have a few less carbohydrates, but often they have just as many calories and fat. In addition, they may contain sources of carbohydrates other than sugar. Sugar-free candies can also cause stomach upset. To safely enjoy sugar-free candy, you need to plan ahead and ensure you stay within the guidelines set by your health care provider or dietitian. Video of the Day Sugar Free Is Not Carb Free You may think sugar-free candy is a healthier alternative. You may need to think again, and you definitely need to read the label. All sugar-free foods are not created equal. Some sugar-free candy is not lower in carbs than the regular version. In addition, sugar isn’t the only kind of carbohydrate. Sugar-free candy may contain starch, fiber, and mostly likely a sugar alcohol. Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center says sugar alcohols aren’t technically “sugar” but can be high in carbohydrates. Bottom line -- there’s no substitute for being fully educated on everything that’s in the food you’re eating. The American Diabetes Association says you don’t have to rule out candy, provided you work it into your meal plan. For example, you could have candy as a substitute for another carbohydrate-containing food. This will help keep your blood sugar steady and prevent you from feeling deprived. Remember, candy has little nutritional value. The idea is indulge once in a while, in moderation and so as not to exceed your total calories and carbohydrate goals. The association’s website for children with di Continue reading >>

Sugar Free Candy For Diabetics

Sugar Free Candy For Diabetics

Making sugar free candy for diabetics, dieters, and anyone else watching their sugar intake can be easy and fun if you know your ingredients and have a few good recipes. There’s a reason everyone understands the phrase “like a kid in a candy store.” We all love sweets, but unfortunately, sweets don’t love us back. Pure sugar is a bad deal for our health on many levels, especially if we’re diabetic. Does that mean we have to bid our beloved candies adieu forever? Not at all. Making sugar ree candy for diabetics, dieters, and anyone else watching their sugar intake can be easy and fun if you know your ingredients and have a few good recipes. Choose The Right Sugar Substitute There are a ton of sugar substitutes for home candy cooks out there, but one of the best ones to use in sugar free candy making is erythritol. It’s a sugar alcohol which occurs naturally in fruits, mushrooms, and fermented foods like wine and soy sauce. It has almost no glycemic index, which makes it an excellent choice for use in sugar free candy for diabetics. It also has no calories and no carbs, so it’s easy to fit into your healthy diet. Taste-wise, erythritol ranges from 60% – 80% as sweet as sugar, so you might need to use it in combination with a high intensity sweetener, like sucralose or stevia. Erythritol is not yet widely available in stores, so your best bet may be to purchase it online. If you’re offered the option of powdered or granular erythritol, go with powdered, as it dissolves more readily. If you end up with the granular form, you can easily throw it in the blender and grind it up until it’s nicely powdered. Sugar Free Chocolate And Candy Coatings Another supply you’ll want to keep on hand is sugar free chocolate and candy coatings. It’s important to bear Continue reading >>

Top 5 Diabetic Chocolate Picks

Top 5 Diabetic Chocolate Picks

Are you a chocolate lover? And more importantly are you a diabetic on the lookout for your best chocolate options? I tend to make my own chocolate (and we have quite a few recipes for that), but I know most people aren't as motivated as me and prefer to buy something prepackaged. So to save you time and energy I went on a search for some ‘healthy' diabetic chocolate brands, ones I thought stood out of the crowd. When I did my search I was looking for ones low in carbs and preferably sugar free and made with stevia (my preferred natural sweetener). So I came up with a few good contenders for you to choose from and have gathered all the info below so you can make your own comparisons. 1. Dante's Confection This brand is a very popular top seller on Amazon, and I like it because it only contains 3 ingredients! Any ‘product' that has 5 or less ingredients, with ingredients we can recognize, gets the T2DT seal of approval It's also low in carbs and is excellent value for money. Another reason this one is the chocolate of choice is because it is the lowest in total carbs as well. Ingredients: Organic Fair-Trade Cocoa, Stevia, Natural Vanilla. Nutrition – Serving size: 45 g (1 bar) Calories: 260 Fat: 24 g Carbs: 12 g Fiber: 7 g Sugars: 0 g Net carbs: 5 g Protein: 7 g Cost: $16.99 for 4 x 45 g (1.5 oz) bars and many people say that eating just half a bar is all you need to feel satisfied. Check Out Dante's Confection on Amazon Here 2. Lily's Sweets Lily's Sweets has a variety of chocolate blends to choose from, dark chocolate, dark chocolate almond, milk chocolate, milk chocolate almond and more. These are sweetened with stevia and erythritol and have lots of good reviews on Amazon. They do contain a few more ingredients but some of their flavors might be worth exploring. Continue reading >>

Sugar-free Labels Can Be Deceptive

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 >>

News From Hershey’s: Diabetics Can Eat Sugar!

News From Hershey’s: Diabetics Can Eat Sugar!

To be fair, there’s a lot of useful information on this website from Hershey’s (as in the candy company) about diabetes and sugar. It points out that diabetics can eat sugar in small quantities — provided that they manage it appropriately with insulin or exercise — and explains some of the different kinds of sugar substitutes and how they’re digested. Hell, it even provides a hotline number for the ADA and some baking tips — though somehow I doubt too many people are going to permanently start using baby food as a sweetener in their Toll House cookies. But there’s still a “fox-guarding-the-henhouse” aspect to a candy company advising diabetics — let alone giving advice to doctors and nurses on how to, as the website states, “educate people on how to manage their diabetes and live healthy lives while enjoying one of life’s most evocative and symbolic pleasures: chocolate.” Speaking as someone who’s tried the apple-sauce-in-baked-goods trick (the dirty secret: it’s just not that good), I feel like I should add my own advice on how to manage this particular evocative and symbolic pleasure: eat it in small quantities. Also, don’t eat Hershey’s — it’s way too sweet, and doesn’t hold a candle to the real stuff. Instead, acquire a taste for dark chocolate, the more expensive the better — money has an amazing way of encouraging self-restraint. (Sure, I’ll eat something that eventually could make me go blind — but if it’s $7 a bar? Forget about it!) For a long time I was eating Scharffen-Berger 70% cacao; these days my favorite is Green & Black, also 70%. I have a small piece after lunch or dinner and, I’ll admit it, I don’t feel guilty at all. The chocolate’s dark enough (and the quantity I eat small enough) that it doesn’ Continue reading >>

14 No Bake Sugar-free Candy Recipes

14 No Bake Sugar-free Candy Recipes

Healthier Candy for special occasions like Valentine’s needn’t be filled with sugar and unhealthy oils. Just a few minutes of your time and you can make healthier candy at home. None of these sugar free delights use artificial sweeteners. All are made using natural sugar free substitutes. You can always taste and adjust the sweetener as you prefer and most just require some melting of unsweetened baking chocolate. You can make chocolates at home without much effort or time. No one will even notice as these taste just as luscious as the sugar laden kinds, in fact they will love you even more as homemade gifts of love always trump store bought versions! Brenda Bennett is the cookbook author, homeschool mom, photographer, cook and blogger behind Sugar-Free Mom. Sugar-Free Mom is a woman on a mission to reduce and eliminate added, processed sugars in her family’s life. She focuses on using natural sugars and sugar free substitutes to create healthier versions of popular and beloved recipes. Since 2011, her blog has become the most popular sugar-free source on the web today. Her cookbook, Sugar-Free Mom, Naturally Sweet & Sugar-Free Recipes for the Whole Family, is available now for order, released on December 9, 2014. Continue reading >>

Can I Eat As Many Sugar-free Foods As I Want?

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 >>

My Love Of Chocolate And My Diabetes

My Love Of Chocolate And My Diabetes

One of my favorite things to eat is chocolate. As a diabetic, I set out to find if eating chocolate was a treat I needed to give up. Not only did I look into it, but I was very surprised at what I found. In fact, I ended up creating my own line of sugar-free chocolate. There are over 350 million people suffering from diabetes. One of the most frequently asked questions regarding diabetes and diet is whether diabetics must give up chocolate and other candy treats for good. The good news, however, is that those suffering from diabetes can enjoy an occasional chocolate treat if they exercise restraint and moderation. And with many new products on the market that are sugar-free, it makes it that much easier to have a treat every now and then. One of the reasons that an occasional chocolate bar is okay for diabetics is the fact that the sugar in chocolate is absorbed more slowly than that found in many other foods, such as white bread and even mashed potatoes. This means that the body has a bit more time to deal with the rise in blood sugar caused by chocolate. It is important to keep in mind, however, that too much chocolate can lead to excess weight gain that could complicate one’s diabetes. Many diabetics wonder about the special chocolates made with diabetics in mind. Like any other type of food, these diabetic chocolates can be either good or bad, depending on how they are consumed. When eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, diabetic chocolate can be an awesome treat, but when consumed in excess, it can be just as fattening and dangerous as any other sweet treat. While diabetic chocolate is designed to not raise blood glucose levels, it still has plenty of calories – you want to keep that in mind when consuming. It is important not to think of this special choco Continue reading >>

Sugar Free Candy | Diabetic Connect

Sugar Free Candy | Diabetic Connect

"Xylitol /ˈzaɪlɪtɒl/ is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. The name derives from Greek: ξύλον, xyl[on], "wood" + suffix -itol, used to denote sugar alcohols. Xylitol is categorized as a polyalcohol or sugar alcohol (alditol)." So says Supposedly good for your teeth somehow. But as related to diabetes I found the following: "Possessing approximately 33% fewer calories, xylitol is a lower-calorie alternative to table sugar. Absorbed more slowly than sugar, it does not contribute to high blood sugar levels or the resulting hyperglycemia caused by insufficient insulin response. This characteristic has also proven beneficial for people suffering from metabolic syndrome, a common disorder that includes insulin resistance, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and an increased risk for blood clots. Xylitol is used as a sweetener in medicines, chewing gum and pastilles." But what do I know, not any more than what I can find somewhere. :) God bless and heal you all who have diabetes. Sugar free does not mean low carb. There may still be ingredients in it that can raise your blood sugar. Sugar free does not mean that it is entirely free of sugar. I eat some of it but the chocolate taste horrible so I just eat the regular chocolate. I have found candy that was totally sugar free. I now can't find it. I have never had sugar free candy that affected my blood sugar. I am not saying that it doesn't but I usually eat the candy when I am doing something. "Sugar-free" does not mean "carbohydrate free" and carbs are what generally cause your BG to increase. In my early years with diabetes, I ate lots of sugar-free products (usually sweetened with sugar alcohols which do metabolize more slowly than glucose). One of the unpleasant side effects of sugar alcohols for me was gastric Continue reading >>

So Good...it's Unbelievably Sugar Free!

So Good...it's Unbelievably Sugar Free!

The secret to our incredibly good diabetic chocolate is...well, it’s a secret. No, not really, but it is simple. We use only the finest quality natural ingredients from exotic places like Africa, South America, and Belgium. There are no fillers, preservatives, or substitute oils. And an important part of our award-winning diabetic chocolate recipe is the sweetener. Maltitol is the sweetener used in Amber Lyn diabetic chocolate. It is a reduced calorie and reduced carbohydrate sweetener that has 90% the sweetness of sugar. Maltitol is a member of a family of sweeteners known as sugar alcohols or polyols. Most of the Maltitol used to sweeten other diabetic chocolate is derived from corn, but ours comes from wheat. Our observation is that wheat based Maltitol may reduce the mild laxative effect that is sometimes experienced after excessive consumption. And, it’s gluten-free. While Amber Lyn chocolate confections have proven a godsend for diabetics and others who must limit their intake of carbohydrates, it’s not just for diabetics. Our diabetic chocolate is the perfect chocolate for anyone who loves chocolate but wants a healthier lifestyle. Amber Lyn products are much more than diabetic chocolate and we guarantee you won’t be able to tell that it has had no sugar added. Continue reading >>

Why Some Sugar-free Products Raise Blood Sugar

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?

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 >>

The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide To Buying Chocolate

The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide To Buying Chocolate

How can you get your daily chocolate fix -- and eat less sugar or calories, too? That's a million-dollar question that several companies are banking on people asking. Over the past few years, the sugar-free and portion-controlled chocolate market has exploded. There are all sorts of sugar-free versions of favorite chocolate bars. And you can now buy individually wrapped chocolate bars or sticks in 60- to 100-calorie portions, along with the ever-popular kisses. To help you decide among all the options out there, we taste-tested a number of sugar-free chocolate products (and some portion-controlled ones, too). But first, let's talk about how having a little chocolate every day could actually be good for you. Can Chocolate Really Be Good For You? Yes, it's true -- chocolate does appear to have some health benefits. Though more research needs to be done, studies have indicated that cocoa and darker types of chocolate may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, decrease blood pressure, and relax blood vessels. Many of the health benefits of chocolate seem to stem from the antioxidant flavanols (a type of flavonoid), which are also found in other plant foods including tea, grapes, grapefruit, and wine. The cocoa bean happens to be extraordinarily rich in them. The flavanol content of chocolate depends on the flavanol content of the cacao plant used, and the way the cocoa was turned into chocolate. But here are three general rules of thumb: Cocoa powder and baking chocolate contain more flavonoids than dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has more flavonoids than milk chocolate. White chocolate has none. Of course, there's a catch to all this -- you don't want to cancel out all these potential health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa by eating too many calories or too mu Continue reading >>

Sugar Free Chocolate Worse For Me Than Normal Chocolate?

Sugar Free Chocolate Worse For Me Than Normal Chocolate?

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Sugar free chocolate worse for me than normal chocolate? Anonymous Question Other Diabetes Team Member I recently bought some Sainsbury's "No Added Sugar" milk chocolate, hoping that this would assist me in controlling my type 2 diabetes and in lowering my calorie consumption. On checking the nutritional information I ws shocked to see that the bar contained more calories than a normal Cadbury's bar. This seems to be because it has significantly more fat. This product would therefore actually be more harmful to a diabetic than a normal bar of chocolate and seems to be a pointless product, unless perhaps as a laxative. I have raised this with Sainsbury, but would very much welcome your advice and views. To submit a question, please go to ... stion.html From what I know, it's generally recommended to steer clear of products marketed as 'for diabetics'. They have very little benefit and often cost a lot more. They may have lower sugar but as you have discovered, to make them taste ok they have other things added, like fat, to make up for the lack of sugar. It's often the other way around too... low fat yoghurts are very often packed full of sugar. Right form the start when I was diagnosed T1 20 years ago, I was told it wasn't worth the hassle/money/risk of laxative effect to buy 'diabetic' products. They offer no benefit over normal products. The best thing is to have the real thing, but in moderation... that's my opinion anyway! Agreed, I stay well clear from all diabetes friendly products. There pumped full of rubbish. You may as well have the real thing in moderation as picklebean has suggested This product would therefore actually be more harmful to Continue reading >>

Can Diabetics Eat Chocolate?

Can Diabetics Eat Chocolate?

If you have diabetes, you can eat anything -- although possibly not in the quantities you'd like. That includes chocolate. Some types of chocolate, such as dark chocolate, might even have health benefits, in moderation. Portion control is the key to enjoying foods like chocolate if you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association reports. Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols, plant substances that act as antioxidants and that might also help prevent heart disease and lower blood glucose levels. Types of Chocolate All chocolate is not created equal in terms of health benefits. When it comes to foods high in simple sugars, less is better if you have diabetes. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate, so you can eat a little more of it if you're controlling your calories or sugar intake. With dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa percentage, the better it is for you. Look for dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa, registered dietitian Mitzi Dulan recommends. White chocolate contains no cocoa and is higher in calories and saturated fat than dark or milk chocolate. Potential Benefits According to a study that appeared in the January, 2015 issue of ARYA Atherosclerosis, high-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate lowers blood pressure and insulin resistance in patients with diabetes and high blood pressure. Insulin resistance restricts the uptake of glucose into cells, which causes blood glucose levels to rise. People who ate white chocolate did not experience a decrease in blood pressure or insulin resistance. In a British study published in the November 2010 issue of Diabetic Medicine, diabetics who consumed chocolate high in cocoa for 16 weeks experienced a decrease in total cholesterol and an increase in high-density lipoprotein, the so-c Continue reading >>

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