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Diet: If You Have Diabetes, You Can Include Some Sugar

Por Lic. Nina Nazor Robles* -
Diet: If You Have Diabetes, You Can Include Some Sugar

If you have diabetes, you can include some sugar in your diet, as long as you stick to your dietitian's diet plan.

Sugar is absorbed very quickly and can raise your glucose (blood sugar) immediately. That is why sugar is the ideal treatment for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can occur quite frequently in people with diabetes.

Now there are several different kinds of sugar substitutes (sweeteners) available on the market. Some of these do not raise blood sugar. Others do. Familiarize yourself with the different kinds and how to take advantage of them. Then, when you want to eat something sweet you don’t run the risk of raising your blood sugar.

What are sweeteners?

Sweeteners are sugar substitutes used to sweeten food. There are nutritious ones and non-nutritious ones. In other words, some contain calories and others do not. Generally, the ones containing calories (the nutritious ones) come from natural sources. They include sucrose (regular white sugar), honey, corn syrup, brown sugar, and fructose (fruit sugar). With the exception of fructose, all of these will raise your blood glucose. Limit your intake of these foods.
Calorie-free sweeteners (the non-nutritious ones) are industrially processed products. They include saccharine, aspartame, sucralose, and ace-suphame K.

Are they safe?

Saccharine, aspartame, sucralose, and ace-suphame K have been approved by the FDA. They can be used quite safely. They are also the sweeteners recommended at MyDiet TM . Others, such as stevia and the cyclamates, have not been approved. Some sweeteners like sorbitol and mannitol, used in many products for people with diabetes, can cause diarrhea if eaten in large quantities.

In short, sweeteners add flavor to food. If you have diabetes, avoid the natural ones like sucrose or white sugar. They raise your blood glucose levels. Opt for artificial sweeteners instead, such as sucralose. In addition to tasting good, they can help you control your weight and your glucose levels.

*Dietitian with the MyDiet TM Team


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