Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sugar-Free Foods

Below is a question I received from

My doctor recently diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes. I know it is important to watch my sugar intake. Is sugarless candy really sugarless?

A lot of confusion brought on by the diabetic diet relays back to what is considered "sugar". People often use the words "sugar" and carbohydrate interchangabily without knowing the difference. Sugar is a substance that makes food sweet (think table sugar). Carbohydrates are found in foods (including sugar) that breask down into our body into glucose (blood sugar) to provide needed energy for our cells.

So, yes, while you need to watch your sugar and sweet foods for diabetes, it is more important that you watch your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrate foods fall into 3 categories: starches (cereal, bread, pasta, starchy vegetables); dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese); and fruit/fruit juices.

Back to your question: while sugar-free candy may not have sugar in it, it may contain carbohydrate. Be sure to check the food label to make a wise choice.

However, candy doesn't have a lot of substance to it. When choosing carbohydrates, try to choose as many whole grains as you can (think fiber), to help you feel full longer.

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