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Question:

From Lexington, Kentucky, USA:

My daughter is 9 years old, diagnosed Type 1 diabetes three months ago. We have joined the two major organizations dealing with diabetes and hope to support their efforts as we can. My problem is with the advertisers in their monthly publications, in particular those advertising "sugar-free" products. One in particular promotes its product as being "the taste you never thought you could have again." You have pointed out correctly that a carb is a carb is a carb. Why must we put up with this disinformation? Diabetics can eat whatever they want, as long as they make certain allowances.

Answer:

You are absolutely correct in your thinking. I do not know why some of these items are still around. Many times the "diabetic" candies are as high in calories as the regular stuff and the sugar alcohols in them can cause severe stomach upset or diarrhea. They are not a free food, at all. Anyway, they do not contain sucrose, so that is how they can say they are sugar-free. I really see no use for them since they often times taste bad anyway, and my patients then really want the real thing.

I think we could try again (some of us have attempted this before) to alert the editors that these foods are not recommended for folks with diabetes, but I do know some institutions still recommend that folks with diabetes do not eat anything with sugar (the old way of thinking). This really give the meal plan for those with diabetes a bad name.

It is important for diabetes educators to work with folks with diabetes to adjust their diabetes to their lifestyle, not the other way around. You are correct, if they want some candy, we will work it out so they can have them, maybe not a whole bag, but just some of the real thing, not the "sugar free" stuff. The carbs are not the problem; it's the calories from the fat that can add up.

LSF

Original posting 7 Aug 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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