University of Illinois Extension
 

Should people with diabetes avoid eating sugars and sweets?

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Although it was once thought that people with diabetes needed to avoid all sugars and sweets, we now know that sugar and sweets do not raise blood glucose more than other foods that are mostly carbohydrate. In fact, if people with diabetes had to avoid all sugars in order to be healthy, they would not be able to eat fruits or drink milk, because fruits and milk contain carbohydrates (sugar). However, people with diabetes, just like others without diabetes, should avoid substituting foods such as sweets for healthy foods.

If you do eat sweets and have diabetes, it is important to count the total grams of carbohydrate in a sweet food as part of your total carbohydrate allowance for the day and the meal. Just look at the “Total Carbohydrate” on the Nutrition Facts label to find out how many grams of total carbohydrate a sweet food contains and work these carbohydrates into your meal plan. It is also important to consider the total calories in a sweet food. Added calories can lead to weight gain, which makes it more difficult to control blood glucose levels. It is also better to eat a dessert with a meal than by itself. This will cause blood glucose levels to raise less and more gradually than they would if a dessert is eaten by itself.

Back to: Eating for Target Blood Glucose Levels

This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.