SUGAR FREE DOES NOT MEAN CARBOHYDRATE FREE!

4 Foods People Forget Contains Carbs. 

 Unlimited amounts of sugar free cookies is not advisable.

Unlimited amounts of sugar free cookies is not advisable.

Don’t trust what you see. Even salt looks like sugar
— Unknown

At my day job we serve our clients with diabetes regular plain ice cream. Now before you start to gasp let me remind you a serving of plain ice cream contains 23 grams of carbohydrates and a serving of sherbet contains 30 grams of carbohydrates.

What?  So why are people with diabetes encouraged the eat sherbet instead of ice cream?

The answer is simple. Ice cream contains more fat than sherbet and most individuals with diabetes need to watch their fat along with their carbohydrate intake because of their increased risk for heart disease.

Managing diabetes is a delicate balancing act. Eat too many carbohydrates and your blood sugar goes wack. Eat too much fat and you heart is in danger. I often see people avoid healthy carbohydrate foods like fresh fruit, sweet potatoes and peas to eat what they think are sugar free processed food. 

Here are four foods most people with diabetes think they can eat in ample amounts and why they still should be watching their carbohydrates:

1. Milk

I remember one day when I was counseling a woman who had an average blood sugar of over 300mg/dl. When we reviewed her diet she looked like she was taking in the proper amount of carbohydrates. Then a little voice inside me decided to ask her if she drank sodas or juices instead of water. She proudly told me she avoided these beverages and drank milk because it was "healthy". When I asked her how much milk did she drank in a day she told me one GALLON.

BINGO!

Milk contains 12 grams or carbohydrates or one carbohydrate exchange per 8 ounce glass.  What I have noticed in recent years is the 8 ounce drink is becoming obsolete. Please remember to include milk as part of your carbohydrate intake to avoid excessive sugar spikes.

2. Diabetic Liquid Supplements.

This is a tip for people who enjoy liquid supplements. Most popular diabetic liquid supplements contain 16 to 26 grams of carbohydrates depending on the flavor. Now most standard supplements contain between 33 to 44 grams of carbohydrates. What the commercials and salespeople fail to tell their clients with diabetes is these supplements also contain more fat. The diabetic supplements contains 7 to 9 grams of fat per 8 ounce bottle compared to 2 to 4 grams of fat in the standard liquid supplement.  Fat decreases the absorption of carbohydrates and this would be no problem unless the person with diabetes has heart problems. Also, diabetic supplements are more expensive so drinking less of the regular supplement may be a better choice. 

3. Diabetes cookies and candy.

I recently went to a shopping website to look at the cost of sugar-free cookies. These cookies average about $10.00 per box. Like the diabetic liquid supplements diabetic cookies still contain carbohydrates and have more fat than regular cookies. If you absolutely crave cookies, spend a a little extra time and make your own cookies from scratch. Your pocketbook and your waistline will thank you. 

4.  Sugar-Free yogurt.

Yogurt contains a naturally occurring sugar called lactose and just like the above items, yogurt contains carbohydrates.  A carton of plain yogurt typically has the same amount of carbohydrates as sugar-free fruited yogurt. If you love fruited yogurt try adding extra fruit to plain yogurt. If money is an issue you can eat 4 ounces versus 8 ounces of regular fruited yogurt giving you the same amount of carbohydrates.

If you find this information confusing, the best advice of the day is to read the label. The label will tell you the total carbohydrate and total fat content. The label will also tell you the serving size of the product. From that point, you can decide if investing in specialized diabetic food is worth it.

 

If you have any questions please feel free to leave your comments below. Your questions can help others. As always I am here to help.

 

 

Best,

 

 

 

Allison