It is a common misunderstanding that individuals that have diabetes must eat sugar-free items; when in fact they should be checking portion sizes, carbohydrates and calories. Many sugar-free items still contain carbohydrates that will affect blood sugar. Additionally, food brands like to call out “sugar-free” attributes on products like candy, cookies, and cakes that contain sugar alcohols that can cause GI (bowel) distress (gas and bloating) so often those items are not the best choice for someone with diabetes.
Individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can eat a wide variety of items (not just sugar-free) as long as they are monitoring their carbohydrate intake, paying attention to portion size and keeping blood sugar under control and in the desirable range with diet, exercise and in many cases medication.
For more information on managing your blood sugar and food choices see www.diabetes.org and https://www.joslin.org/
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian