Diabetic diets require that you count the grams of carbohydrates you take in each day. Carbohydrates are sugars. The reason that diabetics need to count their carbs is because they make the blood sugar soar.
It is a myth that table sugar makes your blood sugar soar more than any other type of carbohydrate. The fact is, that all carbohydrates increase the level of glucose in your blood. But, table sugar and other sweeteners tend to have high carbohydrate counts. So, eating one ounce of sugar and one ounce of carrots are not the same thing. It is counting carbs that matters.
Diabetic diets are not sugar free for alls. While you can choose to eat sweets in small quantities, you have to balance them with the other foods including fat and fiber. If your blood glucose is at a desirable level, your blood fats are in the target range, and eating small quantities of sweets helps you stay on track for your overall diet goals, then having a small desert from time to time will not derail your diet.
Diabetic diets should have between 1500 and 1800 calories a day in them. Approximately 50 percent of the calories should come from carbohydrates. This means that in a 1600 calorie diet, 800 calories will come from carbs. At 4 calories per gram, that means 200 grams of sugars a day is reasonable on a diabetic’s diet.
You must prioritize your own diabetes goals. You have to determine what is most important: blood glucose control, weight loss, or lower blood fats in consultation with a dietitian. Your priorities will dictate how you strike the balance in regards to sugars and sweets.
One of the diet challenges diabetics have is balancing their fat as well. You see, there are only three components to all foods: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. When you limit your carbs, protein and fats have to take up the slack. And, most protein sources have a lot of fat in them. High fat diets are linked with heart disease and cancer.
To deal with this, diabetic diets necessarily must include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and avoid all trans fats.
To control your diabetes, you must focus on four areas of your life. You must work toward your ideal body weight, follow diabetic diets, exercise regularly, and take your medicines if the doctor prescribes them. As you can see, the diet is only one component of this program.
You can have sugar on a diabetic diet. It is a matter of keeping everything in balance. You don’t want to go overboard on sweets of course. For instance, at an ice cream shop, ask for a child’s serving in a dish instead of a sugar cone or at a restaurant ask to split a desert with two or three other people. But, just because you have been diagnosed with diabetes does not mean that sugar is a thing of the past.
Diabetic diets aim to help you bring your blood sugar back into balance when your body can no longer regulate it on its own. That is why you must carefully follow the rules on the diabetic diets you are given.