Diabetes is a complicated condition and can be best managed with a planned diet and healthy lifestyle changes. As such, there are always questions as to what should diabetes include in the diet and what not. In this article, we understand the relation between sugar-free foods and diabetes.
So, join in for the article “Can I Eat Sugar-Free Foods with Diabetes Regularly?”
Table of Contents
Facts About Sugar-Free foods
Let us first start by understanding a few unknown facts about the sugar-free foods. Following are some of the details about them:
- Sugar-free does by no way means food that is devoid of calories or carbohydrates. Most of the sugar-free foods do have carbs as well as calories
- A lot of sugar alcohol is used to make sugar-free foods. Some of these alcohols include:
- The artificial sweeteners that are used to make up these sugar-free foods are often even sweeter than the actual sugar.
- Most of the sugar-free foods, particularly the sugar-free candies do not have any kind of nutrients present in them.
Risks of Including Sugar-Free Food in Your Diet
There are a few risks which you should be aware of if you are thinking of including sugar-free food as part of your daily diet. Following are a few risks:
- The sugar alcohol present in the sugar-free foods lead to problems in the digestive tract and might even cause bloating, and other problems owing to the “osmotic effect” of various sugar alcohols.
- There is no nutrition value which these so- called sugar-free foods have. So, including them in the overall meal plan will not help you achieve any objective as such
- A lot of these sugar-free products contain a lot of carbohydrates and calories. Hence, you must be cautious of the same because you do not want to destroy your overall meal plan for efficient diabetes management.
- Most of these foods are known to increase the level of blood glucose in the body to a great extent. This also increases the risk of various complications related to diabetes, particularly cardiovascular conditions.
- Finally, the eating of too much of sugar-free foods can lead to a psychological problem where the brain is enticed to think that sugary foods are not harmful and the craving of these foods shall eventually increase to a great extent. This is not a great situation to be in as it increases the risk of putting on weight and as a result, increased risk of diabetes.
Some Benefits of Including Sugar-Free Foods
Having seen the risks, there are a few benefits which you might get by including them in your daily diet. These benefits include the following:
- Some of the artificial sweeteners are calorie-free. Hence, by including them in the daily diet, you can reduce the total calorie intake. This, in turn, will help you lose weight
- The low-calorie artificial sweeteners can also help in adding some additional flavor without adding the much-dreaded count of calories
How to Include Sugar-Free Foods in the Diet
As seen in the above paragraphs, eating the moderated quantity of sugar-free foods will not result in too much harm for the diabetes patients. However, for best results, you need to be careful about the following points:
- Count the total carbohydrate intake. Sugar-free foods might contain carbohydrates and as such, might interfere with your overall meal plan. You should count the total carbs that a particular sugar-free food contains and prevent it from interfering with your overall diabetes meal plan.
- As per the American Diabetes Association, indulge in more physical activity in order to cover up for the food that you are taking in
- Since the different type of sugar alcohols affect your blood glucose levels in a different way, it is imperative that you check the effect of each of this alcohol on your body and blood sugar level.
- There are a few artificial sweeteners which are regarded as safe by the major diabetes organizations like the American Diabetes Association. Some of these include stevia, Splenda, aspartame, amongst others. You should study the ingredients of your sugar-free food closely in order to ensure that the food is safe. Besides, each of the above-mentioned artificial sweeteners has its own advantages and disadvantages which you should be aware of.
- Finally, having these in moderation and as supervised will not harm you. However, avoid over-indulgence of any type.
We hope that the above article has been helpful in educating you about the relation between diabetes and sugar-free foods. Although is it not completely advisable to have sugar free foods regularly if you are diabetic, having the same in moderation can go a long way in effective diabetes management!