Recent studies have shown that simple sugars like table sugar (sucrose) do
not raise your blood sugar higher or faster than other types of carbohydrates.
According to the American Diabetes Association:
It is important, however, to follow how your own blood sugar responds to sugar-containing
foods. Here are some important facts about sugar:
- Sugar is a carbohydrate.
- Foods that are high in sugar tend to be less nutritious.
- Sugar is listed on a food label under the
Artificial sweeteners, also called low-calorie sweeteners, contain no sucrose
(sugar). They are usually low in calories and most DO NOT affect your blood
sugar level. The Food and Drug Administration has approved their use and the
American Diabetes Association considers them to be safe.
Here are some examples of artificial sweeteners:
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Acesulfame K (Sweet One)
- Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal)
- Saccharin (Sugar-Twin, Sweet n' Low, Sucaryl, Featherweight)
Other calorie-containing sweeteners are sugar alcohols, like sorbitol and
mannitol. These may have a smaller effect on your blood sugar levels than table
sugar. These are included on the nutrition label as carbohydrates. Count them
as part of your total carbohydrate intake and remember that they contain calories.
"Dietetic or Sugar-Free" labels can be very deceptive. These foods
are not calorie or carbohydrate-free and some have more calories than the non-dietetic
variety. Often there are other carbohydrates in the ingredients, which may
raise your blood sugar levels. Don't be fooled by sugar-free pies or cookies.
The bottom line is don't pay too much attention to the advertised message
on the front of the food package. Checking labels for calories and carbohydrates
gives you the information you need.
Review Date: 5/1/2006
Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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