It is a very common myth that diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar. The truth is, according to Diabetes Canada while sweets can and do affect your blood sugar, they don’t actually cause diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin. With regular checkups, a carefully managed diet, proper medication, regular exercise and a positive attitude, people with diabetes lead long and happy lives.
An estimated 2.7 million Canadians live with diabetes – that’s a significant proportion of our population! According to Diabetes Canada, it’s the carbohydrates in sugar that can affect your blood glucose (sugar) levels, weight and blood fats. Here are some common sugars used to sweeten foods and beverages that can increase your blood glucose levels:
Brown rice syrup
Fruit juice concentrates
When you’re struggling with cravings for something sweet, often the struggle comes from trying to avoid foods with these additives. Don’t fret – there are a ton of options out there!
Almost 10 per cent of a person’s daily caloric intake can come from added sugar. If you struggle with your sweet tooth, rest assured you’re not the only one, whether you have diabetes or not. People with diabetes can still enjoy something sweet without the worry – you just have to look at the alternative options out there!
Diabetes Canada recommends using artificial sweeteners to replace sugar. Many food manufacturers have products which contain artificial or modified sweeteners that have a less significant impact on blood sugar. If eaten in moderation, these products can help people with diabetes stay within their daily carbohydrate intake for the day.
Remember, some artificial sweeteners still contribute to your daily carbohydrate intake. With this in mind it is important to always check the label.
Diabetes Canada has an excellent resource on sugars and sweeteners here: https://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/diet-nutrition/sugar-sweeteners.
Looking for a sweet treat? Kerr’s carries a huge selection of No Sugar Added, low calorie candies to cover those cravings. Artificially sweetened with Splenda® Brand Sweetener (sucralose) and uses polydextrose. While polydextrose is a carbohydrate it is an approved source of fibre. These treats are the perfect snack for those who want to indulge their sweet tooth. Find out more by visiting www.kerrs.com/light-no-sugar-added.