Can Diabetics Eat Sweets?
Diabetes is a prolonged condition in which glucose levels soar uncontrollably, meaning those with the condition must analyse everything they eat and manage their diet accordingly.
One of the common misconceptions that many people have, is that sweets are the fundamental cause of diabetes and therefore, keep them at arm’s length. We’re pleased to say that’s a huge myth. Traditional sweets are usually made with sugar and eating too many can affect your blood sugar, but luckily, shouldn’t cause you any long-term conditions. However, there are sugar-free alternatives you can purchase…yippee!
So, yes, although you’re a diabetic, you can have a sweet treat every now and again, providing you manage your intake and stick to a rigid healthy meal plan.
To back what we’re saying here, Rainie Carter, RD, CDE, who is in private practice in Birmingham, Alabama from Everyday Health, claimed: “I encourage people with diabetes to remember that a diabetes diet is really just a healthier diet”. Her words of encouragement remind those with diabetes that they should still live their life, but just to be a little more focused on what you’re putting into your body, rather than binge-eating.
Diabetes is about being healthy…with the occasional treat!
For years those with diabetes have been warned to stay away from sweet treats, but research into diabetes has proven that this is no longer the case.
Here’s what you need to know:
Total carbohydrates are what matter
It was once assumed that sweets could raise your blood pressure through the roof, as opposed to eating fruit, veg and starchy foods with all contain their own natural sugars. While sweets do contain a high amount of sugar, you’re fine to eat them in moderation with a balanced diet!
Don’t overdo it
It’s pretty much an obvious statement to make but try not to eat wolf down an entire bag of sweets in one sitting. It’s not going to make you feel good and sweet treats should be a very small part of your diet.
This goes for everyone else too – not just those with diabetes. As you may well know that sweets are filled with sugar which gives them their sweet taste. Don’t be afraid of reaching for the sweet bag, but don’t go overboard.
Learn how candy affects blood sugar
First off, it’s important to get an understanding of how sweets affect your body – in fact, it’s cool quite really. Did you know that sugar is instantly digested as soon once it makes contact with your tongue? That'll explain why even the tiniest amount of sugar can help bring your low blood sugar back to normal if it suddenly drops.
When you have diabetes though, carbohydrates struggle to make their way into the blood cells which are used for energy, as the cells refuse to take insulin. So, if you want to know whether or not it’s a good idea to eat even just one sweet, always pay close attention to your blood sugar levels.
If it’s already higher than average, then it’s best to refrain from eating sweets to another time. However, providing you test your blood sugar on a regular basis to check that it’s at a fairly normal level, reaching for sweets is absolutely fine.
Read nutrition labels
If you’re in any doubt about the ingredients contained within a packet of sweets, always check the nutrition labels first. Learning how to decode these labels could save you a whole load of worry if you’re hesitant whether or not they’re safe to eat as a diabetic.
The three most important numbers to take note of on nutritional labels are serving size, carbohydrates and calories.
The most popular sweets for people with diabetes
As a diabetic, you need to stick to eating sweets which contain around 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates per serving. This is generally the number that keeps your blood sugars steady, without fluctuating too high.
After all, if you don’t eat anything sweet altogether, you’re bound to experience a sugar crash.
Here are a handful of popular candies sold in the UK and US that are suitable for those with diabetes:
- Peanut M&Ms
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
If you’d prefer to stick to a sugar-free diet, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can still eat sweets – just without the sugar and still enjoy the same great taste! Sugar-free sweets aren’t just for those with diabetes, they’re also great for people who are looking to cut out additives, have a medical reason or are looking to stick to a healthier diet, without missing out on the important stuff!
Appleton Sweets sell a variety of sugar-free bags of your favourite sweets, from mints to chews and gummies.
If you’re a wholesaler, investing in bags of sugar-free sweets would be recommended to cater to your own customer base, due to the fact that sugar-free sweets alternatives are becoming more and more sought-after.
If you are diabetic or are looking to cater to your diabetic customers, feel free to get in touch with us today on the sweets we recommend. Call us on 0207 515 7101 or use our contact form.