While we all should keep a close eye on the foods we consume, people living with diabetes must carefully balance the carbohydrates they take in with their level of activity, medications and more at the risk of dangerously low blood sugar. It can be tough, but we’re here to help you with few simple tips and some delicious recipes.
Diabetes-appropriate recipes must meet the thresholds for Dietitian Pick recipes, which are analyzed and selected based on the calorie, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar content per serving. In addition, these recipes are limited to no more than 60g of total carbohydrates per serving for a meal, or less for a side dish or appetizer. The ratio of fiber to total carbohydrates is also taken into consideration. When used in conjunction with the advice of your healthcare professional, our recipes can be a helpful tool to accommodate your lifestyle!
How to Choose the Right Foods
Excessive intake of added sugars is associated with poor diet quality, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease1. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that no more than 10 percent of daily calories should come from added sugar2. For the average person, that translates to less than 12 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Considering these alternatives to sugar can help you consume less sugar while still enjoying the foods and beverages you love.
Artificial sweeteners are synthetically produced sugar substitutes. They’re sweeter than sugar itself and contain few or no calories. Examples include Saccharin (Sweet’N Low®), Aspartame (Equal®), and Sucralose (Splenda®). You’ll find them in soft drinks, candy, baked goods, powdered drink mixes, jams and jellies, to name a few. Because they contribute no sugar and are generally calorie free, they can be useful for weight control and individuals with diabetes3.
Sugar alcohols (also called polyols) are carbohydrates derived from fruit and vegetable sources that have been chemically altered. They’re not calorie-free, but they contain fewer calories than sugar, and therefore may aid in weight control3. Sorbitol, Maltitol, Xylitol, and Erythritol are all types of sugar alcohols often used in candy, frozen desserts, baked goods, and fruit spreads. Sugar alcohols utilized in chewing gum and toothpaste may reduce the risk of dental caries1.
Plant-Derived Sugar Substitutes
In recent years, plant-derived sugar substitutes such as stevia, monk fruit, and luo han guo have grown in popularity. These sweeteners are extracted from plants and contain few or no calories. They are commonly used in beverages, baked goods, cereals, granola bars, and as table top sweeteners2.
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