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Diabetes and Sweets

Answered by Tamara Kurtis Randall, MS, RD, LD

Q. I was diagnosed about 9 months ago with diabetes. At first, I stayed away from sweets altogether, including sugarfree products. At first I noticed mild nausea.

Now, if I eat ANYTHING with sorbitol in it, I have sever stomach cramps and diahrea. I am eating below the recommended serving size.

I've always had a sweet tooth, so what other choices do I have?

A. Many commercial products claiming to be "sugar free" contain ingredients called sugar alcohols (mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, maltitol) that cause a great deal of GI distress.

I usually recommend avoiding products that contain sugar alcohols for that reason and because they do have a slight effect on blood sugar.

Products labeled sugar free that won't produce the unpleasant GI effects are sweetened with SplendaR, NutraSweetR, and EqualR.

In reality, however, people with diabetes can have a small amount of a regular, sugar-sweetened candy or baked product. It will taste better, cost less and not cause any unpleasant side effects!

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