Sugar free, no added sugar and diabetic specialist foods
Sugar free sweets, no added sugar biscuits and chocolate Wooohoooo! When looking in the shops you may see items which are labelled as no added sugar or things like sugar free sweets which are marketed as suitable for diabetics.... Horrah! All the naughty things you may be craving and yet no sugar to cause high blood sugar levels which is detrimental to your baby.
So can you have your 'cake' and eat it too, or is there more to it than meets the eye???
Sugar Free Sweets, Chocolate and biscuits I can freely eat!!
Every week or so we get posts about these products in our Facebook support group. Ladies are overjoyed to find some sugar free sweets and treats which they can indulge in without the guilt. However, whilst these may seem like good choices for a GD diet and a dream to your cravings, please beware and be fully informed before you or your loved ones spend your hard earned money! Plus make sure you don't overindulge or you may regret those few sweet yummy tastes!!
The cost versus what you get
Firstly these products are generally more expensive than everyday products and so the first thing to bear in mind is that you generally need to spend more and get much less for your money than regular products. This seems especially true for sugar free sweets and biscuits.
But if you can afford a treat and you're not wasting money on other treats, then why not indulge, especially if it's better for baby and you. BUT are they any better?...
Sugar Free or no added sugar does not mean free from carbs
These items may have 'no added sugars' or may be 'sugar free', but that does not mean they are free from carbohydrates, which still turn into glucose in the bloodstream and therefore these products may still raise your blood sugar levels as much as any other food, or you may in fact find the normal everyday product actually contains less carbs than a sugar free variety!
The sugar free sweets effect! #readthegummybearsreviews
The majority of these products contain high amounts of sweeteners, some contain polyols or sugar alcohols (a type of sweetener). These sugar alcohols have around half the amount of carbohydrates compared to glucose and they are digested more slowly BUT and this is the biggest issue we see:
These sugar free sweets can have a laxative effect, causing bloating, cramping, flatulence and diarrhoea. In fact we've had a few ladies in our support group think they are going into labour after eating these!?
So please be warned, we advise having two or three sweets at a time, or you could end up regretting the decision to have a treat! You may want to reconsider giving these sugar free sweets and treats to children as a supposedly healthier alternative too.
If you don't believe me and fancy a bit of a giggle #readthegummybearsreviews *Please note, I am not advertising these sugar free sweets to try, this is a link to forewarn you of the impact of eating too many sugar free sweets!
Explain to loved ones about these products
There is an increasing demand for these products due to people being made more aware of consuming higher amounts of sugar in their diets, the sugar tax raising awareness and many people following sugar free diets now. Therefore you will find sugar free sweets, biscuits and chocolates in many shops, from local newsagents and corner shops, through to larger supermarkets and health food stores as it is a huge growing market.
Through lack of awareness and understanding, many partners, friends, family and relatives who are looking to buy treats for loved ones who are diabetics and do not understand that normal, everyday products are safe to be consumed in people with diabetes, will purchase these items as gifts and treats.
Whilst it's lovely that loved ones are trying to support us at a difficult time, use the opportunity to educate them on diabetes and nutrition
Everyday normal foods...
Our advice is "save your money, save your tummy!..."
You can still enjoy small treats when following a good GD diet. Use food pairing to help you tolerate a small sweet treat, such as a small amount of dark chocolate paired with a handful of nuts. We even have a post dedicated to chocolate! Which will help you make better choices and take less risk.
Read labels on products carefully and compare the TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE amounts (not just of which are sugar).
You may often find that a normal biscuit has the same amount of carbohydrates as a sugar free shortbread biscuit, is much nicer and costs less! So don't be fooled into Sugar Free marketing.