Question: What do you suggest about eating concentrated sweets, such as candy, cake and pie?
Answer: Concentrated sweets, as they are often referred to, or foods that contain sucrose in your diet, are ones that oftentimes people think, 'Oh gosh, people have diabetes, they certainly can't eat those.'
Well, actually, probably not the best foods for anyone to be eating, because they don't have a lot of nutritional value to them. They are oftentimes, though, considered by most people to be foods that are fun and used at celebrations and taste really yummy. So it's important when you have diabetes to take a look at a few things related to these kinds of foods. You certainly can have some of these foods worked into your meal plan. It's a reason why you should have an individualized meal plan, so that you can work out when you might eat these and the amount of them you should eat and the timing. And those are really the things you want to pay attention to.
You first want to be sure that the ones you're eating are really ones that you love. Don't be picking from that group of foods -- it's like, 'Oh well, it's okay, and maybe I'll have a cookie or a piece of cake.' Be a little more discriminating about those that you're going to pick; make sure they're ones you really like. Then you need to think about how much you're going to eat. Probably a good idea to think about maybe a much smaller portion or a smaller piece, not having a big gigantic piece of cake, or eating three or four scoops of ice cream -- maybe one scoop of ice cream, maybe one or two cookies instead of five or six.
Another thing you want to pay attention to is: what other carbohydrates are you eating? You may want to give up another type of carbohydrate in replacement for those. An example might be, if you're having potatoes or pasta at a meal, maybe you'll eat a little less potato, maybe no potato, a little less pasta, and then you'll add those more sweetened foods. But probably not a good idea to do that on a regular basis. Wouldn't want to be, certainly, doing that every day. Even though you'll be replacing the carbohydrate, remember you want to be sure that you're getting those foods that have some good nutritional value to them.
And probably one of the last things to consider is: is this really a good time to be eating those? Is your blood sugar elevated already? Probably not a good time then to be eating one of those more concentrated kinds of sugars or candies or sweets at that point in time. You may want to postpone and have it a little bit later on. But certainly they're not absolutely, uniformly prohibited for people with diabetes. But you do want to pay attention, again, to when you'll eat them, how much you'll eat them, and exactly what you're going to have -- make it count, make it worth it.