Carbs and sugar free

By DonnaAnn Latest Reply 2008-10-19 02:50:23 -0500
Started 2008-07-20 02:30:06 -0500

this is a very interesting subject, well, I think so anyway!
When we see the lable SUGAR FREE, we think, hey we can eat it. But do we stop and ask, CARB FREE?
the two are very different. Just because something is sugar free, it is not carb labels and know what ingredients are good and bad. If the product you wish to eat has bad ingredients in it, then it is bad to eat. Right? I would love to hear opinions on what others think of Sugar free vs carb free.

37 replies

Ani 2008-08-19 05:35:49 -0500 Report

I agree its hard to tell weather something is good for you or not if it says sugar free or low carbs. So what I do is buy it and just to make sure I dont eat it all at once is give it to my sister and tell her to hold it for me and tell her not to let me have more than Im soposed to.

DonnaAnn 2008-07-31 22:30:30 -0500 Report

I, myslef, have found that a good place to find good reipes is either on line or in diabetic magazines. On line, jsut search diabetic recipes or diabetic foods or diets. there are literally thousands of them. Many magazines also have web sites you can visit.

LeighG 2008-07-31 16:07:27 -0500 Report

when i found out i had it my doc sent to me a class the very next day.they helped me with witch carbs how maney and so on.i eat only 100% whole wheat bread whole grain rice,wheat pastas i really watch all the carbs i put into my body and my a1c is now 5.9 i only eat 40 to 50 g carbs per meal sometimes even less.i even weighed eveything out in the begining until i could do it by eyeing it.1 cup whole wheat pasta or rice or a small potato so on.i thought at first it would be hard to get the carb thing down but it really was not to bad.and yes i do have a white roll with a cheese steak or hoagie once in a blue moon or white pasta if i am out at dinner.but not often at all.i have fiound my carb counting to really help me alot.and i dont eat sugar free products but gum .

preacherman1611 2008-07-29 14:10:11 -0500 Report

Yes, I am finding out more and more that watching carbs is the biggest challenge that I have. It seems like everything I eat raises my BG level. I am really trying to change alot of my habits and as you have said sugar free doesn't always mean bad carbs free.

MeganPenguin 2008-07-25 05:10:28 -0500 Report

Where is a good place to find a diet to follow, I am not sure as I am newly diagnosed and would love to lose the extra wait and bring down my Bg's

DiabetesDiva 2008-07-25 06:14:18 -0500 Report

If you look at the photos on my profile, I scanned a meal plan that use. I found it easier just to count my starch carbs without having to worry about my milk, fruit, meat and veggie carbs. Working with a nutritionist I used the 1800-2000 calorie plan. I lost 30 pounds in about 6 months. I was not hungry and ate small meals throughout the day.

Good luck!


GabbyPA 2008-07-25 14:48:37 -0500 Report

The best thing is to meet up with a nutrionist, but if you cannot do that make an effort eat healthy. ADA has a guide for what you should eat and how to track it. The best place to start is to get rid of processed foods (they are loaded with all kinds of hidden yucky stuff) Another thing to pull out of your diet is artificial sweeteners, as they trick your brain into craving more carbs. Not to mention that they are very bad for your health in many ways.
Eating more raw veggies and fresh items are best. A Saturday routine trip to the farmer's market has made my diet much more nutrient rich, which makes me feel full easier. I also buy as many of my meat products as I can from a local butcher, where I have more control of what is put into my meats.
It is a lot of experimenting along the way, and a food log really helps to see what is safe and what to avoid.

Elfin 2008-07-26 05:45:25 -0500 Report

When my husband was first diagnosed type 2, we went to a nutritionist who reviewed our food journals and set up diets for both of us. I was actually eating 65 to 75 carbs per day She said that even if I were trying to lose weight that I still needed about 125 carbs a day. Anyway, I would check with my doc or nutritionist before trying to eliminate more carbs. Hope this helps. Good luck!

2rs 2008-07-29 12:35:51 -0500 Report

Gabby - you post REALLY GOOD advice - I was very surprised when you said you are not using any medication since it sounds like you have got a handle on it! I agree that stress is probably a bigger enemy than diabetes. Keep it up - kudos!

preacherman1611 2008-07-21 11:48:50 -0500 Report

I am also finding out that the types of carbs are also important. It is nearly impossible to eat every day carb free. But I try to keep it around 100/day. I love meat so sometimes it is easy to eat.
What are some suggestions on eating less carbs??

DonnaAnn 2008-07-21 22:20:16 -0500 Report

I have found that the best way to avoid carbs in my diet, the bad ones, is to simply not buy them. Bread, cereals, etc. If you have to have cereal, like me, buy cereals that have nothing in them. There is a cereal, its a square with just wheat, nothing else. Oatmeal is another good choice. Taste like cardboard? Yuppers! But you can fix that buy adding stuff like cinnamon or flax to it. since veggies only have 5 grams of carbs in them and you if you like meat, learn to make salads. Experiment with different types of veggies. Put peas in your salad or corn, chicken or pork, nuts, apples, etc. it takes two weeks for a habit to form. You will find that your tastes will become good after about a month, and if you try to go back to old habits, the food will taste bad. You will taste the salt and sugar and probably wont like it. Eggs can also be a good salad maker. I read labels very well. If I have to have bread, i pick the one that is the lowest in carbs and have one slice. You can even toast your one slice and break it up over your salad. it may take you a little longer to shop when you start, but after a while, it becomes old hat. If you buy foods like olives and they are in salt, rinse them first. Oops! boy, i really went off on this one! sorry!

kdroberts 2008-07-22 01:45:11 -0500 Report

"since veggies only have 5 grams of carbs in them"

Be careful about living by that rule because it's not really true, unless you are measuring out 5g carb portions. Peas, corn and a number of other veggies should be counted as carbohydrates rather than veggies because they are pretty high carb.

GabbyPA 2008-07-22 11:32:30 -0500 Report

I keep zucchini, yellow squash, celery, mushrooms and eggplant on hand for my veggie carb countdowns. I throw in a little carrot, onion and Montreal Steak seasoning as I saute them up for breakfast. I usually add an egg or two and fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. This keeps my day on track because it is not loaded with early AM carbs that make me crave them the rest of the day. I don't use too many things like peas or corn, those go in the catagory of high carb items, and I treat them as a starch at the meal, not a veggie.
I find if I try to have a traditional breakfast of cereal or eggs and toast, it messes me up all day. There is a lot of fiber in the zucchini and that fills me up an makes me full until luch easily.
My Salads are similar. LOTS of dark green leafy veggies like spinich, romaine, fresh parsley. Then I add other veggies and some protein like tuna or chicken. I use dressing. I hate a dry salad, but we are making a lot of our own dressings now, and that helps keep control of the carbs too. Plus there is nothing like fresh dressing, yum!

DonnaAnn 2008-07-21 08:06:38 -0500 Report

In Dr. Berstiens Book called Diabetes Solution, on page 139, he gives a list of things to look out for.
And I quote:" Here is a partial list of some of the many sugars you can find in sugar free foods. All of these will raise your blood sugar:
carob corn syrup
dextrin dextrose
dulcitrol fructose
glucose honey
lactose levulose
maltodextrin maltose
mannitol mannose
molasses sacchrose
sorbitol sorghum
treacle turbinado
xylitol xyclose

He then goes on to tell how certain types of these sugars affect you sugar and how it affects the level of raising.
I have a copy of this list with me in my poclet book and take it with me when I go food shopping.
Hope this list helps someone!

blueyes - 19545
blueyes - 19545 2008-07-21 08:47:19 -0500 Report

I am trying to control my diabetes and its driving me crazy, I feel like no matter what I do nothing works. My bloodsugar raises in a matter of minutes, it can be perfectly normal and spike even if I haven't had anything. I feel like my efforts are killing me. I am going to read the book by Dr. Berstien. Thanks for mentioning it.

preacherman1611 2008-07-21 11:51:04 -0500 Report

Watching carbs has helped me drop 200 points in my sugar readings in two months. Also I take a lot of vitamins. I like the idea of having my body equipt to handle sugar.

GabbyPA 2008-07-21 14:44:42 -0500 Report

How did you do that? I have dropped seriously in the carbs I consume. I have dropped artifical sweeteners and processed foods for the most part. My points have dropped about 75, but my readings are still over 200 most days. I am exercising now too...I can't seem to get over the 200 hump. I have lots of days when I get in the mid to upper 100's, but that is still too high. I just keep working at it, but it sometimes depresses me to see others who drop so many points. I need to drop 100 points more average. Do meds make that big a difference? I am only using diet and exercise at this time. Maybe it just takes longer to do it this way??

blueyes - 19545
blueyes - 19545 2008-07-22 06:33:55 -0500 Report

I am having the same troubles you are, I try to watch everything sugars, carbs,ect. but my bloodsugars are still usually over 200, occassionally in the 100's. It's very frustrating.

2008-07-26 04:06:52 -0500 Report

Please remember that diabetes is a disease. It can not always be controled by diet and exercise alone. If you need medication, take it. Also, find a doctor who is very familiar with your type of disease. I have found many GP's who have not kept up with modern treatments of type 2. I have had Type 2 for 25 years and am in good health with A1c at 5.8. I take my meds on time every day as well as diet and exercise. Good luck.

GabbyPA 2008-07-26 05:10:16 -0500 Report

My problem is getting in to the Endo to get the diagnosis and the scripts. I never have enough to do that. We are hoping that after our bankruptsy is filed and our worries are lessened, I can get in to start. I am doing everything I can until then to control it the best I am able. I know once I am working with a doctor I will have better reslults. I am just happy that I range in high 100's-low 200's over where I started in the low - mid 300's. When I see you guys with low 100's being High...I cringe, but I will not dispare.

morris.js 2008-07-26 05:15:03 -0500 Report

You know your stress also is a factor in those higher readings…LOL
You are doing GREAT, so don't get too discouraged. Like you said, your stress level should lower a bit in the near future, so take a deep breath and quit that worrying…LOL

GabbyPA 2008-07-21 10:15:42 -0500 Report

Is there a difference between xylitol and xylitol xyclose? I have xylitol and use it as a sugar substitute. It is the same thing in toothpaste that is not supposed to cause tooth decay. Is this another substitute I have to get rid of?? sigh

kdroberts 2008-07-22 01:41:15 -0500 Report

I would like to see what he bases that list off. A lot of those things (as far as I know) are classed as sugars and have to be counted as sugar in nutrition labels. The ones that aren't sugar are mostly sugar alcohols which are a whole different kettle of fish which I try and steer well clear of whenever I can.

On a side note about those, they are designed not to impact blood sugar levels much and for most people they don't, but they have to be classed as carbohydrate and they can cause some pretty bad stomach cramps.

DonnaAnn 2008-07-22 23:01:25 -0500 Report

I merely quoted from his book, I listed the book in the BOOK section. with the isbn #. Might I suggest you get a copy and read it from the library or a friend or buy one, and then your questions may/might be answered. But if I rremember right, he states that all these ingredients affects how your sugar gets raised, slowly, fast,etc. He does get into it alittle, but, I do not have time to quote a half a chapter. sorry!

DonnaAnn 2008-07-20 13:22:34 -0500 Report

I absolutely agree, just because its suppose to be a health food, means not much! I have been to the health food section of a lot of stores, and am very glad I read the carb. listing! some of those carbs were in the 30s and 40s!
I also find that reading the ingredients is very important, some like molasses can spike a meter reading way up in the 200s. YIKES!

butterfly_8 2008-07-20 15:24:21 -0500 Report

I was told by a dietician, when it says sugar free be sure to see what they are using as a substitute sweetener. There are other things that are as bad as sugar being used.

GabbyPA 2008-07-20 04:15:58 -0500 Report

Yep, the BIG letters on the front I have been finding out are VERY misleading. I just had a run in with the ZERO TRANS FATS issues. I was reading the nutrient part of the lable, but not the ingredients...that is when I found out there is a lot of false advertising or what I call "band wagon advertising".
Oh and just because it comes from a Health Food Store does not mean it is good for people with diabetes. That is also a false sense of security if you are not armed with knowledge.
What you have to do is become familiar with the ingredients, and learn how the nutrient section really works. Then when you read any fine print you know what to expect.
Just like when it says "Lite" or "Fat Free" is usually means it has more sugar in it.
The best resolution I have found is to make it yourself. Make your own dressings, make your own drinks, make your own sauces, baked goods, and so on. Then you know what is in it, because you put it there.

DiabeticizMe 2008-07-20 03:02:31 -0500 Report

If it says sugar free for certain things I stay away. I don't eat the sugar free candy. Just because it's sugar free doesn't mean it's good for you. Carb intake is the most important thing to me…

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-07-20 02:59:36 -0500 Report

I find the biggest issue when it comes to sugar free or no-sugar-added products is in extended family or group gatherings. We don't get confused very often by labels, but well meaning friends and family will still sometimes bring things to dinners or parties and be like "Hey, this is sugar free so your son can have all he wants."

It's a good clarification though that labels can be misleading.

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