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Top 5 Sugar Myths

There are many misunderstandings about diabetes and sugar. Here, we de-mystify five:
  • People with diabetes can’t eat sugar. Many people think that sugar is off-bounds for people with diabetes. Also, eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes. The fact is that people with diabetes can eat anything; however, they should limit the amount of sugars and sweets.
  • All sugar is bad. Sugar is needed by our bodies. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, the scientific name for sugar, to provide the body’s cells with energy.  Carbohydrates are found in fruit, milk, and grain products. Starchy vegetables and beans also contain carbohydrates, but they also contain loads of fibre which minimizes their impact on blood glucose levels.
  • Fruit is loaded with sugar and should be avoided. Fruit contains natural sugar as well as fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They make a healthy snack choice and can be a great substitution for the table sugar, jam, or syrup that we normally use to sweeten our foods. Aim to have 2 – 3 servings of fruit, spread throughout the day. Remember to try to eat your fruit and not drink it! A cup of orange juice has 60 percent more sugar and about 4 times less fibre than an orange.
  • Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar. Most brown sugar sold in grocery stores is simply white sugar with added molasses. Despite containing trace amounts of minerals, brown sugar is no different than white sugar.
  • Artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Need a touch of sweetness in your coffee or tea? Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame or sucralose, can satisfy your sweet tooth whether or not you have diabetes. They don’t raise blood glucose levels and are safe when consumed in moderation.

Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to avoid sugar. To successfully manage your diabetes, be consistent with the amount of sugar and carbohydrate you consume day-to-day and try to space out your intake throughout the day.