Can you still have sweets if you have diabetes?

You can have your cake and eat it too!

We often think that people with diabetes are forbidden from eating sweets, but that is a myth. If you have diabetes, you can still eat sweets once in a while without feeling guilty. The key is moderation.

Sweets count as carbohydrates. So, when you choose to eat a sweet, substitute small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates. For example, if you choose to have a cookie at dinner, eat less bread, pasta, potatoes, juice, milk or yogurt at that meal.

It is important to be aware of the total carbohydrates you consume at each meal and per day. Science tells us all sweets and starchy foods raise our blood sugar at the same level. So, if you ate honey or candy, that will raise your blood sugar level just like a starchy food would, such as potatoes or pasta. What’s important is the total amount of carbohydrates you consume at each meal and per day. To keep the total carbohydrate count the same when making substitutions, read the food labels and know how many carbohydrates your meal will include.

Don’t overdo it, though. Sweets in general, like candy, cakes, and cookies, are not good sources of vitamins and minerals. In fact, they are high in fat and sugar content. That’s why we recommend consuming them in moderation and should be considered as a small part of your diet.

To find out more about health and nutrition programs visit Michigan State University Extension.

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