It’s Sugar Free!

“You can have this. It’s sugar-free!”


Over the holidays I heard this a lot.

With a few type 2 diabetics in our family, sugar-free treats at family gatherings aren’t uncommon. But since I’m the first and only type 1 in our family, they don’t know carb-counting very well.

Although I really appreciate the sugar-free cupcake, cookies, pie, etc… I need to either hear, read or guess how many carbohydrates they have so I take the right amount of insulin. Sugar-free treats aren’t exactly “free” for me. They still have carbohydrates. Believe it or not, some sugar-free things have more carbohydrates than regular versions (we discovered this at Thanksgiving with Cool Whip).

Sometimes, the sugar-free desserts aren’t worth it (sometimes they totally are). I enjoyed the occasional cookie or cupcake treat every now and then before my pancreas up and quit, but desserts were the easiest thing for me to skip in my life before diabetes.

Someone on Twitter (not a diabetic) shared an article about a potential sugar-tax. I’m pretty confident that an extra tax on sugary items wouldn’t bug me in the least (just don’t extra-tax my glucose tablets or juice boxes and I’m good). The thing about type 1 diabetics and sugar isn’t that we can’t or shouldn’t have it, we need to be aware of how much we’re consuming and cover it appropriately with insulin. We need to be intelligent about our carbohydrate consumption. Cupcakes and cookies are now an occasional treat. Which shouldn’t that be how they are for everyone?

Reducing the carb content of a cupcake with sugar-free ingredients is welcome when the flavor is there.

Warning labels

I received a message from my friend who runs a home bakery asking me about a warning label on some sugar free chocolate that she was going to use in baking. The warning basically said, “Diabetics be ware! This doesn’t have sugar in it, but it does have carbs!” (seriously the warning label actually said that diabetics should consult their doctors before eating). She puts nutrition information on her food and asked me what this warning might mean for her nutrition information. I told her that I don’t believe it should affect her nutrition labels but to make sure the carbohydrates are listed on there. She’s already a step ahead of some bakers, they advertise that a goody is sugar-free but neglect to share carbohydrates.

Nutrition labels and I are very good friends.

On a somewhat-related note, if you remember reading about the push for a bald Barbie, today I read about a woman who created a prototype of a diabetes Barbie for her type 1 daughter. It’s kind of interesting, you can check out her Facebook Page here.




4 thoughts on “It’s Sugar Free!

  1. Yes! Great post 🙂 Excellent point 100%!
    Today I went to buy a sweet tea which was advertised ‘suitable for diabetics’ and sweetened with splenda…. it still has carbs. Not too many, so I went ahead and bought it but I was a little dissapointed 🙁

  2. Ive found myself checking carbs for my nieces and they’re not even diabetic. Reading labels becomes a subconscious routine like tying your shoelaces. Most of the food in our home I can remember the carb count without even looking at the packaging anymore. Which saves a lot of time throughout the day, especially when I have two divas screaming in my ear for their breakfast at 7 o’clock in the morning.

  3. great post – i have also found that a lot of the “sugar free” stuff out there actually has more carbs than the original version too. Also “sugar free” usually equals “more chemicals and additives” – so I’m all about eating the real deal in moderation and avoiding the “sugar free” stuff completely.

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