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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
One common misconception about people with diabetes (die-uh-BEE-tees) is that they can't eat sugar, because it increases the level of sugar in their blood. Today, doctors know that any starchy food will raise the blood sugar level, including lima beans, corn, and potatoes. Once in the body, all carbohydrates are eventually converted to glucose (GLUE-coas). Therefore, what's most important is limiting the total amount of carbohydrates diabetics eat per day. As with many things, moderation is the key. If you do splurge now and then on a sweet, be sure to cut back elsewhere on starch. For instance, eat less bread or pasta at the next meal. When reading ingredients, you should be aware that sugar can take many different forms, including brown sugar; powdered sugar; corn syrup; honey; fructose (FROOK-toas); lactose (LACK-toas); maltose; and sucrose (SUE-croas). However, no one form offers a great advantage over another, and all must be counted as part of your daily carbohydrate allowance. Unless you have high triglycerides (try-GLISS-er-ides), a type of fat in the blood, you can usually eat sugar in small quantities. Probably the greatest pitfall of sugar is that it typically appears in foods that are also high in fat, and/or low in fiber and nutrients. These empty calories are best limited in any diet, and especially for diabetics, who may need to watch their weight. For more information on sugars, consult a doctor.

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