Get Your Plan in Place: Tip #5

January 23, 2012

Be careful when reading labels–just because a product says it’s sugar-free does not mean it is carbohydrate-free. As I always like to tell my patients, “A cookie is still a cookie.”

Carefully compare nutrients on the “regular” product and the sugar-free version. How much is the total carbohydrate changed? Are there differences in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium content? You might be surprised. Many times the sugar-free version of a product is actually less healthy than the real thing.

So keep an eagle eye out–sometimes if you really want a little treat, it’s better to have a little of the real thing.

Guest contributor: Abby Olson, Saint Louis University Dietetic Intern


Halloween doesn’t have to mean SCARY blood sugars!

October 25, 2011

Here we go again–the beginning of the holiday season. Although Halloween is supposed to be spooky, it doesn’t mean you have to dread its effects on your blood sugars! Let’s face it – resisting Halloween candy is hard to do.  But you can have a guilt-free Halloween while enjoying a few treats as long as you have a few tricks up your sleeve!  After all, most foods are okay in moderation.  In fact, if you allow yourself a treat here and there, you’re more likely to stick to your diet.  With a little knowledge and planning, you can still enjoy the fun (and some candy) while maintaining blood sugar control.

Remember that all desserts and sweets should be eaten in moderation.  Although it is okay to treat yourself sometimes, desserts are a source of empty calories and fat in addition to carbohydrate.  And they don’t provide many healthy nutrients. Limit yourself to one serving of dessert or less per day and make sure to count it in your allotted daily carbohydrates.

Click here for a list of common Halloween candies that might end up in your candy bucket! By referencing the list, you’ll know how many carbohydrates each piece has so you can wisely include it in your meal plan. You get to decide if it will be a trick or a treat!

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