A healthy diet can include a little sugar when living with diabetes. Clinical studies have shown that sugar and sugar containing foods do not increase blood glucose levels more than other types of starchy carbohydrates.
In fact most diabetes organisations globally are advising that you do not need to avoid sugar all together – you just need to restrict foods with lots of added sugar and little nutritional value such as confectionery, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks and desserts. These types of foods not only affect blood glucose control, they are also likely to affect your weight and dental health. Of course you can enjoy small portions occasionally – they are just not an ‘everyday’ food.
Other foods such as low GI whole grain breakfast cereals, fruit yoghurts and home-made fruit based desserts (baked with less sugar) are all nutritious and add enjoyment to your diet as part of a healthy eating plan.
In general, look for foods that naturally contain sugar and offer lots of nutrition, particularly fruit and dairy foods. There is no need to avoid fruit as the sugar is bound up within the plant cell walls, so the body has to work hard to get the sugar out and absorbed for the body to use. Fruit also contains other important beneficial nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Aim for 2 serves of fruit a day, enjoy mainly whole seasonal fruit and avoid too much fruit juice.