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Sweet desserts for diabetics? It's not joke.
The latest guidelines say that people with diabetes do not have to avoid simple sugars. They can be integrated into individualized meal plans.
However, sucrose and sugary foods need to be exchanged with other foods and simply added to a meal plan, say Ann Gallagher, a registered dietitian and a member of the board of directors of the American Diabetes Association.
In diabetes, a disease that affects 14 million Americans, the body does not produce or properly respond to insulin, a necessary hormone. If not controlled by diet and/or insulin injections, this results in high blood sugar, which can lead to blindness, kidney disease, heart disease and amputations.
Diabetes is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States.
For most of the century, it was widely believed that the dietary treatment of diabetes required a person to replace simple sugars with complex starches such as potatoes or cereals, Gallagher says. Many people still think that eating too much sugar causes diabetes, she says. But the most common form of diabetes call adult-onset -- most ofter results from being overweight.
There is little scientific evidence that sugars - such as sucrose, fructose, corn sweeteners, fruit juices, honey, molasses, destrose and maltose - aggravate high blood sugar any more than starches do. It's the total amount of carbohydrates that affects blood sugar after a meal, Gallagher says.
Individuals with a diabetic condition now can use monitoring and can customize their meal plans, often in consultation with a registered dietian, to include a balance of foods in line with the USDA.
Those who are obese or who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other conditions must take other precautions to control those conditions, Gallagher says.
The new diabetic guidelines replace 1986 recommendations, which advised that 12 percent to 20 percent of calories should come from protein, less that 30 percent from fat and only up to 60 percent from carbohydrates. The new guideline recommend that 10 percent to 20 percent of calories come from protein but establish no fat and carbohydrate percentages.
People with normal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and who maintain normal weight can follow mainstrem guidelines of not more that 30 percent of calories from fat (10 percent or less from saturated fat) Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 23, 1994 By Steven Pratt Brought to you and yours via Nancy O'Brion and Her Meal Master