Q:Are there any forbidden foods for people with diabetes?

A: For many years people with diabetes were told to stay away from sugar, sweets and starches because they would raise blood glucose too quickly and too high. Research on this topic has accumulated over the years to prove this advice wrong. In 1994 the nutrition recommendations changed dramatically. Today sugary foods, sweets and starches are no longer verbotin for people with any type of diabetes.

What is true is that people with diabetes need to learn, like all people who try to eat healthy, to enjoy moderate amounts of sweets and sugary foods in moderation and on occasion. All sources of carbohydrate - sugary foods, sweets and starches and even fruits and vegetables - will raise blood glucose. Concentrated sources of carbohydrate, such as sugary foods and sweets can make blood glucose rise more.

The amount of sweets you can eat has everything to do with your current health and diabetes status and goals. For example a person with type 2 diabetes who is trying to lose weight and control their high triglycerides needs to keep sugary foods and sweets to a minimum due to their calorie content and impact on triglycerides. Whereas the teenager with type 1 diabetes can likely enjoy more sweets if they know how to adjust their rapid acting insulin. Learn more about how to fit sweets and sugary foods into your diabetes eating plan in my book Complete Guide to Carb Counting.

And when it comes to starches. The message today is not about avoidance. It is all about making healthy choices, such as choosing whole grain breads, cereals and starches. Learn more about the food and nutrition recommendations for diabetes.

Learn to fit sweets and other food you enjoy into your healthy eating plan by joining forces with a diabetes educator or diabetes education program to work with to learn how much you should eat, when you should eat and how to fit the foods you enjoy eating into your diabetes eating plan.

Hope Warshaw