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Stock Your Kitchen for Diabetes Health

Have diabetes? Here are key foods to stock for healthy cooking and snacks.
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The Truth About Sugar-Free

If you're buying 'sugar-free' products, be careful, Davis tells WebMD. "Label-reading is very important. Compared to the regular version, a sugar-free product might have similar calories -- or it may have even more calories." And foods with labels like sugar-free, no sugar added, reduced sugar, still may contain carbohydrates. Read the nutritional fact label and look for total carbohydrates.

Products with low-calorie sweeteners like Splenda, Nutrasweet, and Sweet'N Low are generally good choices -- but still require label-reading, Davis tells WebMD. "Those sweeteners don't contain carbs, but the product itself may contain carbs. For example, ice cream sweetened with Splenda still has carbs from the milk." So again, the bottom line: how many carb grams does the food have?

Davis says to be wary of sorbitol (and other sugar alcohols), an artificial sweetener often used in sugar-free products and one which can cause diarrhea in some people. "It can be awful," says Davis.

Magee isn't a fan of sugar-free products either. She prefers reduced-sugar products, like jams or pancake syrups. "They contain less sugar or diluted sugar, so there are about 50% fewer calories. And they taste pretty good, so you don't feel like you're compromising."

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Reviewed on January 15, 2010
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