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The Basics of a Healthy Diabetes Diet

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Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes

You can add artificial sweeteners to your food and to drinks without adding more carbs. Using non-caloric artificial sweeteners instead of sugar also greatly reduces calories in your favorite foods.

Keep in mind that foods with artificial sweeteners are not necessarily zero-carbohydrate foods. Many have carbohydrates, so read the food labels to check on that.

As long as you are aware of the carbohydrates, you can adjust your meal or medication to maintain blood sugar control.

"Sugar free" means no sugar has been added, but you must remember these foods still contain carbohydrates, which do affect your blood sugar.

Some artificial sweeteners -- such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol -- have some calories and do slightly increase blood sugar levels.

The American Diabetes Association cautions that eating too much of any artificial sweetener can cause gas and diarrhea.

Stevia is another option. It's not an artificial sweetener, and it has no calories.

Alcohol and Diabetes

If you drink alcohol, only drink it occasionally and when your blood sugar level is well-controlled. Remember, most wine and mixed drinks contain sugar, and alcohol has almost as many calories as fat. It's a good idea to check with your doctor to ask if drinking alcohol is acceptable.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on August 21, 2014
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Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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