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A 'Spoonful of Sugar' May Be Acceptable for Some Diabetics

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Experts have differing perspectives on the study's value and whether patients should adopt the Canadian so-called "sugar guidelines." "Sugar by itself is not bad. Incorporating glucose or sugar products into a healthy meal plan does not raise [average blood sugar]," A. Jay Cohen, MD, FACE, tells WebMD, noting the emphasis on healthy eating. "Spending the time learning how to eat properly can lead to significant positive consequences." Cohen, who is on the board of directors of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, is an endocrinologist in Memphis, Tenn., where he is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee.

Even so, the sugar guidelines should be viewed with caution, says Lawrence Phillips, MD, who also provided WebMD with an objective assessment of the study. "Most dietary plans today allow for some incorporation of simple sugars," says Phillips, a professor of medicine in endocrinology and metabolism at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "Should it be 10% of total calories? I'm not convinced yet. ... I would advise caution. I would not recommend [such a diet] for patients with type 2 diabetes."

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