The sweet life of Judy and Diabetes


Can diabetics eat sweets?

You probably had someone telling you:"oh you can eat that?'', or: ''Are you sure this is okay for your diabetes ?'' The stereotype around sugar and diabetes is so strong that people don’t understand that it is okay for people with type one to eat sugar, in fact, sugar can literally save our lives when we are low. Between all my friends, I am the person who has the most candies at home and even in my purse. So yes, we diabetics can eat sugar like any other normal person. We can eat brownies, a large bowl of ice cream, cotton candy, chocolate bars, cupcakes, basically anything that ignorant people eat and hashtag diabetes for.

The important thing to remember, however, is that you will need a little more insulin to cover all that sugary sugar. Some people will need it more than others, so I am not here to tell you what dose to take because everyone knows how their own body works, but in my opinion we learn by trial/error, a little bit like when exercising with diabetes. The thing with eating sweets and desserts is that, well in my case, I never know how my body is going to react. Sometimes I can be low, then eat a certain brand of chocolate, and my BG levels will be perfect afterwards, but sometimes, I can eat chocolate from another brand for the same number of carbs and my BG levels will go high , but that’s okay, all I need is my insulin. This ''not knowing'' situation can be a little bit tricky when you are getting dessert at a restaurant or at a dessert/ ice cream place. The hardest situation is when you get those bowls of frozen yogurt and you add every little sweet thing that you have in sight. With my many years of experience with diabetes, I learned how to deal with that and I want to share some tips with you.

Here is what I do when I want to calculate the carbs while being out and I don’t have any nutritional values : 

  •  Ask the employees if they know what the dessert is made off.
  •  Separate the bowl, plate, etc., into sections in my head, so I’ll say for example: okay I have around 2 scoops of ice cream, 1 spoon of chocolate chips, and chocolate syrup.
  •  Check the nutritional facts of chocolate bars, ice cream boxes, candy bags, etc. at home so I can have an idea, and that’s only an idea, of the carbs in other food that looks the same.
  • Look into the Figwee app. Since I found this app, my carb counting is so much easier. Figwee has a food bank of almost anything that you can eat. It’s also useful because it has a convenient function that makes you change and visualize the portion that you wish to have, and the nutritional values change simultaneously. I typed ''Candy'' in the search bar, and I got all types and brands of candies , going from Starburst, to Mike & Ike, Rolo, KitKat and gummy bears.
  • Visit official websites. Some places have their own nutritional values on their website. If you are a real Canadian like I am, you would always be at Tim Hortons and wait impatiently for summer to get that Iced Cappuccino. Since it is full of sugar and milk, it would be hard to guess the carbs in this drink. The same goes to the drinks at Starbucks, like the Frappuccino, or the doughnuts at Dunkin’ Donuts, or even the Blizzards at Dairy Queen. If you go on their official website and look for the nutritional values, you will have the information that you want.

I hope that this will help you enjoy eating sweet food while worrying less. Just remember, once again, that the key is moderation, and the best way to keep your blood sugar steady is to monitor it after eating sugary food so it won’t go high, or even low because of too much insulin.

Go out this summer and enjoy the sweet moments!

- Judy


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