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From St. Louis, Missouri, USA:

My son is 6 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes last year. We are on an exchange meal plan. He is to have so many breads, fruits, milks and meats with each meal. If I am giving him a "bread" that has 15 grams of carbohydrate, how much of that carbohydrate can be sugar? For instance, a chocolate chip cookie has 10 grams carbohydrate, but 6 of those grams are from sugar. Is this acceptable or not?


With the advent of carbohydrate counting the guidelines for how much sugar is permissible are guided only by the Food Guide Pyramid. Since carbohydrate (whether from fruit, bread, milk or table and other sugars) is all converted to glucose in the body the total amount of carbohydrate is more important than the source of carbohydrate. In the simplest form, carbohydrate counting consists of a plan which assumes 15 grams of carbohydrate is one serving. Therefore if the total carbohydrate in the cookie serving you are considering is 15, it would simply count as a carbohydrate serving. In the exchange system, a bread, fruit and milk exchange is equal to one carbohydrate exchange.

I think it is wise to decide for yourself, based on your family and your child's control, how many things with a fair amount of sugar in them you will give. It is my personal opinion that a food (other than a fruit which is 100% "sugar") that has more than 50% of its calories as "sugar" is probably not as nutritionally valuable; however, there is a time and place for everything.


Original posting 20 Dec 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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