Need Help

Submit your question to our team of health care professionals.

Current Question

See what's on the mind of the community right now.

Meet the Team

Learn more about our world-renowned team.

CWD Answers Archives

Review the entire archive according to the date it was posted.

July 8, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from America On-Line:

My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last summer. Her doctors recommend that we avoid “sugar” products, even though new research has shown that total carbohydrates are more important than the type of carbohydrate. Do simple sugars spike the blood sugar levels faster and drop down more sharply and quicker? Would that be the doctors’ reasoning? Why does this happen and what would be the harmful effects?

I have been trying to find research on this but am having difficulty. Obviously my daughter would enjoy normal snacks from time to time but we have avoided them and it is very difficult for her.


From: DTeam Staff

You are correct in the fact that we do include sugars and fast-acting carbohydrates in the diets of those with diabetes. Usually we try to include the concentrated sweets with meals, as a cooky or small candy bar, etc. If they are eaten between meals, they do usually result in higher blood glucoses than if a starch was eaten.

Grams of carbohydrate are what is most important and then figuring out the correct amount of insulin to take to cover the grams of carbohydrate. This is individualized, so you should check with your diabetes team.

The old message of avoiding sugars is just that — old.


[Editor’s comment: For some additional information, see Carbohydrate Counting and Carbohydrate Counting Works Regardless of Amount of Carbohyrdate Eaten.