December 22, 2003
Meal Planning, Food and Diet
Question from Miami, Florida, USA:
My mother is visiting for Christmas and she has type 2 diabetes. I’ve been looking for diabetic cookie recipes and they all have some sugar or chocolate in them. Can she still eat things with sugar and chocolate in them? She takes oral medications and does a blood glucose reading every day. Her reading is usually between 140-160 (7.8-8.9 mmol/L]. What’s your advice? If she can have these things, how much is allowed per day? I don’t want her to feel left out of the holiday eating and I know if I don’t have something diabetic she won’t hesitate to eat whatever looks good to her. Do you know of any ready made products that I could have for her?
You ask a very good question with all of the holiday celebrations centered around foods and sweets. A new sweetener that can be used by folks with diabetes in cooking and baking is Splenda (sucralose). What is ideal about this sweetener is that it is made from table sugar but does not raise blood sugars and does not have the aftertaste associated with some of the other traditional artificial sweeteners. Splenda can also be used in cooking and baking and will not break down in the cooking or baking process. It can also be substituted in recipes one-for-one instead of sugar.
With regards to amount of sweets allowed, ask your mother if she has been instructed on a diabetes meal plan with a specific carbohydrate allowance. Most folks with diabetes are taught nowadays to count carbohydrates and to work occasional sweets into a meal plan in small portions (as long as something else is taken out to accommodate for the sweet). I would recommend that your mother schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes meal planning if your mother hasn’t followed a meal plan in the past.