How can I eat sweets and still keep my blood glucose on target?

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Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

The key to keeping your blood glucose on target is to consume a balanced diet, be physically active and take your medications as prescribed. An important tool to use to make sure you are keeping your blood sugar in normal range is a glucometer. To know how a “sweet” affects your blood sugar, test before eating the sweet and then two hours after. The goal is to keep your blood sugar in normal range two hours after consuming. When eating a sweet it is important to find out how many carbohydrates it contains and fit it into your carb counting meal plan.

The key to keeping your blood glucose on target is to substitute small portions of sweets for other carb-containing foods in your meals and snacks. Carb-containing foods include bread, tortillas, rice, crackers, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, yogurt, potatoes, corn, and peas. For many people, having about 45 to 60 grams of carb at each meal and 15 to 30 grams at snack times is about right.

To include a sweet with your meal, you can cut back on the other carb foods at that same meal. Example: You'd like to have cookies with your lunch. Your lunch is a turkey sandwich with 2 slices of bread. Your first step is to identify the carb foods in your meal. Bread is a carb. You decide to swap 2 slices of bread for 2 slices of low-calorie bread and have the cookies -- it's an even trade. Your total amount of carbohydrate remains the same for the meal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.