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The truth about Sugar Free products

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 4:33 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 12:10 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Dietitian Katie Schaeffer, RD, LD shares what ‘sugar free’ really means!

You asked - Katie answers!!

Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes?

No. While every person and diabetes diagnosis is different, higher blood sugars tend to occur when there is a higher intake of carbohydrates in general. Sugar is only one type of carbohydrate, which can be found in foods naturally like fruits, starchy vegetables and dairy products as well as in processed foods with added sugar. We can also get carbohydrates through starchy foods (think grains, beans and legumes) as well as foods high in fiber. So while watching sugar intake is important for managing blood sugar control in diabetes, it is not the sole cause of diabetes.

Should I avoid fruit because it has too much sugar?

Sugar in fruit and added sugar are not the same thing. The sugar you should be mindful of is the added type you find in sodas, desserts, candy and other ultra-processed foods. A serving of whole fruit contains no more than 20 grams of sugar, plus fiber and nutrients like vitamin C.

Are sugar-free foods better?

Unfortunately, sugar-free doesn’t necessarily mean “better for you.” To provide great-tasting flavors in sugar-free foods, food companies add artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.

Is vegetarian, keto, or the Mediterranean diet (etc.) the best way to eat?

No matter the specialized diet, there’s not one best way to eat for everyone. The best meal plan or diet for you is one that meets all your nutritional needs and is something you can stick with for the long-term. If you’re unsure of what that looks like for you, contact a Hy-Vee dietitian and they can help.

Pick up a copy of Hy-Vee Seasons magazine this month for more great dietitian questions answered, or reach out to your local dietitian and check out our available nutrition services.

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