Candies and Sweets
Candies and sweets seem to be the perfect example of what not to eat when it comes to counting carbs.
These tasty morsels are notorious for tempting dieters at their weakest moments. Just a few ill-timed
sweets could upset the carb balance in your body that you have been carefully crafting for days. Candy
is similarly off limits to diabetics, although sweets may be less tempting if the onset of diabetes occurred
early in life. And there may be a lesson in that, so many things our appetites tell us are essential can be
safely ignored if we simply develop the proper eating habits.
Must candies and sweets be totally written off? There is probably always room for on occasional treat in
moderation. But some of the harm that comes of this is an extension of the longing for things we would
be better off without. Remember, these are essentially sweet nothings we are discussing here; they are
not great storehouses of essential nutrients.
Candies and sweets tend to be concentrated bundles of simple sugar, with no fiber and very little fat
available to slow sugar metabolism. So any intake of sweets is quickly followed by a meteoric rise in
blood sugar. The only time this is good for a diabetic is when their blood sugar levels have dropped
dangerously low. At these times, candies and sweets are precisely what are needed.
The recent popularity of low carb diets has resulted in the introduction of many low carb candy
alternatives. Most formulations are made possible by the use of sugar alcohol. The idea is that
sweeteners are still added, but they are in a form that the body can assimilate slowly. In other words,
candies that are sweetened with sugar alcohol do not trigger a fast rise in blood sugar.
Also known as polyols, sugar alcohols have the same chemical structure as sugar, but contain no
glucose. It is this lack of glucose that allows them to be absorbed by the body without raising blood
sugar. The good news is that polyols taste more natural than other sweeteners like aspartame.
The incompatibility between sweets and those-who-must-avoid-carbs is especially difficult on holidays
that are based on the exchange of candy. Fortunately, many companies are rushing in to fill this market
niche and creating low-carb candy collections appropriate for most special occasions.