by Cary Castagna
February 18, 2010
Here’s the second of three carb alerts from the folks at Granola Gourmet and staff at the Mayo Clinic:
Sugar-free doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free. Sugar-free foods may play a role in your diabetes diet — but sugar-free doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free. When you’re choosing between standard products and their sugar-free counterparts, compare the food labels side by side. If the sugar-free product has noticeably fewer carbohydrates, the sugar-free product might be the better choice. But if there’s little difference in carbohydrate grams between the two foods, let taste — or price — be your guide.
No sugar added, but not necessarily no carbohydrates. The same caveat applies to products sporting a “no sugar added” label. Although these foods don’t contain high-sugar ingredients and no sugar is added during processing or packaging, foods without added sugar may still be high in carbohydrates.
Sugar alcohols contain carbohydrates and calories, too. Likewise, products that contain sugar alcohols — such as sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol — aren’t necessarily low in carbohydrates or calories
If you are concerned about your intake of sugars, make sure that added sugars are not listed as one of the first few ingredients. Other names for added sugars include: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, honey, and maple syrup.
Granola Gourmet (www.granolagourmet.com) makes gourmet energy bars for diabetics and their families.
MayoClinic.com gives users access to the expertise and knowledge of the more than 3,300 physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic.