Using sugar substitutes

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Before the isolation of insulin in 1921, sugar was thought to be extremely dangerous for the person with T1DM. With nothing available to lower the blood sugar, consuming sugar actually was pretty dangerous. By completely cutting sugar from the diet of these patients, they survived a little longer (although most died in childhood soon after the diagnosis was made).

Old habits take a long time to die, and there are still plenty of people, even doctors, who think that people with diabetes must avoid sugar at all costs. Most physicians no longer believe this and permit some sugar in the diet of patients with T1DM, but the wish to avoid sugar has created an industry of products with fewer or no calories yet great sweetening power.

You can use sweeteners for your child with T1DM by substituting one for sugar in a recipe, but you need to know their sweetening power to use them correctly. I give you the scoop in the following sections.

Sugar-free food can still have plenty of fat and protein calories. Because total calories are what counts in the diet, there's no great advantage to eating sugar-free products when the result may be that your child's getting as many or more total calories.

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