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Diabetes on the rise

If diabetes is on the rise.. why don't more stores carry more products? AND/OR I guess my really question is why don't more companies make 'sugar-free' products.. is it just too expensive?

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  1. Cost is likely a factor, but part of the issue is that people won't buy them. My hospital has gone on a health kick, revamped the cafeteria menu, and ordered the vending machine suppliers to only stock bottled water, diet sodas, some energy waters, and healthy snacks. When we had they typical Cokes-Doritos-Snickers in the machines they would be stripped to the bones by Sunday night. Now, there's always a great selection of healthy stuff left at all times.

    1. Diabetics don't need "products" we need produce and proteins like meat, poultry and fish. All of that is readiliy available. All that high starch/carb artificiallly sweetened junk just adds to the epidemic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcf

        I see all kinds of products aimed at diabetics and dieters. I agree with mcf though, diabetics need quality produce and meat/fish, not sugar free science experiments. Using non-food chemicals to trick the mind is a gimmick that not only fails to address the underlying issue of the body's sugar/starch craving and addiction, and likely exacerbates it. Weight gain and metabolic syndrome are strongly linked to artificial sweeteners in numerous studies and it's very likely that artificially sweetened foods fowl up the body's appetite regulation and food storage.

        I don't mean to preach to anyone, but it's extremely frustrating having a sister and mother with diabetes who follow the ridiculous and harmful advice given given out by most of the medical community. For example, this article I saw yesterday: http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-...

        Written by someone with a Masters in Public Health and a reviewed by a medical doctor. It's absolutely mind boggling.

      2. Yes, diabetes can be a lifestyle disease...a product of what we consume, and what we're told to consume--what's touted as "healthy". The good news is that diabetics (and those who cook for them and love them, like me) can learn to manage their BG through watching their diet and their bodies' reactions to various foods. I learned that from the previous poster, mcf.
        Sugar free products aren't even close to being a magic bullet. But you're right, like big pharm lots of companies take advantage of consumers when selling low-sugar or low-fat stuff.

        I will say that in my area of the country (New England), it's annoying tough to find quality, varied produce year-round without paying a premium. But that is a product of geography.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pinehurst

          It's true that winter veggies tend toward the starchier squashes and root veggies. I sub yellow and white turnips, celery root, fauxtatoes (steamed, pureed cauliflower with butter) and make low carb meatloaf, braises, roast chicken over a bed of onions and lemons and/or fennel wedges... and teeny weeny red skinned sweet potatoes shared by two of us.

          So glad you're having success and seeing results. You're a VERY quick study. ;-)

        2. Any diabetic with an IQ over 80 can figure out what they should or shouldn't eat.

          2 Replies
          1. re: beevod

            Not true. Especially when ADA guidlines tell them to eat mostly sugar and starch.

            1. re: beevod

              Actually, that's a bit condescending and not true, beevod. Nutritionists in hospital recommended that my DH (after he was diagnosed as Type II DM) eat plain whole grain oatmeal and whole wheat toast for breakfast, as long as his total daily carbs were under 300. (He's 6'2" and over 200 lbs). This plan spikes his BG---so lots of diabetics who might take the advice of "experts" might just inject more Novolog and go merrily along.

              Not all veggies are DM friendly. Most fruits aren't. Balancing a DM lifestyle with a busy life, and sometimes other health issues (like BP) is not easy, and not always a cut and dry process.

            2. You would have to train a bunch of North Americans to give up a major part of their diet, because the average diet is high in starch, and refined starch at that. In terms of sugar, it is pretty easy to avoid it in the supermarket. Its really hard to avoid it in a restaurant. But carbs in general are your enemy if you are diabetic. You have to retrain your eating, and if you've been eating a diet high in sugar, that is very hard.

              You might have a look at this site: http://netrition.com/

              There are some specialty products there that are sugar-free. Good luck to you.

              1. One word for diabetics with a sweet tooth . . . Tagatose

                Google it

                6 Replies
                1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                  I'm going to weigh in again on this topic. I think that artificially sweetened products have a place in the lives of people who have to give up sugar. Early on, the body wants sugar, and the mind craves a dessert. These products might help someone over the hump, so to speak, early on. The tastes of these things will eventually wear on the person though, and one hopes that the flavor of fresh food will become more satisfying.

                  I think it is harsh for us to say that people should not rely (ever) on artificially sweetened treats. But the desperate need for them should tell one that he or she is overly reliant on sugar in her or his diet. A clue for the solution to the problem, I think.

                  1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                    That would be one of the very last things I'd suggest to a diabetic. Even non sugar sweeteners cause insulin release in some and carb cravings. All carbs, not just sugars, raise blood glucose, some less than others.

                    1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                      Disagree! Go with good dark chocolate! A couple of squares of Lindt or Ghirardelli high-cocoa content is less than 20 grams of carbs. It not only satisfies the need for something sweet, when kept in the fridge they satisfy some crunch cravings too.

                      And I love making cocolocos with my Keurig brewer. Green Mountain Hot Cocoa is only 9 grams of carbs per serving. Mixed with Carol Jean's Mudslide, it makes for a way tasty hot chocolate drink.

                      1. re: GroovinGourmet

                        Congratulations on taking initiative to control your diabetes and to learn what works for you. I really encourage you to check out this guide, it's the single most valuable piece of guidance you will ever find for improving and maintaining your health: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/flyer...

                        It would be very easy to make your own, and probably much better cocoa using, for instance, Penzey's extra rich (high fat) cocoa powder and a non caloric/zero carb sweetener, though.

                        Most folks find that when they're limiting carbs to lower levels, they no longer crave sweetness, so it becomes a much less frequent choice.

                        Also, I'm pretty sure the dark chocolates I eat are much lower in carbs per two squares than the ones you're mentioning, like half that much. Chocolove 77% dark: http://www.livestrong.com/thedailypla... Or another favorite: http://www.livestrong.com/thedailypla... Or my new favorite: http://www.livestrong.com/thedailypla... I think those carb counts are for 1/3 of a bar, about 4 squares.

                        1. re: GroovinGourmet

                          "when kept in the fridge they satisfy some crunch cravings too"

                          alternatively, dipped in hot tea and sucked they satisfy sticky, gooey cravings!

                          The Lindt 70% has 17g of carbs per four square serving (and 3g of fibre - can that be right?) - I usually only eat two at a time.

                        2. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                          Tagatose has recently come to market as NuNaturals PreSweet. This sugar has been around for 30 years, but has not made it to market for consumers in its pure form. It is a natural product derived from milk products and has the same molecular structure as sucrose, but reversed. It was used in 7-11 diet pepsi slurps at one point. I have used it for baking a lemon cake (search for lemon cake tagatose) and it works well. GI of 3. I am diabetic from a partial pancreateatectomy, and I keep away from most sugars, exercise regularly, and have an A1C of 5.7.

                        3. I'm late to the thread; however, at 55 & otherwise healthy, I was diagnosed with Type II and automatically put on medication. The resulting side effects made me miserable and, ultimately, resulting in a Friday night trip to the ER.
                          I have since paid attention to the amount of and timing of my carbohydrate intake; reduced, but not eliminated sweets, such as iced tea & chocolate, and amped up my exercise regimen.
                          The result- BG well within 'normal range' & no medication. I am in the medical supply business; 100% contact with doctor's & hospitals. It'd no wonder more than 50% of all american's are on some type of presrciption!
                          My advice- watch what you eat / exercise / set a goal of throwing the meds away!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ocpitmaster

                            Great results, smart to set your own goals and take control, congrats!

                          2. So.. i have an odd take on this topic: my MIL has diabetes and we KNOW she doesn't eat as well as she should. Her problem is something that i bet other elders and infirmed people face: she is not able to get to a store with FRESH food on a regular basis! She has unreliable transport to the grocery, and can only buy so much fresh produce at a time. At first i thought it was a lame excuse, but, where she lives it actually makes some sense: they have snow, and her grocery isn't that close (she lives in a suburban subdivision gated community away from shopping areas). Yes, it's ultimately an excuse... but it's sort of interesting that it's not really all that easy to just grab a head of lettuce on a moment's whim when you should be eating a salad instead of a (boxed) cookie. another reason for her to not pay attention to her diet! SAD for sure!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: rmarisco

                              There are home delivery services for groceries in some areas. Failing that, it could be useful to bring he a good supply of frozen veggies or hire someone to take her shopping once per week. There may be homebound senior programs to assist her in her area, too. The county health dept or a hotline might offer referrals.

                              In my MIL's case, when she got slack about nutrition, I filled her freezer with low carb meals I ordered from homebistro.com years ago, before she moved to assisted living.