Sugar Free Doesn’t Equal Carb Free

Case in point… these are still 40 grams of carbs. Made with Maltitol. (Why did I buy these again?)

“Sugar free” cupcakes

These little beauts are from a local cupcake only bakery limited to our region. They had a Groupon not too long ago, so I bought it. I know… why is the diabetic buying cupcake Groupons??? As much as I enjoy baking, I don’t always have time for it. Especially elaborate masterpieces like they create.

It was going to expire soon and I was in the vicinity, and I have a slew of young sorority sisters that I’m paying a visit tomorrow. Why not.

So I get 10 non-sugarless cupcakes for them. And 2 sugar free cupcakes for me and the hubs. And I felt like I was the first person to ask the gal behind the counter for nutrition facts. Go me! At least they were prepared. (I’d hope so for special cupcakes like that.)

Since my blood sugars have been running oddly lower than usual during 3/4s of my day, I’ve decided not to dive into these quite yet. Especially since I just know it’s a flat 40 grams… and God knows what else…

PSA: Stop Buying Me Sugar Free Candy

This weekend marks the start of the Halloween festivities, starting with an epic party at my dance studio of choice. I simply can’t wait.

I know what you are thinking… what diabetic in her right mind would get excited about Halloween – a holiday centralized around eating candy, sweets, and other not-so-healthy delights?

Perhaps it’s the many years of sugar avoidance that allows my body to quickly tell me that eating empty calories on the couch and watching scary movies is not a fun way to spend an evening. I mean, why would you want to spend an evening feeling sick to your stomach, overly tired, and poking buttons on your insulin pump to cover your indulgence.

The alternative opportunities are endless. I prefer to play dress up and dance around with friends. (Bonus – it’s exercise!) And I’ve really started taking an interest in make up techniques, so Halloween allows me to experiment with products that aren’t as socially acceptable on a daily basis. Like turquoise eye shadow and purple glittery fake eyelashes.

Now that I’ve stated what I do like about Halloween, let’s talk about what I don’t like. Namely the sad alternatives to make diabetic life seem more “normal.” That, of course, is the influx of sugar free candy that somehow is gifted to me every single holiday. It was more prominent in my childhood, but for some reason, it continues to creep into my life around this time.

Sugar free candy does no one any favors. First, it’s ridiculously over-priced and never goes on sale. You can probably get a 2 pound bag of regular candy for the price of a 5 oz bag of sugar free stuff.

Secondly, it all tastes like crap. Seriously. Do you know what it’s like biting into something expecting decadent chocolate only to find out you’ve suddenly bitten into plastic? Yeah – it’s kinda like that.

It may say “sugar free,” but it’s not really free of anything else. These candies typically contain way more fat than most candy (gotta get the flavor in their creation somehow), and various participants from the sugar alcohol family. (Mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt…) While sugar alcohol may not be an active net carb, all of them do some pretty bad side affects. You may not be sick to your stomach from DKA, but you’ll probably still be sick to your stomach in a much different way. And  if you are on a natural foods kick… this isn’t the route to go.

Also – it’s not carb free. See comment about the added fat. It may not cause an immediate spike in sugars, but you’ll be sitting pretty around the 250 range eventually.

If you MUST have a piece of candy, or you somehow feel compelled to give ME candy as a treat, just give me the real stuff. I’ll deal with it later or pawn it off to my friends with a functional pancreas.