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Diabetes diet: is sweetener better than brown sugar?

Good Morning,
I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic two years ago from a serious motorbike accident whilst on duty (as a police officer). I was also told that i have neuropathy.

I have cut down on certain foods, but being a police officer I need foods to assist with energy, loss of water etc. I have replaced the brown sugar with canderel which is not giving me anything but a tasteless dry feeling after my cup of tea.

My question is this: is canderel any good/better over the normal brown sugar and why?

– Bradley Smith.

And on the same note… From Facebook (Diabetic South Africans):

This may be a stupid question but how ‘safe’ are the Canderel chocolate bars?? I only have one when I am feeling snacky…one every week or so? Is anyone able to tell me?

– Melissa Faulkner

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  1. Priya Seetal Priya Seetal

    Dear Bradley

    Sugar is allowed in the diet of a person living with diabetes. However, like other carbohydrates, it does contribute to glucose in the blood and so must be eaten in moderation. Having up to two teaspoons of sugar at a meal time is not going to drastically increase your blood glucose level more than if you avoided it or replaced it with a sweetener.
    Try to stick only to 3 cups of tea though.
    Most sugar free chocolate bars are high in fat. The reason for this is that sugar in normal choclate bars helps to bulk up the chocolate. Once thesugar is removed, not much of the chocolate is left. In a sugar free chocolate, it is fat that is used to bulk it up and make it higher in fat than normal chocolate bars. Frequently eating foods high in fat are not advisable. If you are feeling for a piece of chocolate, it makes more sense to have a few squares of normal chocolate as you are allowed sugar in a diabetic diet and it comes at a cheaper price.

    Priya Seetal, registered dietitian

  2. Michael Park Michael Park

    Hi there.

    I am not an expert but would like to offer something here that I have found useful. I must say by way of a prologomenon, that generally, I despise artificial sweeteners and I won’t describe what I feel the after taste is like.

    However, I have stumbled on an artificial sweetener called Natreen. Natreen has zero Kilojoules, and having done sugar testing before and after meals, I have found that these claims are true. Natreen has not elevated my sugar levels at all and the best of it all is the fact that you cannot tell the difference between Natreen and ordinary sugar. I tried this with folks who claim that they can taste the difference and everyone without exception, suggested that the cup of coffee they tasted and which had the genuine sugar in it, was the one with the natreen while the one with the Natreen in it, was identified by my guineapigs as being the one with the genuine sugar in it.

    Natreen comes in a tablet form, crystals or in liquid form. Unfortunately, the company who manufactures the product and which is a company with brandnames such as Radox in its stall, has chosen to market Natreen as an FMCG product, I.E. Fast Moving Cash Goods product. If they had marketed this as a network marketing product, I think the brandname would be better known.

    Natreen is supposed to be available at all supermarkets, but the less I say about that, the better. Suffice it to say that I have had best, and by that I mean, genuinely good results when I god my product from Pick ‘n Pay and I believe that the Spa group are also good about supplying the product, but cannot verify this as I have not tried that route.

    Michael Park
    (a type II diabetic of 13 years standing).

  3. d l masuku d l masuku

    Hi michael, I have bought natreen recently and it tastes great.I have known about my diabetes for two months and I am still learning.please pass me a few tips as someone who should know more. Regards d l masuku

  4. Anthea Anthea

    Hi Masuku,
    Lots of water and fibre to start with. Three mails a day with 3 fruit inbetween. Don’t miss meals and exercixe – just walking is also good. If you are overweight, go see a diatrician and lose it immediately. I am 44 years old and diabetic for about 8 years and learning every day.
    Check if you medical aid pays for the diatrician and make use of it. Also get a machine to test your sugar levels mornings, after meals and at night. Check Diskem for good prices. Also contact your medical aid they might cover the costs of the strips you will need. Find out how cronic registration works and make use of it, by law they must cover diabetics and trust me, you will need this.
    After a few months you will learn what to eat and what to avoid.
    Good luck

  5. Lorna Lorna

    Hi I have had blood tests and have Choleatrol 6.1 and u deraxtive Thyroid. I use Natreen
    Want to know if it’s safe . So many articles talk about sweeteners and how bad it
    it is for you. Can you please advise. Thanks Lorna

  6. Roger Roger

    I and 75 and suffer from hypoglycaemia when doing high stressed exercise – cycling up long hills etc. I have had Glucose Tolerance Tests and am not diabetic but I do have an overactive pancreas. I don’t take sugar, don’t drink coffee or alcohol and eat lots of fruit and fibres and very little protein.

    Normally when hit by low blood sugar I feel dizzy so stop the exercise and rest for a few minutes. Once the blood sugar balance has stabilised I am OK to continue. Is there any supplement that I can take with me on a long ride to help me.

    • Hi Roger,
      We’re not doctors so can’t advise you on specific supplements, but I do know that a balance of protein and carbohydrate is generally good for blood sugar – too much carb without protein often sends blood sugar high and then low.
      Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  7. Jak Jak

    If your glucose cortnol was not in check, then yes most definitely it will show a high HBA1C count. Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) testThis test is not for diagnosing diabetes, but it shows you how well you have cortnolled your sugar in last 2 or 3 months. Normal value is less than 7%, however if it is more than 7 then you and your doctor should think of changing your treatment of diabetes.

  8. Sihle Sihle

    My sister is 66yrs old, has diabetes Melitus type 2 for 12 years. Has been using canderel, but recently she has just tld me that canderel makes blood glucose level high. She has changed to Sugar non. Is it true about this?

What do you think?

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