Q & A with Dr. Hull

75 and Diabetic
My husband is 75 and diabetic. It is extremely hard to see him denied sugary food items when he enjoys them, but I am afraid to get the sugarless items because of all the many risky ingredients. So many new items on the market for diabetics tout the fact that they are "sugarless." I don't know what to do. I remember the sweetener scare about 40 years ago of saccharin causing cancer and to avoid all sugar substitutes. What do you advise I can try for my husband that will not compromise his health safety? Is Glucerna for diabetics safe? Is anything else better?

I have tried using less natural sugar desserts thinking less is better than substitute, sugarless sweets, but I cannot control my husband's desire for sweets and he cannot control or resist them. Hence, his blood sugar gets too high. Thank you for any suggestions. At his age, he cannot do much activity due to other health problems. I want him to enjoy eating and looking forward to eating out occasionally. But, he needs to make safe choices for his sweets. Thanks so much for your reply.

A: My sister is insulin dependent, and she uses saccharin (which NEVER caused cancer, BTW), and she uses stevia by the NuNaturals company. She has a regular coke in a glass bottle when her blood sugar runs low, and she monitors her carbs more than anything - especially simple carbs and fats. Life can go on without sugar free chemicals, so help your hubby learn how to enjoy real foods again. Don't be afraid of smaller portions of natural sugars and grains, but limit the amount and when he eats them.

Honey Coke
Well, just what sugar substitute do you recommend? Sugar loaded drinks/foods is not something I want either...so what is a safe option for "sweetness"? Haven't seen a HONEY-Coke....

A: In a nutshell, I recommend choosing foods like you chose as a kid, like what your parents and grandparents chose. Real food concoctions made with real sugars, whole grains, and no added chemicals. Dump the fake candy bar stuff and diet colas and choose to bake (or buy at the bakery) better-made sweets, have a real cola in the bottle every now and again (like having a limited number of beer or wine), and eat as fresh and raw as possible. Buy meats at the deli market, and fresh grain breads at a bakery. Don't add any sugar to coffee or tea. Learn to drink it as it is with some organic Half & Half, maybe. And, drink water.

This is a simple solution - just don't add any sugars or fake sugars to anything.

The best in health,

- Janet Hull

Posted September 2011 | Permanent Link

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