Thursday, January 15, 2015

Calorie-free/Carb-free, Potato/Diabetes

G'Day, Readers,

Today's topic is carbs in sugar-free sweeteners and how "calorie free" does not always equate to, "carb-free".

For those with Diabetes or for people who are on high dose/long term prednisone, (which can cause Diabetes if one's sugar intake is not tightly controlled), this is a very important thing to be aware of.

I discovered this danger first hand, (literally, via finger-prick-test), when I was still hospitalized back in Jan '13 as there, one's only non-sugar choice for sweetening the breakfast "cafe" is aspartame.  And of course, due to treatment, sugar was not an option for me.

Being an anti-fan of aspartame, I asked P to bring with him from home some Truvia, thinking I was doing my body a huge favor, buying into the "Stevia" talk all over the package.

After less than a week of adding less than a teaspoon to my cuppa hospital joe, my insulin levels had spiked dangerously high.  I can't recall the number now but it was enough for the nurse to gasp loudly, something most nurses refrain from doing when taking such readings.

That day while making his rounds, one of the Neph's and I were chatting and I showed him, (feeling oh so pleased with my self), the Truvia package, which he took one quick look at and with the hairiest of eyeballs, pointed out to me the carb content.


Per 100 grams? 99 were carbohydrates and there, was the smoking insulin-gun.

Here is a pic I took of some at the market yesterday:
Many sugar-free sweeteners sing the praises of their calorie-free products but fail miserably to also note on those front panels the carb content, which for many sweetener types, is quite high due to all of the other ingredients they add to bulk it up so it's spoon-able.

Splenda, too (succralose), is another one that's very low calorie but certainly NOT low-carb. at almost 90 carbs per 100grams of product.

To put things in perspective, plain white sugar has 100 carbs per 100 grams.

Like in the case of Truvia, (the one they sell in France anyway), stating that a product is, "made from Stevia" when in fact it contains only trace amounts of it, is more than misleading to healthy customers and downright dangerous to folks with serious medical conditions. 

This is why we must always read labels like hawks.

I wanted to spread the word on this for any new patients to Vasculitis experiencing remission-induction treatment, which always contains a  high dosage of prednisone taken over an extended period.

One would think hospitals would include any and all info like this upon releasing a patient starting on a long-term immune-suppression treatment but alas, many do not, so let's hope this lil post shines a light on things for those needing it.

And for the record, now that I am on only 3 mgs of prednisone/day, I am back to enjoying beautiful honey in my coffee, using just a smidgeon of Stevia to bring it up to sweetness perfection.

Wishing you all +++vibes,

: J


Anonymous said...

I have had MPA/Wegener's for 10 years and watch my carb consumption. I have tried to tell people about aspartame, splenda and Truvia for quite some time and no one believes me. Thank you for writing this and posting it on FB. I am again on Prednisone (low dose) and Cellcept. I hope that you are doing well as this is a disease that no one wants but it can always be worse. Jacqueline Beck

Juanita Grande said...

I hear you, Jacqueline and thanks for commenting.

While aspartame is indeed a freaky product, it is also one of the lo-cal sweeteners that are zero carbs, making it an *option* (certainly no the best one), during times of high-dose prednisone.

On that note, until one is at 10 mgs of the stuff, watching the carbs is best. I should have noted that in the post.

It's surprising how many people, (health care professionals included), don't realize how carb-heavy so many lo-cal sweeteners are.

Take care,