Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: Diabetes and sugar-free products

Sponsored: Diabetes and sugar-free products

If someone has diabetes should they be buying sugar-free products?

It is a common misunderstanding that individuals that have diabetes must eat sugar-free items; when in fact they should be checking portion sizes, carbohydrates and calories. Many sugar-free items still contain carbohydrates that will affect blood sugar. Additionally, food brands like to call out “sugar-free” attributes on products like candy, cookies, and cakes that contain sugar alcohols that can cause GI (bowel) distress (gas and bloating) so often those items are not the best choice for someone with diabetes. 

Individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can eat a wide variety of items (not just sugar-free) as long as they are monitoring their carbohydrate intake, paying attention to portion size and keeping blood sugar under control and in the desirable range with diet, exercise and in many cases medication. 

For more information on managing your blood sugar and food choices see and

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian

Related Items


Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.