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Is It Sugar-Free or Isn’t It?

Nov 12, 2019

Sugar-Free or Not:

One of my long term patients called my office because she could not figure out what was happening with her post breakfast glucose readings. She counted carbs and would typically have a 2 hour ppg of no more than 145 mg/dl but even though her pre-breakfast readings were around 110 mg/dl she was experiencing glucose levels near 200 mg/dl. I had her do a morning food diary for 7 days and we identified 3 days when she was eating French toast when her readings were going over 200 mg/dl. This meal had never been a problem in the past. We went over the ingredients and that is when we found the problem.


It appears that for the past 3 years she had been using a sugar free low carb name brand syrup that only delivered 10 grams of carbs in the serving she had been using. On her last trip to the grocery she had picked up the regular syrup and was actually putting 60 grams of carbs on her meal.

She got the sugar free choice from the grocery and her levels returned to normal.

Lesson Learned:

Many manufacturers package full-sugar and sugar-free in similar containers, it is easy to mistakenly pick up the wrong one when shopping. In addition, they will update packaging occasionally, and patients should always check the new packaging carefully.

Julie Robertson, RN, CDE 



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