Traditional dietary advice given to people with diabetes includes eliminating simple sugars (primarily sucrose) from the diet. Many people have difficulty following this recommendation. Because patients with type I (insulindependent) diabetes do not need overall calorie restriction, there is no caloric reason to restrict sucrose. In this study, we looked at the effect of the isocaloric substitution of a piece of chocolate cake for a baked potato ina mixed meal to determine whether this would increase the blood glucose in patients with type I diabetes. The glucose response to a cake-added meal was significantly greater than to a standard meal. The glucose response was no different between a cake-substitution meal and a standard meal. The reproducibility studies showed no difference between repeated standard meals. The urinary glucose excretion was significantly greater after a cake-added meal butwas no different with the other pairs. There were no significant differencesin the counterregulatory hormone responses at baseline between any of the paired studies. In conclusion, patients with type I diabetes may substitute a sucrose-containing dessert for another carbohydrate in their diet without compromising their postprandial glucose response. These data suggest that a dessert exchange may be helpful and not harmful in the management of diabetic patients. There is an inherent variability (at least 16%) in an insulin-requiring patient's response to a meal, making self-monitoring of blood glucose and adjustment of insulin doses necessary to achieve near euglycemia.

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