I want to make the Oats and Quinoa Breakfast Bars, but wanted to know if it would work with a sugar substitute rather than sugar since I'm a diabetic?

If anyone has ideas about this, please let me know.

Karen T
  • Posted by: Karen T
  • March 18, 2014


Dessito March 19, 2014
Dear Karen,
I'd like to comment as a T1 in good control, who is constantly amazed about the low level of understanding of food choices among fellow diabetics. In the recipe you are considering, the oats and the quinoa are no less of a challenge for your body (and probably more, considering the amount you'd need to use if they are the main ingredients) than the sugar.

What diabetics, both T1 and T2, need to consider is the total amount of CARBOHYDRATES (minus any fiber-based ones which are not digested the same way) in their meals, not sugar exclusively. Sugar is of course all carb (sucrose = glucose and fructose), but a quarter of cooked quinoa's nutritional content and full two-thirds of cooked oats' are also carbohydrates (this is after the fiber is subtracted). So don't worry about substituting sugar (although there are some non-artificial options, say agave syrup, which can lower the glycemic index of your meal, which is a separate issue altogether concerning the timing of your blood glucose spike -- you want to stretch it out as much as possible, so as to not have abrupt spikes up and then drops down) as much as knowing how much carb you are eating at any one meal and per day overall. There are recommended guidelines but to some extent the specifics depend on how you treat your diabetes, whether you exercise, etc. I am happy to chat more about this in one-on-one messages if you find it helpful, but more than anything I would suggest that you meet with a diabetes educator and a nutritionist who is familiar with your type of diabetes (both of these kinds of medical professionals often work together with endocrinologists so ask yours for a referral if you have never talked to one).

I know it can be confusing and even overwhelming if you are a recently diagnosed diabetic, but I can promise you that once you get the hang of carb-counting, there is no reason not to enjoy food, you'd just do it in a more conscious way.
Maedl March 18, 2014
I don't have to avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners, but I d--and would look for a different recipe. I would also consider ditching the artificial sweetener. I am seeing enough research results indicating that artificial sweeteners react like sugar in your body--I have gotten rid of all the artificial stuff in my closets. The multigrain Cheerios are also a source of sugar, as is the dried fruit and chocolate. If you do a search on quinoa and oats on the Food52 site, a recipe for a porridge comes up that sounds good. Can you use a little bit of honey or molasses for sweetening? Maple syrup? For porridge, I cook it without sugar and top it with a teaspoon of honey when I serve it and it is as sweet as I would want it. I top the porridge with nuts, a mixture of seeds, unsweetened coconut and some seasonal fresh fruit and I am totally satisfied until lunchtime. If you want recipes, I am happy to share.
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