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Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes

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Diabetes health tip

Diabetes: Sorting fact from fiction
Diabetes is a serious illness. To help contain this leading cause of disability and death, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.


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Free foods

A free food is any food or drink that contains fewer than 20 calories or five grams of carbohydrate per serving. Foods with a serving size listed below should be limited to no more than three servings at one time.

Carbohydrate-free beverages (such as club soda, Crystal Light®, calorie-free water, diet soft drinks, coffee, and hot or unsweetened teas) will not affect blood glucose.

Food

Serving Size

Carbohydrate Grams

Carbohydrate Choice

Artificial sweeteners

1 teaspoon

0 to 1

0

Barbeque sauce

2 teaspoons

4

0

Cocktail sauce

2 tablespoons

3

0

Dill pickles

4 slices

1

0

Gravy

1/4 cup

3

0

Herbs and spices

1 teaspoon

1

0

Ketchup

1 tablespoon

4

0

Lemon and lime juice

1 tablespoon

2

0

Most vegetables

1/2 to 1 cup

5

0

Mustard

2 tablespoons

3

0

Olives

2

2

0

Salsa

2 tablespoons

4

0

Soy sauce

1 tablespoon

1

0

Steak sauce

1 tablespoon

3 to 5

0

Sugar-free gelatin

1/2 cup

0

0

Sugar-free ice pops

1

3

0

Sugar-free jam or jelly

1 teaspoon

5

0

Sugar-free syrup

2 tablespoons

5

0


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, fifth edition, ISBN 1-931876-32-0

First published: 12/01/2006
Last updated: 10/18/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts