Not so long ago, people with diabetes were told they had to avoid eating sugar altogether. If they wanted treats, they could only have artificially sweetened “diet” foods that often didn’t taste very good. Today’s guidelines let sugar be counted just like any other carbohydrate, acknowledging that it is the total carbohydrate that usually matters most in a meal plan, not the source.
Keep in mind, though, that most foods containing sugar are usually low in other nutrients, so getting all your daily carbohydrate from, say, a can of regular soda or a brownie would be self-defeating. Moreover, most people with diabetes are watching their calories, and don’t have many to squander on something that isn’t going to give them any other nutritional “bang for the buck.” Better to consider sweets an occasional treat rather than a daily staple—and that goes for everyone, whether or not they have diabetes.