Well, I certainly had to come to terms that my diet had to change radically, but that didn’t mean “no sugar for rest of my life.” One thing I had to learn very quickly was that sugar wasn’t the problem, carbohydrates were. Bread or a potato were just as likely to raise my BG as ice cream, although eating fiber, fat, and protein with carbs definitely means a slower rise in BG (but sometimes a more sustained one).
The best thing I learned early after diagnosis was “eat to the meter.” The idea being to test blood sugar immediately before eating, and then one hour and two hours after eating a meal. Record what I ate, and what my 1 and 2 hour sugars were. This started to give me a very good idea of what foods “spiked” me, and it turns out that for me almost all foods containing carbs caused me to spike to unhealthy levels (over 140 mg/dL for me). So I started cutting back on carb-heavy foods, to the point where now (a year and half later) I eat very few carbs at all: mostly I eat meat, green veggies, and milk products. It’s just not worth the price to me in terms of my health, and I found that pretty quickly I didn’t bread, corn, potatoes, or the occasional bowl of ice cream.
However, that being said: as my control has improved as I’ve figured out what works for me (medication and exercise), I can eat some carbs without too badly impacting my BG. I’ve learned when and where it’s OK for me (decided by me, not a nurse or dietitian). As for food with sugars, that becomes pretty simple: I have a few bites of my wife’s dessert when we go out to eat on a date about once a month; I ate a (small) slice of my son’s 1st birthday cake; I eat Lily’s chocolate occasionally, which is sweetened with Erythritol and has very few digestible carbs to worry about; I eat Halo Top ice cream on occasion, which is also sweetened with Erythritol; I sometimes have a diet Coke or Pepsi if we’re out to eat with friends.
Basically, I’ll have a “sweet” every once and a while, but I usually choose sugar-free if I can, or eat a very small portion. Most importantly for me, however, I always check my blood sugar after eating something with sugar. Not only do I need to know if my BG is in dangerous territory, but it also keeps me aware of what these items do. Basically, I can have sugar whenever I want, I’m an adult; however, the more I’ve learned about my diabetes, the less sugar I tend to eat on a day-to-day basis.