We know now that it is okay for people with diabetes to substitute sugar-containing food for other carbohydrates as part of a balanced meal plan.
Prevailing beliefs up to the mid-1990s were that people with diabetes should avoid foods that contain so-called "simple" sugars and replace them with "complex" carbohydrates, such as those found in potatoes and cereals. A review of the research at that time revealed that there was relatively little scientific evidence to support the theory that simple sugars are more rapidly digested and absorbed than starches, and therefore more apt to produce high blood glucose levels.
Now many patients are being taught to focus on how many total grams of carbohydrate they can eat throughout the day at each meal and snack, and still keep their blood glucose under good control. Well-controlled blood glucose is a top priority because other research studies have concluded that all people with diabetes can cut their risk of developing diabetes complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney and eye disease, nerve damage, and more, by keeping their blood glucose as closely controlled as possible.