Monday, June 11, 2007
Livesmart Diabetes Expo
I attended the May 27 Livesmart Diabetes Expo at the Direct Energy Centre at the CNE. I have a pretty good handle on my blood sugar but I'm always looking for new products, mainly sugar free snacks to keep my blood sugar above 4.0. But when I arrived at the Direct Energy Centre, the elevator wasn't working. They took me to the parking garage elevator and gave me a free lunch ticket for the inconvenience. The main problem with the show was the large number of empty booths. I can't comment on the reason for that but of course it's not a good thing. There were a lot of companies pushing blood sugar meters. They're all the same to me except the Roche Accu-Chek Compact. I'm considering switching and will write about it further if I do.
The main thing I was looking for was snacks. It's difficult to get them in this area and I think I have found a couple of sources at this show. Of course Abbott Laboratories was there with the Glucerna Snack Bar. I've tried it and it's too expensive and I don't like the taste anyway. I'm looking for things I can have after lunch. And not all are created equal. Splenda tends to leave an aftertaste when used in manufactured product. I'm usually looking for Malitol in the ingredients list. That is a fruit sugar syrup used as a sugar replacement in the food manufacturing process. Here's a couple that other diabetics might be interested in.
Certainly hot air popped popcorn is an appropriate snack for diabetics. But it's boring. And microwave and manufactured popcorn isn't any different from any other manufactured product. It has stuff in it I shouldn't eat. Of course I'll cheat and eat popcorn at the movies but I don't cheat frequently. Jerry Shapiro of BBNC Snacks has filled this void with Power Pop. Jerry's wife is a type 2 diabetic so he knows what the problems are. Power Pop is a flavoured popcorn that is no sugar added, no trans fat, gluten & nut free and low sodium. He uses malitol and natural flavours. That makes it a very good snack for diabetics. The four flavours are BBQ, chocolate caramel, caramel & lemon meringue. I didn't like BBQ but the others are very good. And he is introducing cappucino soon. It costs $1.99 a bag and you can find a location near you in the Toronto area by going to Jerry's site http://www.bbncsnacks.com/ and entering your postal code. I bought some on Saturday and ate a bag during yesterday's NASCAR race. My blood sugar was perfect afterwards.
The Sugar Free Shoppe
Finding sugar free products at your local grocery or drug store is a big problem. My local Shoppers Drug Mart hasn't updated their selection in a long time. They had a booth at the show and I mentioned it to them. Mississauga's The Sugar Free Shoppe is exactly what I am looking for. They offer all kinds of sugar free products mostly unavailable elsewhere. Shop owner Kathy Snow's husband is diabetic so they know exactly what I'm talking about. They have sugar free maple syrup, ketchup, cakes, chocolates, even Oreos. That's right, real Oreos. They also have sugar free gift baskets. I bought a box of sugar free chocolate macaroons at the show. You can go to their store at 150 Brittania Rd. E. in Mississauga but they also deliver. That's good for me. The best thing to do is check out their website at http://www.thesugarfreeshoppe.ca/ and place an order. They even have products on special. I will place an order this week.
Those were the two vendors that I really liked. There was also a soy based ice cream product called Soy-n-Joy but I wasn't as crazy about that and I don't think I would buy that. Their website is http://www.soynjoy.net/ I don't know if I'll attend this show next year. I guess it depends if there are new products of interest. A lot of the booths are not going to change so going next year may be redundant. The empty booths are a problem too.