Diabetes: nutrition tips, Part 2
Diabetes (Type 2)

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Sugar and sugar substitutes

  

Hello Elisa, in the first part of our interview, you gave us a lot of information on diabetes and nutrition. But there is another topic that we have not yet discussed: sugar. Is it better to consume sugar or sugar substitutes when suffering with diabetes?

It is important to limit the consumption of sugar, no matter if you are suffering with diabetes or not. This nutrient should not be consumed daily, but only occasionally. With that being said, we should use real sugar compared to sugar substitutes, but the surgar should be as little refined as possible, like Rapadura or Muscovada sugar that you can find in the exotic food section of supermarkets or in an organic store. It has a lot of flavor so you don’t have to add a lot to get the desired taste. Coconut sugar can also be used occasionally for baking pastry, as its glycemic index is lower than that of cane sugar.

When you add sugar to a drink, a dairy product or a dessert, you should tell yourself that you are doing this to reduce the acidity or bitterness, but not to make it sweet. Therefore, I recommend that you should only add one or two pinches of sugar to a drink in order to change its tastee. When baking home pastries, divide the quantity of sugar in two, whenever you can; therfore, you would be using half the recipe recommend amount!

Note that sugar has no utility for our health.

What is your opinion on  sugar substitutes?

Since the existence of sugar substitutes, the number of people with diabetes hasn’t stopped growing, so I have no comment on that.

There are natural sweeteners, but their taste is often unpleasant.

Another solution can be to use a little bit of cinnamon, vanilla or orange blossom, to flavor your coffee, tea or dessert.

What foods contain "hidden sugars"?

Pre-made meals (those in the supermarket freezers) and most of  processed foods:
-    Deli meats and breaded fish
-    Sauces
-    Canned or frozen veggies, soups
-    Flavored drinks

Thank you for all this information on sugar and substitutes that you’ve shared with us. The topic of our next interview will be diabetes and obesity.