Type 2 diabetes and sweeteners: get informed before consuming
For years, sugar was banned in the diet of type 2 diabetics. Today, flexibility is essential because it is no longer a question of eliminating it but of monitoring its consumption. It’s already a big step forward! In order to improve taste pleasure, the use of sweeteners in food is experienced as a boon for type 2 diabetics. he beware?
To replace sugar, there are synthetic substitutes, sweeteners, substances used as food additives that give certain foods a sweet flavor.
We distinguish intense sweeteners , with a high sweetening power, and mass sweeteners or polyols. The former, whether natural or synthetic, have no impact on blood sugar since they provide no calories 1 . On the other hand, their sweetening power is indeed present. These include aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose, stevia rebaudiana, etc. They are used in a wide range of foods and beverages.
Mass sweeteners or polyols provide 2 times less calories than sugar, but still slightly raise blood sugar. Their sweetening power is moderate, they are cariogenic (= can cause cavities) and they have a major drawback: their high consumption can be responsible for intestinal fermentations. They are found mainly in chewing gum, candy, so-called “sugar-free” chocolates. Among the most famous: sorbitol, xylitol, isomalt. Let’s also mention a new one, tagatose, which comes from the hydrolysis of lactose, with the characteristic: a negligible calorie intake, a glycemic index reduced to nothing, a beneficial effect on the intestinal flora, but just like polyols, a laxative effect. is found when consumed in large quantities.
What about fructose?
A word about fructose which is often used in “diabetic” products. What should we think ? It has a higher sweetening power than table sugar so you put less to get the same sweet taste, its glycemic index is lower but it is not recommended in people with type 2 diabetes because it increases the amount of blood triglycerides. Without forgetting the fact that fructose remains sugar! The same goes for agave syrups, rice syrup, wheat … which flood the gondolas of health food stores. They are not characterized by a sweet flavor, a higher sweetening power but they are not devoid of calories.