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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Sweets & Type 2 Diabetes

          Photo Credit:  123RF

The Sweet Dilemma: Managing Type 2 Diabetes and Sweets

Type 2 diabetes management requires a nuanced approach to watching the sweets that you eat.  The allure of sugary treats can be overpowering, but understanding the nuances of sugar types and their impact is vital for controlling blood sugar levels.  This article delves into the world of sweets, exploring store-bought desserts, various sugar types, and the role of sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, and natural sweeteners in type 2 diabetes management.

Types of Sugar in Food

Sugar manifests in diverse forms, and knowing the difference between them is crucial for informed dietary decisions with type 2 diabetes. The principal sugar types in food include:

Glucose: This is the body's primary energy source, naturally present in fruits, vegetables, and honey.

Fructose: Found in fruits, vegetables, and honey, fructose boasts a lower glycemic index but warrants moderation.

Sucrose:  Commonly known as table sugar, sucrose is a blend of glucose and fructose, prevalent in processed foods, baked goods, and sugary beverages.

Lactose:  Present in dairy products, lactose necessitates the enzyme lactase for digestion.

Maltose:  Originating from starch breakdown, maltose is abundant in grains like barley and malted products.

Understanding sugar sources can empower individuals with type 2 diabetes to make healthier dietary choices, optimizing blood sugar control.

Store-Bought Desserts

Commercial desserts often contain refined sugars, which pose a considerable challenge for managing type 2 diabetes.  Cakes, cookies, pastries, and ice cream typically contain high sugar content, precipitating blood sugar spikes.  Opting for homemade desserts using natural sweeteners or sugar substitutes allows for superior ingredient control and portion moderation.  If you want some easy recipes, check them out on our website at

Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar Alcohols

For individuals managing type 2 diabetes, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners offer viable alternatives to satisfy sweet cravings without jeopardizing blood sugar levels. However, comprehending their effects and limitations is imperative.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose provide sweetness sans the calories or carbohydrates found in sugar. They exert no influence on blood sugar levels and serve as valuable tools for diabetes management. Nonetheless, some individuals may encounter adverse reactions or find their taste unpalatable.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols such as erythritol, xylitol, and sorbitol, derived from fruits and vegetables, impart sweetness with minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Despite furnishing fewer calories and less glycemic impact than sucrose, excessive sugar alcohol consumption may induce gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Natural Sweeteners

Natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit extract, and agave nectar offer sweetness sourced from plants with negligible blood sugar influence.  These alternatives present viable options for type 2 diabetes management, enabling reduced sugar intake without sacrificing flavour.  However, moderation and mindful carbohydrate consumption remain essential.

The End

In summary, type 2 diabetes and sweets require meticulous consideration of sugar types and alternative sweeteners.  Individuals can indulge their sweet tooth by making informed decisions and exercising moderation while preserving optimal blood sugar control. Remember, it's not about deprivation but achieving equilibrium and relishing treats responsibly within a wholesome lifestyle.

For more tips on managing type 2 diabetes and maintaining a balanced diet, explore our comprehensive resources and advice on our website at

Please remember to discuss any dietary changes with your healthcare professional, who is in the best position to advise you.

Best wishes .......

Vancouver, Canada

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