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. In this case, we can turn to real sugar, preferably to cane sugar, little refined, like Rapadura or Muscovada sugar that we can find in the exotic food section of supermarkets or in an organic store. It is highly flavoured, so you don’t have to add a lot to get the taste of it. 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 do this to reduce acidity or bitterness, not to make it sweet. Following this logic, you should only add one or two pinches of sugar to change the taste that you don’t like. When baking home pastries, divide the quantity of sugar in two, whenever you can.

Note that sugar has no utility for human’s health.

What is your opinion on  sugar substitutes?

Since the existence of sugar substitutes, the number of people with diabetes hasn’t stopped to grow, so « no comments ».

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 flavour your coffee, tea or dessert.

What foods contain « hidden sugars »?

Ready meals and most of the processed foods:
-    Ham and delis, breaded fish
-    Sauces
-    Canned or frozen veggies, soups
-    Flavoured 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.


avatar Louise-T

Author: Louise-T, Community Manager

A journalist by training, Louise was an editor in several newspapers before joining the Carenity team in France. It takes particular care to relay medical news to inform Carenity members about their rights or innovative treatments.