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Is It Safe For A Person With Diabetes To Eat Sweets?

Written and reviewed by
DM - Endocrinology, MBBS, MD - Medicine
Endocrinologist, Bangalore  •  17 years experience
 Is It Safe For A Person With Diabetes To Eat Sweets?

For anyone who has a sweet tooth and loves gorging on desserts every now and then, saying ‘no’ to sugar can be challenging. Overindulging in sweets can lead to a range of health issues – inflammation in the immune system, obesity, cavities, etc. But the one disease that has been creating quite a stir among dessert lovers is diabetes. Diabetes develops when the levels of blood sugar or blood glucose in your body are too high. Normally, your body (the pancreas) forms the insulin hormone to convert glucose into energy and controls the blood sugar. However, if you are diabetic, either the pancreas generates little or no insulin, or the cells are unable to use glucose efficiently for energy. Both conditions are chronic.

What happens when a diabetic eats sweets?

Because your body lacks insulin to absorb glucose in the bloodstream or does not respond to insulin at all, the blood sugar levels are more likely to rise if you have diabetes. Therefore, if a diabetes patient consumes sweets or anything that is too sugary, the glucose levels start building up and eventually give rise to a host of related health complications.

Type 2 diabetes, which usually affects middle-aged people and older adults, is the more common type of diabetes. Here’s the good news – if you are a type 2 diabetic, you can still enjoy your weekends binging on desserts. However, remember not to go overboard. Keep these points in the mind –

• Carefully monitor your carbs intake – limit your daily carbohydrate intake to 45-60gms per meal

• Replace refined sugar with natural sugar – substitute powdered sugar with honey and jaggery

• Monitor your portion size – eat sweets in small portions and not more than once a week

Following the above points will ensure that your blood sugar level does not exceed the maximum limit. The highest blood sugar level (fasting) that is safe should be below 126mg/dl.

A majority of people, who are diabetic, believe that replacing normal sugar with rock sugar can prevent their blood sugar levels from shooting up. However, this is not the case. The crystals of both table sugar and rock sugar are formed from saturated sugar solutions. Even though there may not be a major difference between the processing method of the two, rock sugar contains more calories and is more concentrated than table sugar. Therefore, you have it – diabetics should avoid eating rock sugar.

How do you bring down blood sugar quickly?

Instead of relying on medications and insulin, you can resort to other ways to bring down your blood sugar levels quickly. These include –

• Eat more fiber-rich foods – whole grains, fruits, vegetables

• Drink enough water to stay hydrated

• Consume foods that have a low GI (glycemic index) – seafood, meat, lentils, barley, oats, non-starchy vegetables

• Get enough sleep

• Exercise regularly

Most importantly, do not forget to monitor your blood sugar levels from time to time. Diabetes does not necessarily mean cutting down on sugar and sweets completely. You can occasionally dig into some, provided you know what to eat, how much to eat, and how often to eat.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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