Diabetes and Diet
Once diagnosed with diabetes, many people feel their life becomes very restricted.
Our expert Dr. Roshani Sanghani, an expert endocrinologist has a different approach towards diabetes.
We got a chance to know her views through this quick chat about the most commonly discussed topic- Eating sweets in diabetes!
Let’s have a look at our expert views:
(1) It is said that a person having diabetes should not eat anything sweet. What are your views on this?
“We can choose to eat sweets in moderation. When we decide to have a sweet, we can remind ourselves that we are having it for taste and pleasure and therefore we can ask ourselves about how much quantity is required to enjoy the taste because our taste buds are just at the tip of our tongue and not in our stomach!! Slow down and enjoy it fully!”
(2) What are your views on the sugar substitutes or natural/artificial sweeteners which are available in the market under different brand names? Is that okay to include in replacement of sugar?
“Long term safety data is not available for the substitutes. I do not advise substitutes because sugar can be eaten in moderation while watching the blood sugar levels. The bigger question which I always ask my patients is:
Why do they feel the need for sweet taste? Sugar addiction occurs in the mind and can be overcome by understanding why the urge is coming in the first place. There is no need to give up sweets entirely because that only sets us up for more cravings.”
If one has the answer to this question, Moderation becomes the key to healthy life then!
(3) Stevia (Natural sweetener) has gained a lot of attention because of its natural sweet taste which doesn’t affect the blood sugars. What are your views about Stevia?
“It is just another substitute that lacks long-term data. People are excited about Stevia (because it is natural) but if we get back to the basics, even sugar comes from natural sources! It is only recently that sugar (although it is natural) is getting so much scientific attention therefore we know a lot more about it. Sugarcane goes through so much processing before it is consumed as easily digestible sugar. Our blood glucose levels would not rise as much if we had to consume sugarcane by using our teeth to bite off pieces growing in the fields and chew through thick fibrous bark without the help of any sharp blades or machines!
Maybe we should try (at least once!) consuming sugar the way our ancestors discovered sugarcane plants in the wild. Even commercially available stevia is being consumed in a highly processed way (nobody is chewing stevia leaves straight from the plant). So my point is, why not just have sugar in limited amounts, practicing moderation? By wearing a continuous glucose sensor you can see the effect of sugar on your body and decide how much to have.”
“Everything in moderation is absolutely okay, having diabetes doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy life!”