Diabetes and dietary sugars

Older patients report they have ‘sugar diabetes’ and the media demonises sugar as the root of all dietary evil. It’s no wonder sugar myths are high on the diabetic diet myth list.

In fact, people with diabetes can eat a moderate amount of sugars in their diet. 

To clarify the term – ‘sugar’ generally refers to sucrose (brown, raw and white table sugar) although there are many different types of sugars and nutritive sweeteners (Box 1) found in foods. 

Sugars were once described as ‘simple’ – a simple chemical structure digested quickly. However glycaemic index (GI) research has since negated this.1

GI foods are ranked as low GI: 0–55, moderate GI: 56–69 and high GI: 70–100. Some sugars – sucrose (GI 68), lactose (GI 46) and fructose (fruit and honey sugars, GI 19)