Regular is better

Adequate for diabetics? Professor Michael Stumvoll does not recommend products from the health food store to diabetics.

Keep your hands off products for diabetics! Professor Michael Sturmvoll, Medical Director of the Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases Leipzig discourages even diabetics and overweight persons to resort to them. This is because according to new medical findings cookies for diabetics have neither less sugar nor fewer calories than regular cookies.

Advent is the time of the year when we are officially allowed to give in to our sweet tooth without having a guilty conscience. And because diabetics and overweight persons do not have to avoid sweets, there are special diet sweets. For a long time this allowed them to indulge in sweets once in a while, too.

But according to the current state of sciences those are neither lower in sugar nor in calories and are therefore not a better fit for diabetics and overweight people than regular sweets. Cookies for diabetics are in fact equally fattening. Instead of glucose they contain substitute products like fructose, isomalt, sorbite and many more. Those substances do not raise the blood sugar level, but they do have the same amount of calories as normal sugar.

Therefore Professor Michael Sturmvoll, expert on diabetes and Medical Director of the IFB discourages the consumption of supposedly adequate food for diabetics: “A diabetic has to be very disciplined as it is: they have to count calories, measure, inject themselves, take extra dextrose if their blood sugar is low. They should be able to eat whatever is available.” Nowadays luckily the insulin is very effective; it will re-normalize the increased blood sugar level fairly quickly.

According to studies there is even a connection between the consumption of fructose and overweight that is not based on an increased ingestion of calories, but on the influence of the fat and carbohydrate metabolism: fructose is metabolized into body fat by the body faster than glucose. Additionally it is assumed that fructose increases the storage of fats from the nutrition and cookies for diabetics contain more fat than regular cookies.

But no matter what cookies are chosen – the important thing ist he calorie balance. “If you take in more than you burn, all cookies are bad for you,” says Sturmvoll. “Of course diabetics have to have this in mind more than others. They can never consume a total calorie amount of more than seven bread units per meal, or else the insulin will no longer work,” explains Sturmvoll. Like often in life, the saying “It all depends on the amount”  applies.