Type 2 diabetes is a health condition that can cause blood sugar levels to rise. When the body is unable to produce any insulin the hormone responsible for the breakdown of sugar, or the cells of the body are unable to use that insulin to break down glucose due to various reasons, it leads to a spike in blood sugar levels. If not managed well, high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can cause serious health complications, so much so that it can even damage vital organs such as the kidneys and heart.
People who develop type 2 diabetes have to be extra careful of what they eat and when they eat. They are recommended to steer clear of sweets, sugar, and any food products that may contain a lot of added sugar. They are also advised to consume small, frequent meals in order to keep their blood sugar levels stable.
A lot of people, irrespective of whether they have developed type 2 diabetes or not, are now turning to natural sweeteners in a bid to eat and be healthier. Some popular natural sweeteners include honey and jaggery and they are both commonly used as alternatives to processed sugar. They are believed to be healthier in the sense that they are not as processed as sugar and, therefore, may contain fewer chemicals, preservatives or undergo processing, and that is true to a great extent. When compared with processed white or brown sugar, jaggery or honey are considered better and healthier options.
Does that mean diabetics can eat jaggery without worrying?
Diabetics are recommended to avoid anything sweet as much as they can in order to manage their blood sugar levels. This is because the food we eat is generally rich in carbs and some form of sugar, which is enough to keep the blood sugar levels stable and prevent them from dropping too low. While the popular notion is that jaggery is healthier than sugar, for diabetics, they may in fact be the same. Therefore, diabetics should consume jaggery in moderation.
While jaggery is a natural sweetener and overall healthier than sugar, it is still pretty high in sugar content. Therefore, it can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels for diabetics. Jaggery has a high glycemic index of 84.4, which makes it unfit for consumption by diabetics.
Extract Stevia is made up of dried roots and leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana , which is native to Paraguay and Brazil. It is commonly known as sweet leaf of Paraguay, honey leaf, candy leaf, etc. Stevia is a plant-based sweetener sold in powder or liquid form and is 300 times sweeter than sucrose. It is suited for diabetics and people suffering from obesity because Stevia is not metabolized but simply excreted from the body. Thus, it has no impact on the blood sugar—meaning, no spikes and crashes.
Consuming natural sweeteners instead of sugar or other artificial sweeteners may be healthier, but it does not mean that one can consume them as much as they like, and expect to stay healthy. Remember that moderation is the key, whether you have diabetes or not. Consumption of natural sweeteners in excess, even when you do not have diabetes, can lead to unintended weight gain, and increase the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases.
Source: Internet & Others
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.