Diabetes sufferers will probably be wondering whether they can safely consume sugary foods in the upcoming months, particularly with Halloween and Christmas on the horizon – and the answer is they can in moderation.
Those with type 1 and type 2 forms of the condition are often told they need to be careful of the amount of sugar they consume.
This is because sufferers’s bodies cannot properly deal with glucose – or sugar – in their blood, causing levels to rise too high.
In healthy people, glucose enters the body’s cells to be used as fuel, whereas for diabetes sufferers it simply accumulates in the bloodstream.
Eating sugary foods in abundance can can cause blood glucose levels to rise dangerously high.
If this happens continually over a long period in someone with diabetes, it can damage their blood vessels and cause health problems.
According to the NHS even a slightly raised glucose level over a long period can cause increased risk of heart disease, stroke, nerve damage and kidney disease.
Indeed, many sufferers die of a heart-related condition, with 68 per cent of diabetes sufferers 65 or older succumbing to some form of heart disease and strokes responsible for killing 16 per cent. Additionally, people with poorly-managed diabetes are at a greater risk of developing problems with their feet, causing damage to sensation and circulation and even leading to amputation.
“When you have diabetes it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and only include sugary, high-fat foods occasionally as a treat,” they state.
“Don’t worry about the odd one or two indulgences as these will not affect your long-term blood diabetes management.
“Just eat it in moderation, rather than using it to satisfy hunger, and don’t eat a lot in one go as it affects your blood sugar levels.”
What’s more, the body needs glucose to function – it is broken down from carbohydrates to become one of our key sources of energy.Then there’s the risk of hypoglycaemia when diabetes sufferers don’t get enough sugar at all, causing blurry vision, rapid heartbeat and seizure.
Diabetes sufferers need to be aware of when they’re consuming sugar and when they’re not in order to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Often on labels it won’t be listed as ‘sugar’, but as terms including dextrose, fructose, lactose, malt syrup, sucrose, honey, agave nectar, glucose and maltodextrin.