Now, diabetics can dig into carrot cake without thinking twice about the amount of sugar they are consuming, for a new study has found no adverse changes in blood glucose of patients with type 2 diabetes when they increased sugar intake in the form of carrot cake, and maintained a stable body weight.
This discovery comes in line with the recent approach of scientists who suggest that moderate amounts of sugar can be safely consumed as part of the diet of patients with diabetes and opposes the age-old view that diabetic patients should completely cut out sugar.
The study led by Professor Gary Frost was conducted by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at London's Hammersmith Hospital.
For the study, three slices of carrot cake were added to the daily diets of nine, overweight type 2 diabetes patients over 24 days (bringing their daily total to 88g or 18 teaspoons of sugar). And the intake of the carrot cake slices was evenly distributed across the day.
The researchers took several measurements at the beginning and end of the study, including the patients' weight, blood sugar (glucose) levels, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity.
"In this study, the energy intake of these patients was balanced to their body weight, and their sucrose intake was spread evenly over a day. Correspondingly, they did not gain weight or show an increase in blood glucose levels at the end of the study; in addition, their cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity did not change," explained Prof. Frost.
He added: "the results of this small, short-term study support other scientific studies, which suggest that there could be more flexibility with sucrose in the diets of patients with type 2 diabetes. There is evidence from other studies (reviewed by Kirk et al 2000) that inclusion of sucrose may help people to lower their fat intake, which in turn may be beneficial to overall health.
"This research is in line with the dietary guidelines set by the American Diabetes Association (2007), which state that sucrose does not cause a greater increase in blood glucose levels than an equivalent amount of starch. Therefore sucrose or sucrose-containing foods should be treated similarly to other carbohydrate containing foods by people with diabetes; either substituted for other carbohydrates in the total daily intake, or managed with appropriate diabetes medication."