Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Diabetic Jam!

There’s a myth about diabetes that you can’t eat sugar. Like many myths, this has some basis, in that previously it was thought that sugar, and sugar alone, was the ‘cause’ of diabetes and was therefore some kind of poison as far as people with the condition were concerned. Now we know that this isn’t the case. True, it is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and that means that we shouldn’t be continually stuffing ourselves with sweets and cakes – but that is true for non-diabetic people too. Sugar, like any carbohydrate, will affect blood glucose levels, causing them to rise. If combined with other food though, for example, by eating a piece of cake or ice cream after a main meal, the effect on the levels is reduced by slowing the conversion of the sugar to glucose in the blood.

Some companies produce so-called ‘diabetic’ food, in which the sugar content has been replaced by artificial sweeteners called ‘polyols’. OK, no sugar – but these foods still contain carbohydrate, so need to be considered when administering insulin doses, for example. Moreover, the polyols can have a rather unfortunate laxative side-effect in some people, which makes them unsuitable in any form of diet! Diabetes UK and most healthcare workers will recommend that you do not eat ‘diabetic’ products, as they have no nutritional benefits over ‘ordinary’ foodstuffs, and are generally considerably more expensive, so really it is about time that such things were removed from the shelves. A market for them probably only persists because well-meaning friends and relatives of people with diabetes buy them as ‘treats’, or uninformed or newly-diagnosed people with diabetes buy them thinking that the normal versions are taboo.

Ah! You’re diabetic? Well, don’t worry my dear,
We’ve got all sorts of goodies that are suitable here!
There’s diabetic chocolate and diabetic cake,
And diabetic jam – took me ages to make!

And diabetic sweets in all sorts of flavours –
For someone like you they’re heavenly saviours!
So don’t feel deprived, they’re especially for you!
I’ve heard sugar would kill you – is that really true?

Now you might find the sweeteners are rather emetic,
But you’ll just have to suffer since you’re diabetic…
I should also mention they cost twice the price
Of ordinary sweet stuff, but don’t taste as nice…

What’s that? You’re declining? Well how can that be?
But you can't eat normally, like people like me!
You can? Well, my goodness, I’ve learned something new!
My business is finished, and no thanks to you!

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