Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by the presence ofexcess blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. In 2019, the Health Insurance estimated that France had nearly 4 million people with diabetes. Everyone can be affected: children, adults, but also pregnant women. Indeed, during pregnancy, it is possible to develop glucose intolerance resulting in an increase in glycemia (blood sugar level): this is gestational diabetes. To control your sugar level, you have to be careful about what you eat. A little added sugar, why not, but beware of excess!
Candy and diabetes, is it compatible?
” At first glance, baking and diabetes may seem difficult to reconcile explains Eugénie Girargeau, co-founder of Max de Génie, a low glycemic index pastry brand. ” Indeed, the dietary advice given to people with diabetes seems difficult to reconcile with the nutritional values of traditional pastries. However, you will agree, definitively banishing sweet pleasures from your plate is not a feasible or viable solution in the long term. Diabetes doesn’t have to be synonymous with frustration. Fortunately for the morale of the troops, there are alternatives for a gourmet snack without excess.
How to properly spot the sugar on your plate (and that of the children)
What is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index (GI) will measure the impact of carbohydrates (or sugars) of a food on our body. ” It indicates in particular the ability to raise our blood sugar more or less quickly. Indeed, not all foods are digested and absorbed in the same way! “, specifies Eugénie Girardeau.
The glycemic index of each food is classified on a scale of 0 to 100 (compared to pure glucose classified as 100):
- 0 to 55: low GI foods – carbohydrates will take a long time to be absorbed as sugar. As a result, they cause a small and lasting increase in blood sugar.
- From 55 to 70: moderate GI foods – foods that cause a moderate increase in blood sugar.
- 70 to 100: High GI foods – carbohydrates will be absorbed very quickly as sugar. As a result, they cause a very rapid and sudden increase in blood sugar.
Have a low glycemic index snack
” A low GI pastry is a pastry that we can indulge ourselves with without causing a spike in blood sugar. “, shares the pro. As an example, a traditional pastry has a GI between 70 and 90. A low GI pastry will be below 40.” At Max de Génie, eating a cookie has the same impact as an apple on our sugar level! “, adds Eugénie Girardeau.
A low GI pastry for a better feeling of satiety
In addition, a low GI pastry will bring faster a feeling of satiety compared to its counterparts. ” Indeed, high GI pastries made from refined flour and sugar, are made up of “empty calories” which provide few nutrients to our body. “Eating a delicious cake stuffed with fast sugars will lead to a drastic rise in blood sugar, then a drastic drop will occur within half an hour: this is what will cause a great deal of fatigue. ” Conversely, a low GI pastry will be richer in fiber and protein, and will keep you satisfied for longer. »
Low GI pastries, the solution when you have diabetes?
You will have understood: low GI pastries, and more generally, a low GI diet, will have positive consequences on your blood sugar curve and therefore on your health.
While the benefits of such a diet are beneficial for everyone, they may also differ for someone with type 1 diabetes, someone with type 2 diabetes, or someone with gestational diabetes.
- For type 1 diabetes
Eating low GI will make it possible to anticipate variations in the glycaemia curve and therefore at the same time to manage the doses of insulin to be injected upstream. Suffice to say that it greatly simplifies everyday life!
- For type 2 diabetes
The low GI diet is suitable in addition to an appropriate treatment. Low GI meals will act as a regulator and thus complement the advice of your practitioner. With this diet, you minimize the resistance of your cells to insulin, but also reduce your risk of develop cardiovascular problems (heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke).
- For gestational diabetes
As highlighted above, adopting a low GI diet in addition to varied and balanced meals acts against hyperglycemia. This significantly reduces the risks borne by the baby and the mother. If during a pregnancy with gestational diabetes the diet is not monitored, the baby could gain too much weight (which would complicate the delivery) and develop a greater chance of contracting diabetes in its future life. At birth, he could also have neonatal hypoglycemia and respiratory distress. As for the mother, she could give birth prematurely and by caesarean section, but also getting type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. Eating foods with a low glycemic index will mitigate these risks. Moreover, this diet is also recommended for a pregnant woman in whom no gestational diabetes has been detected. This allows, as said before, to prevent any risk of onset of diabetes which could be annoying for you and your baby.
- What diet to adopt as part of a gestational diabetes diet?
- Everything you need to know about childhood diabetes
Prepare a low glycemic index dessert yourself
If it is possible to find these diabetes-friendly cakes in our shops, you can also try to prepare them at home. For this, Eugénie Girardeau recommends limit refined white sugar as much as possible. ” In general, refined sugar will have a high glycemic index, and will contain fewer vitamins, minerals and trace elements. In our opinion, the best alternatives to white sugar are coconut blossom sugar or acacia honey (preferably of French origin)! Next, the co-founder of Max de Génie recommends swapping your traditional wheat flour for low-carb flours such as lupine, soy, or almond flour. Finally, you can also opt for the addition of natural fibers, such as psyllium or inulin, two natural fibers from plants. ” Adding soluble fiber to your recipes will have two positive effects. First, the fibers slow down the rate of absorption of nutrients, and therefore of carbohydrates. This will limit the spike in blood sugar. Secondly, the fibers also contribute to the appearance of the feeling of satiety more quickly. »