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Austrian Diabetes Society (ÖDG) increases myths about sweeteners

September 17th, 2015 | by Austrian Association
Austrian Diabetes Society (ÖDG) increases myths about sweeteners
Diet Guides

(Vienna, 03.12.2013) – diabetics or obese people with a “sweet tooth” it is not easy, especially during the festive season. Large quantities of sweets and sugary drinks such as mulled wine or punch, bring the insulin balance of the body quickly out of balance and also lead to obesity. The Austrian Diabetes Society (ÖDG) recommends in principle to keep in the supply of sweets measure. The use of sweeteners for diabetics is beneficial in that there will be no effect on the blood sugar. Sweeteners show also in terms of body weight control benefits, because they contain no calories.

Sweetener instead of sugar
principle should consume diabetics and obese people little sugary food and drinks – a recommendation that is generally true for a healthy diet. In particular, sugary drinks contain many calories and increase the risk for the development of overweight and obesity. For trained and well-controlled diabetics who carry out regular SMBG, not an absolute prohibition on the supply of sugar is valid. The treatment guidelines of ÖDG recommend, however, a limit sugar intake to a maximum of 50 grams daily. In this case, the calorie content must be considered, and the dose of insulin to be adapted to the presence in the candies. In the use of sweeteners that do not contain carbohydrates or calories, and thus do not affect the blood glucose, there is no need for the therapy adjustment.

The advantages and potential health effects of sweeteners are still the subject of ongoing discussions (Shankar et al, non-nutritive sweeteners: Review and update, Nutrition 2013.29: 1293). Before a sweetener found in the EU approval, the wholesomeness must be confirmed in extensive tests.

Myths surrounding sweetener
come to sweeten beverages and foods sugar substitutes (such as isomalt, sorbitol, xylitol or mannitol), and sweeteners used. Sugar substitutes may lead (flatulence, diarrhea), especially in higher amount for gastrointestinal complaints. For sweeteners are in compliance with the maximum daily intake (ADI called – “Acceptable Daily Intake”) to expect any side effects. For conventional sweeteners such as aspartame, found in the recommended dosage range by the FDA no carcinogenic effect (Magnuson et al, Crit Rev Toxicol 2007).

“Another controversially discussed side effect of sweeteners relates to the potential in epidemiological studies weight-increasing effect (Remote Power et al, The Journal of Nutrition, 2012; Bellisle et al, The Journal of Nutrition, 2012). Much of the research on the causal mechanisms is however based on animal experimental projects with a conditional applicability to the situation in humans, “says Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Monika Lechleitner from Landeskrankenhaus Hochzirl and board member of ÖDG.

EU-wide are currently eight approved sweeteners, the most famous being aspartame, cyclamate and saccharin. That sweeteners with E-numbers are called, also leaves many people suspect. In fact, E-numbers indicate only for food additives according to European regulations. For example, the sweetener stevioside has the E number 960. If one were now “sugar” – ie sucrose – discover, this would also be provided with an E-number. Sweeteners are manufactured using complex production steps in part from natural origin sources. The sweetener aspartame is derived for example from her two natural protein building blocks. Thaumatin in turn is derived from the fruit and neohesperidin dihydrochalcone from the peel of bitter oranges.

Stevia sweeteners
with “Stevia”, more specifically, the glycosides, which are isolated from the from South America plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, recently came another sweetener of natural origin on the market. The so-called Stevioglykoside are high purity sweeteners with a sweetening power which is approximately 40 to 300 times stronger than that of sugar. The taste sensation is long lasting, can be accompanied by a slightly bitter and licorice-like off-flavor and decrease slightly during cooking and baking. Doubts concerning the authorization have arisen from animal studies with negative effect on fertility. However, an unrealistically large amount of around half of the body weight was in these studies, which also showed potentially toxic or mutagenic effects in adults, use of fresh stevia leaves. The authorization in the EU refers to the high purity steviol glycosides (the leaves of the plant contain more than 100 herbal remedies) and limits the daily intake of 4 mg / kg body weight / day. Stevioglykoside are approved as E 960 for use in certain foods (beverages, sweets, desserts, food supplements). In South America Stevia for centuries as a sweetener in use in Japan since the 1970s.

Cooking with sweetener
sweetener you can not only use it to sweeten beverages, but also for cooking and baking. However, you should note a few things. Not all sweeteners are heat resistant. Some lose while cooking or baking their sweetness or bitterness. Heat stable for example, cyclamate and saccharin. The corresponding statement can be found on the package. In addition to the heat resistance of the sweeteners and the mass plays a role. Since sweeteners sweet substantially stronger than sugar, is the required amount of liquid sweetness far below the amount of sugar given in the recipe. In addition, the sweetener lacks the binding action, which can be problematic, for example, in a stirred or sponge cake, because this makes the addition of sugar butter, eggs and flour over a third of the mass of. With sweetener, the dough may not succeed. Who wants to be sure, should not replace the sugar in the recipe simply by sweetener, but equal to select a baking recipe with sweetener.Then diabetic friendly biscuits nothing stands in the way.


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