Diabetes is a chronic disease triggered by a shortage or a deficiency of insulin, a hormone that allows the body to correctly manage its glycemia, that is to say the levels of sugar in the blood. When there is a shortage of insulin or when the insulin produced can no longer fulfill its intended role, sugar builds up in the blood. When this occurs, the cells are deprived of their vital energy. At the same time, a rise in blood sugar levels will lead to an increase in the blood’s viscosity. This could be compared to the difference between maple water and maple syrup, where the more sugar a liquid contains, the thicker and more viscous it will be. In the long term, high blood sugar levels can result in complications, in particular in small blood vessels where blood which is more viscous can cause damage. The most common complications often therefore affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves and circulatory system.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Depending on the form and the stage of the disease, it can be treated with either an oral medication or daily injections of insulin. In both cases, people living with any form of diabetes become more aware of their intake of carbohydrates. It is important for them that they only consume them in moderation and in a quantity that is proportional to the therapeutic effect of their medication. This also helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and avoid long-term complications. Dietary habits are therefore an integral part of the treatment for this disease. As such, it is recommended that people with diabetes cook more at home in order to better control their sugar intake. The goal is to reduce the consumption of added sugars and increase the consumption of dietary fibre. As fibre helps slow down the rate of digestion of carbohydrates, it thus ensures that blood sugar levels are better managed over time. Another recommendation is to limit the intake of fats, giving priority the ones that are beneficial to heart health.
When it comes to baked goods, traditional recipes for cookies, muffins and other snacks are usually high in sugar as well as low quality fats. For diabetics, this means having to make a number of substitutions and adjustments to the original recipe in order to achieve a more appropriate balance. The same problem arises with commercial products, where only too often ready-to-eat baked products are also very high in sugar and low in dietary fibre. As a consequence, diabetics have far fewer options to choose from.