Sucrose, the name for table sugar, is an equal mix of glucose and fructose. The previously held belief that people with diabetes should avoid sugar has not born the test of time. Scientific research has now clearly shown that small amounts of refined sugar do not cause too much fluctuation in blood glucose levels. It is now the norm to recommend to people with diabetes that as part of a healthy balanced diet, sugar can be taken, as anyone else would do in the general population.

Fructose is another naturally occurring sweetener. It is found in fruit, berries, honey and some root vegetables. There are no reasons why the high relative sweetness of fructose fruit sugar cannot be enjoyed by people with diabetes. It is a matter of quantity; in normal food portions there are huge benefits to eating fruit, which is a rich source of vitamins and fiber. The controversy surrounds the addition of fructose as a sweetener to certain foods and whether this contributes to the current epidemic of obesity. Fructose is found in the manufactured sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup, which is used particularly in the US to sweeten soft drinks. Any excessive immediately available calories will be converted to sugar stores in the liver and eventually also contribute to fat synthesis. In this regard the high amount of sugar intake makes the soft drinks industry an obvious target in the global battle against obesity.

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