For a given quantity consumed, people with diabetes could substitute sucrose for fructose because it produces less of a glycemic response.
Fructose is a simple sugar found naturally in fruit and honey. It is also manufactured industrially and sold as a sweetener.
• has more sweetening power than white sugar (sucrose), requiring a smaller amount to get the same sweet taste;
• has less of an impact on blood glucose (sugar) levels than white sugar.
Daily consumption of up to 60 g of fructose (from foods or beverages with added fructose) as a substitute for an equal amount of sucrose does not generally cause adverse effects in most people with diabetes.
However, daily consumption of more than 60 g of fructose in its added form is not recommended, given its impact on blood triglycerides . High triglyceride levels can affect the health of the heart and arteries.
Note: consuming more than 50 g of fructose per day can cause abdominal pain, gas, bloating and even diarrhea.
Research and text: Diabetes Québec Team of Dietitians
June 2014 (updated on July 2018)
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Galibois, Isabelle, (2005) Le diabète de type 1 et ses défis alimentaires quotidiens, Québec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval,
P.D. Dworatzek et al., (2013) “Nutrition Therapy,” Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes in Canada, (Canadian Journal of Diabetes, vol. 37, pp. S409-S421), Canadian Diabetes Association.
Sievenpiper J, Chan C, Dworatzek P et al. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada: Nutrition Therapy. Can J Diabetes 2018; 42 (Suppl 1): S64-S79.