German health authorities say sugar okay for diabetics
Overturning decades of advice, a German public-health agency said Monday that diabetics should resume eating ordinary sugar and that special food for diabetics had no value, the dpa reported.
The ruling was issued by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment BfR in Berlin.
New research showed it was more important for diabetics to obtain vitamins and roughage by eating fruit and vegetables daily, it said.
Diabetes mellitus comprises two diseases, Type 1 and Type 2, where sufferers have an unusually high sugar level in their urine.
The BfR said doctors' orders to completely eliminate ordinary sugar from the daily diet and switch to foods sweetened with fructose and other sugars instead had been wrong.
In a blow to the industry that supplies special "diabetic foods," the BfR said it would not set standards for such foods because they did not fulfil their purpose. Many other foods were just as beneficial to diabetics.
The announcement said the blessing for sugar should not be taken as an invitation to indulge in cake.
Every sufferer had to adopt a sensible and moderate diet and cut back on overweight.
BfR president Andreas Hensel called for changes to EU food labelling so diabetics could see the sugar, fat, roughage and salt content of all foods.
The BfR recommendation said other prohibitions for diabetics remained in place: they should avoid greasy sausages, fatty cheeses, chocolate, cream cakes and potato crisps and eat low-fat dairy products instead.
Explaining the ruling, the BfR said both types of diabetes mellitus were not caused by excessive sugar intake but by problems in metabolizing protein and fats. Therapy should aim to restore proper blood-fat levels, blood pressure and body weight.