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Brooklyn Creamery Ice Cream: A Diabetic’s Perspective

A little while ago, a friend sent over a couple of tubs of ice cream. He said they were a relatively new entrant to the market and claimed to be Diabetes friendly.

On examining the printed ingredients on the pack, I found the two primary sweeteners to be:

  • Maltitol is a polyol or sugar alcohol, is lower (2.4 kcal/gm) in calories than sugar (4 kcal/gm), results in a reduced glycaemic response, and does not aid in tooth decay or spikes/sudden increases in blood glucose levels. It can cause flatulence and laxative effects when consumed in larger quantities. ​1–3​
  • Fructose Oligosaccharides are a class of dietary fibre that isn’t fully digested by the body, delivers 2 kcal/gm of energy and can reduce post-prandial blood glucose response. It can cause laxative among other non-serious, undesirable gastrointestinal effects, especially with over-consumption.​1​

While these additives are considered safe, the combination of these two sweeteners in foods was studied, and found they can be jointly used in sugar-free foods, and do deliver the benefit of reduced post-prandial blood glucose response. The downside is a small and transient increase in non-serious gastrointestinal symptoms. ​1​

There is however the possibility of a hypersensitive reaction to Maltitol, as seen in a 60 year old man (with a history of hypothyroidism and cutaneous psoriasis) after consuming a candy that was sweetened with Maltitol syrup. ​4​

Given the product claims to have lower fat and calories in comparison to other products, and both, fat and calories are a matter of consideration for diabetics, that’s good news too. ​5​

All in all, based on the above findings, I thought the products safe for my own consumption and that of my family, and we proceeded to demolish the lot.

References

  1. 1.
    Respondek F, Hilpipre C, Chauveau P, et al. Digestive tolerance and postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses after consumption of dairy desserts containing maltitol and fructo-oligosaccharides in adults. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014;68(5):575-580. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2014.30
  2. 2.
    Ruiz-Ojeda F, Plaza-Díaz J, Sáez-Lara M, Gil A. Effects of Sweeteners on the Gut Microbiota: A Review of Experimental Studies and Clinical Trials. Adv Nutr. 2019;10(suppl_1):S31-S48. doi:10.1093/advances/nmy037
  3. 3.
    Saraiva A, Carrascosa C, Raheem D, Ramos F, Raposo A. Maltitol: Analytical Determination Methods, Applications in the Food Industry, Metabolism and Health Impacts. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(14). doi:10.3390/ijerph17145227
  4. 4.
    Rodríguez T, Cámara H, García-Trujillo J, Magriz T, Fernández P. A Case of Immediate Hypersensitivity Reaction to Maltitol. Case Rep Med. 2017;2017:2127167. doi:10.1155/2017/2127167
  5. 5.
    Chawla R, Madhu S, Makkar B, et al. RSSDI-ESI Clinical Practice Recommendations for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus 2020. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2020;24(1):1-122. doi:10.4103/ijem.IJEM_225_20

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