Eating biscuits, cake with emulsifiers can raise diabetes risk; study uncovers dangers of this food additive | Health - Hindustan Times
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Eating biscuits, cake with emulsifiers can raise diabetes risk; study uncovers dangers of this food additive

By, New Delhi
May 18, 2024 06:40 PM IST

A recent Lancet study suggested an association between chronic consumption of certain emulsifier additives and a higher risk of diabetes.

Consuming packaged foods with food additive emulsifiers is silently raising your risk of type 2 diabetes, as per a new study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. Emulsifiers are the additives that help to stabilise the product and are commonly used to processed foods like cakes, biscuits, yoghurts, ice creams, chocolates to enhance their appearance and extend their shelf life. Pectins, modified starches, lecithins, phosphates, celluloses, gums, and diglycerides of fatty acids are some of the common examples of these emulsifiers. (Also read: Working night shifts can put you at risk of diabetes, depression; know 6 adverse effects from expert)

While emulsifiers have been assessed for their safety at the time of their review, recent research indicates that emulsifiers could upset the gut flora and raise the danger of inflammation and metabolic disturbance, which might result in insulin resistance and the emergence of diabetes.(Unsplash)
While emulsifiers have been assessed for their safety at the time of their review, recent research indicates that emulsifiers could upset the gut flora and raise the danger of inflammation and metabolic disturbance, which might result in insulin resistance and the emergence of diabetes.(Unsplash)

The researchers took into account the data of 104,139 adults enrolled in the French NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort study from May 2009 to April 2023 who were assessed for 24 hours on 3 non-consecutive days at inclusion and every 6 months thereafter to determine their risk for type 2 diabetes. After a 6.8-year-follow-up, 1,065 participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

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Emulsifiers like mono-and diglycerides of fatty acids, carrageenans, modified starches, lecithins, phosphates, celluloses, gums, and pectins have been associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, as per the study.

What's the link between emulsifiers and diabetes?

"While emulsifiers have been assessed for their safety at the time of their review, recent research indicates that emulsifiers could upset the gut flora and raise the danger of inflammation and metabolic disturbance, which might result in insulin resistance and the emergence of diabetes," says Dr Sandeep Kharb, Sr. Consultant - Endocrinology, Asian Hospital, Faridabad.

Researchers studied the possible links between the dietary intake of food additive emulsifiers and the onset of type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest an association between the chronic consumption of certain emulsifier additives and a higher risk of diabetes. The results point to a possible link between a greater risk of diabetes and long-term use of certain emulsifier additives.

How diabetics can make healthier choices

Tips for diabetics to choose healthy food and steer clear of emulsifiers by Dr Kharb:

It's important to keep in mind that diabetes is an endocrine metabolic illness that may be managed with lifestyle changes. Thus, if you have diabetes, start using these healthy dietary suggestions to control and manage your condition in the right manner.

• Choosing healthier options like whole grains including millets, ragi, and nachni, fruits and veggies, protein-rich foods like chickpeas and lentils and plant-based milk like almond milk instead of dairy make you feel fuller to curb your hunger pangs. A high-fiber diet like oats and salads is a must for a healthy gut.

• Reduce the amount of salt you eat since it raises your blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart problems and stroke. Furthermore, your chance of developing cardiac issues doubles if you have diabetes. Don't take more than 6g each day. Steer clear of packaged meals with a high content of salt in them.

• Steer clear of processed meat as it is quite tough for the stomach to digest. Because processed meat immediately impacts blood sugar levels, it is directly connected to cardiac disease. Choose seafood, as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent heart attacks in the long term.

• Cut down on sugar by slowly tapering down your sugar intake by switching to more wholesome beverages like coconut water or fruit juices. Blood glucose levels can be properly managed by avoiding beverages with added sugar.

• For diabetics, eating at the appropriate times is critical. When you have a snack urge, it's critical to select the appropriate snack for you. Instead of wafers, cookies, and chocolates, keep some nutritious snacks on hand, such as unsalted dried fruits, peanuts, seeds, and almonds.

• It's critical to overcome addictions to smoking and drinking. Because alcohol contains a lot of calories, when it is consumed, blood sugar levels rise right away.

  • Frequent exercise aids in boosting metabolism in a way that helps manage blood sugar levels and turn food into energy the body can utilize.

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