A recent study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology has identified a concerning link between chronic consumption of certain emulsifier additives and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Emulsifiers, commonly found in processed foods like cakes, biscuits, yoghurts, ice creams, and chocolates, are utilized to stabilize products and extend their shelf life. Examples of these emulsifiers include pectins, modified starches, lecithins, phosphates, celluloses, gums, and diglycerides of fatty acids.

The study, which analyzed data from 104,139 adults enrolled in the French NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort study over a period spanning from May 2009 to April 2023, revealed that individuals regularly consuming foods containing emulsifiers like biscuits and cakes faced an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. After a 6.8-year follow-up, 1,065 participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, underscoring the importance of understanding and potentially limiting the intake of these additives like biscuits and cakes for better metabolic health.

Link between emulsifiers and diabetes:

The study highlights a concerning association between various emulsifiers, including mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, carrageenans, modified starches, lecithins, phosphates, celluloses, gums, and pectins, and an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These emulsifiers are commonly used in processed foods to enhance texture, stability, and shelf life. The findings underscore the importance of considering the potential health implications of consuming foods like biscuits and cakes containing these additives and the need for further research to better understand their impact on metabolic health.

Recent research suggests that despite being initially assessed for safety, emulsifiers could potentially disrupt gut flora, leading to inflammation and metabolic disturbances. This disruption may contribute to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes. Researchers have investigated the relationship between dietary intake of emulsifier additives and the onset of diabetes, finding a concerning association between chronic consumption of certain emulsifiers and an increased risk of the disease. These findings highlight the need for further examination of the long-term effects of emulsifier additives on metabolic health and diabetes risk.

Smart Choices for Diabetics:

For individuals managing diabetes, making healthy food choices is essential for controlling blood sugar levels and overall health. Here are some tips for diabetics to choose healthy foods and avoid emulsifiers:

  • Opt for Whole Grains and Fiber-rich Foods: Choose whole grains like millets, ragi, and nachni, as well as fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, chickpeas, and lentils. These options help control blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer. High-fiber foods like oats and salads promote a healthy gut.
  • Limit Salt Intake: Reduce the amount of salt in your diet to control blood pressure, which is crucial for individuals with diabetes to lower the risk of heart problems and stroke. Avoid packaged meals with high salt content and aim for no more than 6g of salt per day.
  • Avoid Processed Meats: Processed meats are difficult for the stomach to digest and can quickly impact blood sugar levels. Opt for seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent heart attacks in the long term.
  • Reduce Sugar Consumption: Gradually decrease your sugar intake by switching to healthier alternatives like coconut water or fruit juices without added sugars. Avoid beverages with added sugars to properly manage blood glucose levels.
  • Choose Nutritious Snacks: Instead of unhealthy snacks like wafers, cookies, and chocolates, keep nutritious options on hand such as unsalted dried fruits, peanuts, seeds, and almonds. These snacks provide energy without causing spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Manage Alcohol and Smoking: Limit or avoid alcohol consumption and smoking, as they can affect blood sugar levels and overall health. Alcohol contains a lot of calories and can cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels when consumed.

In addition to making healthy food choices, regular exercise is crucial for managing diabetes. Exercise helps boost metabolism, control blood sugar levels, and convert food into energy that the body can use efficiently. Incorporating both healthy eating habits and regular physical activity into your lifestyle can greatly improve diabetes management and overall well-being.


The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.

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