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When Life gives you Lemons

When Life gives you Lemons

The humble lemon makes the ‘diabetic superfoods’ list. Here is how Total Sweet is the perfect partner...

When life gives you lemons… you can make lemonade; OR use it to help control your blood sugar levels. 

Studies into the effect of different foods on blood sugar levels [1] show how sugar levels in our diets have profound effects, especially on those with Diabetes.

Sugar kickstarts an insulin response within our bodies. Insulin helps your body bring sugars into its cells, providing energy. Diabetics often have a harder time with this natural process, which can lead to numerous health issues. 

Type 2 Diabetics can still produce insulin, but the body uses this insulin incorrectly, making blood sugars hard to regulate. This is where our trusty lemon comes in. One study found that lemon peels may prevent sugar absorption into the blood [1]. They can also lower glucose levels, reduce insulin resistance, and regulate your metabolism. A different study also concluded that lemons helped to lower obesity in rodents. And as obesity is heavily linked to the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, it’s the perfect reason to show lemons the love [2]. 

The American Diabetes Association include lemons on their list of ‘diabetic superfoods’. And while oranges also made the cut, ‘lemon peel essential oil exhibited higher antidiabetic and antihypertensive activities compared to orange peels’ [3]. 

With science confirming the link between blood sugar levels and lemon consumption, you may be wondering how to incorporate more of it into your diet. 

Lemons are versatile, so using them in hot and cold drinks and your favourite recipes will be a breeze. Here’s a couple of ways we’ve found to get more lemons into your diet.  After all, zest is best: 

  • Make your own natural lemonade using fresh lemons, sparkling or soda water and Total Sweet® - no added sugar!
  • Add fresh lemon zest to pasta sauces, salads, and seasonings. Chinese style lemon chicken anyone? 
  • Stir lemon puree into natural yoghurt… and add a hint of natural sweetness with Total Sweet.
  • Add small chunks of lemon to your water bottles…for a refreshing twist on hydrating.
  • When cooking with fish, add a few fresh lemon slices to the top to help extract the essential oils.


The combination of sweet and sour goes great in many tart desserts. Try mixing fresh lemon puree with Total Sweet for a refreshingly punchy mix perfect for adding to cake mixes and sauces. Want to bake your favourite recipes with Total Sweet? Easy peezy. Simply replace the sugar with Total Sweet, 1:1, with no complicated conversions!

Try homemade lemon marmalade using lemons and Total Sweet for a fresh breakfast toast topper created to put a spring in your step.

Even if you aren’t diabetic or dieting, lemons still have a part to play in a healthy lifestyle. Lemons are packed full of good stuff, from vitamins c and d to antioxidants and calcium. Vitamin C has been shown to play a protective role in the development of Type 2 Diabetes [4], making lemons an ideal source. So, if you’re asking whether the juice is worth the squeeze, we can assure you that it certainly is. 


Note:  As always, make sure to consult a medical professional before jumping into the world of citrus. Everybody is different, and while calls to invest in the zest may work for some of us, others may not benefit in the same way. 


[1] Inhibition of enzymes linked to type-2 diabetes and hypertension by essential oils from peels of orange and lemon. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942912.2017.1303709

[2] Citrange Fruit Extracts Alleviate Obesity-Associated Metabolic Disorder in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese C57BL/6 Mous. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/14/12/23736/htm

[3] What superstar foods are good for diabetes? https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/eating-well/diabetes-superstar-foods

[4] Dietary Vitamin C Intake Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Chinese Adults: HOMA-IR and T-AOC as Potential Mediators. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163571