The diabetes epidemic also has led to innovation in healthy, alternative sweeteners in baked goods, reported Functional Ingredients magazine earlier this year. Natural sweeteners such as erythritol, inulin, xylitol and isomalt are increasingly used in baked goods for those looking to manage blood sugar levels.

It's no longer just about sugar, though. Prebiotic fibers and other functional ingredients help to control carbohydrate intake, another important part of managing the disease. The Western diet is high in carbohydrates and baked goods, and the truth is many people may not be amenable to an extremely restricted diet in order to reverse their condition.

Bakeries and bakery suppliers are taking up the slack to offer solutions for diabetics to continue to enjoy sweets in a healthy way. There are currently eight, entirely sugar-free, bakeries in the United States that cater to diabetics, such as Just Delicious Diabetic Delights in Clackamas, Ore.

Collaboration among the blood sugar management industry is crucial for meeting the needs of diabetics. In 2009, the bakery contacted BakeMark, a fine bakery ingredient and supplies manufacturer, and asked if it could remove the maltitol sweetener from its cake base product because it was causing distress to customers who are sensitive to the corn-based sweetener. In nine months, BakeMark reformulated the product. This nimble response is good for business and good for diabetics who want to have their cake and eat it, too.