Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Safest Sugar Substitute For Diabetics

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Sweeteners Diabetics Should Avoid

Safe Sugar Substitutes for People With Diabetes

Not all natural sweeteners are safe alternatives for people with diabetes. For example, while agave has a low glycemic index , it has more calories than granulated sugar and higher fructose content. Fructose can cause the body to produce less insulin and put more strain on the liver as it breaks down the sugars.

In short, the side effects or effects of an alternative sweetener on insulin resistance may outweigh the benefits. Be careful when consuming artificial sweeteners and even more natural ones such as maple syrup, corn syrup and xylitol.

Stevia A Natural Sweetener Option

Steviol glycosides are sweeteners derived from the leaf of the stevia plant, which is native to Central and South America. Truvia and Pure Via, both brands of stevia-based sweetener, are calorie-free, and stevia is often used as a sweetener in foods and beverages. According to the 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, published in January 2019 in Diabetes Care, nonnutritive sweeteners, including stevia, have little to no impact on blood sugar. The FDA has approved the use of certain stevia extracts, which it has generally recognized as safe .

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center notes that people have reported side effects, like gastrointestinal symptoms, after eating high amounts of stevia. But to date, there is no solid scientific research to prove these claims.

The FDA recommends an ADI of 4 mg or less of Truvia per kilogram of body weight per day. A 132-lb individual would need to consume nine tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.

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How Much Is Too Much

While some of the sweeteners covered in this article are healthier for people with diabetes than others, that doesnt mean you can binge on the good ones without consequences. After all, weight management is an important part of keeping diabetes under control just because youre not eating sugar doesnt mean youre not eating. Because of this, no matter what your sweetener of choice is, dont overdo it.

Instead, focus on eating healthy, well-balanced meals that are full of vegetables, proteins, and healthy carbs like whole grains. With a good diet as your starting point, you can use sugar substitutes in occasional sweet treats.

Safe Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics

By Jane Barthelemy. Is Xylitol a healthy sweetener? Touted ...
Monk fruit extract

Monk fruit naturally contains mogrosides, a type of antioxidant responsible for the sweet taste of this treat. Researchers have found a way to extract this antioxidant to produce a sugar-free sweetener that does not contain calories and does not affect blood sugar levels.


To make stevia sweetener, manufacturers collect the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and process them into fine crystals. Stevia is low in calories and retains its flavor when heated, making it an ideal sweetener for baking or hot drinks.


Erythritol is a sugar alcohol derived from the fermentation of cornstarch or wheat. It has very few calories and has no impact on blood sugar. While erythritol is less likely than others to do so, sugar alcohols can upset your stomach. Start with small amounts and discontinue use if it causes any discomfort. With that said, it is safe even in relatively large quantities.

Fresh fruit

Did you know that you can find the most natural sweetener in the aisle? Fresh fruit can be a great addition to your recipes, as fruits contain fiber that helps slow down sugar absorption and thus reduce the impact on your blood sugar levels. Try using mashed bananas, unsweetened applesauce or date paste in your next recipe.

Most people with diabetes do not need to reduce the amount of fruit they eat, says Dr. Ho. However, dried fruits and fruit juices can be high in sugar and should therefore be better limited or avoided.

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Ways To Enjoy Sweets Without Added Sugar Or Sugar Alternatives

  • Add a splash of unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk to your coffee
  • Grate some carrots into your tomato sauce or bake some moist carrot muffins
  • Slice some roasted beets into your salad or bake into a chocolaty red velvet cake.
  • Add a splash of fresh orange juice to your homemade salad dressing, or your French toast batter.
  • Stir some pineapple chunks into your stir-fry or top your chicken or fish with sliced pineapple or orange before baking.
  • Defrost frozen berries and add, still warm, to a bowl of oatmeal or mix into plain yogurt, and sprinkle with diced walnuts.
  • Top your burgerbeef, turkey, salmon, veggiewith caramelized onions.
  • Dates, not terribly appealing to most of us on their own, have great qualities for replacing cane sugar in your favorite baked recipes try brownies, peanut butter pie, or no-bake cheesecake.
  • Prepare your pancake batter with some unsweetened applesauce or grated apple.

As a last resort, Stevia, plant-based alternative sweetener, offers a very concentrated sugar like flavor when none of the options above work for you just go sparingly and use only occasionally. The more you rely on intense added sweeteners, the more you may crave them and nothing else.

Dr. Sen and Dr. Gardner have no financial disclosures.

Fresh Or Frozen Fruit

Coming in at the number one way to sweeten your food and drinks is by using fresh or frozen fruit.

Fruit doesnt have any empty calories, which makes it an ideal sweetener, Taylor says.

Try sweetening oatmeal by mixing in banana or applesauce, adding berries to plain Greek yogurt and sweetening smoothies with frozen fruit. Another option is to add natural flavorings like vanilla or almond extract, cocoa powder and spices like cinnamon and clove.

I grew up with a diet high in sugar. When I cut down on added sugars and sweeteners, I started enjoying the natural sweetness of fresh berries and melon, Taylor says. Thats when my sugar cravings started to fade.

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To Assist In Weight Loss

Some people choose to limit their food energy intake by replacing high energy sugar or corn syrup with other sweeteners having little or no food energy . This allows them to eat the same foods they normally would, while allowing them to lose weight and avoid other problems associated with excessive calorie intake.

Why Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For People With Diabetes

Whats The Best Sugar Substitute for Diabetics? – by Dr Sam Robbins

Some artificial sweeteners say sugar-free or diabetic-friendly, but research suggests these sugars actually have the opposite of effect.

Your body responds to artificial sweeteners differently than it does regular sugar. Artificial sugar can interfere with your bodys learned taste. This can confuse your brain, which will send signals telling you to eat more, especially more sweet foods.

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Sugar Alternatives To Try

Is sugar your dietary weakness? Many people crave it. But even if you dont necessarily have a sweet tooth, it can be tough to avoid sugar altogether. Nearly everything contains added sugar from soda and other sweetened drinks to almost all processed foods.

Fortunately, a wide range of sugar substitutes and sweeteners both natural and artificial are available to help reduce the amount of table sugar in your diet. Limiting sugar intake is especially important for older adults.

When To See A Doctor

Health experts have debated for years the use of sugar substitutes. Some would say that sugar substitutes are still controversial. However, the scientific community and FDA agree that theyre safe to use, especially in moderation. If you have concerns, you should talk to your doctor about how or when to include sugar substitutes as part of a healthy diet.

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Types Of Artificial Sweeteners

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There are various artificial sweeteners licensed for use in the UK. These include:

  • aspartame, used in Canderel, Hermesetas granulated
  • saccharin, used in Hermesetas mini sweeteners
  • sucralose, used in Splenda
  • acesulfame potassium , used in Hermesetas Gold sweetener
  • cyclamate, used in Hermesetas liquid.

Some products are made from a combination of two artificial sweeteners. For example, Hermesetas Gold sweetener is made from a blend of aspartame and acesulfame-K.

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Sugar Substitutes That Are Not Blood Sugar Friendly


Lets start with honey because, lets face it, its sugar in liquid form .

Its delicious, but a 2015 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that when subjects were given honey, cane sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup, they saw no notable difference in blood sugar increase.

The only benefit of honey over regular table sugar from a blood sugar perspective is that honey is slightly sweeter so you can use a little bit less of it and achieve the same sweetness. But that still doesnt make it a good option for people with diabetes!

Agave Nectar

I think that the corporate marketing machine has been very clever when declaring agave nectar is a health food, for as Dr. Jonny Bowden points out..Its basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as healthy food.

Agave nectar may have a lower glycemic index than sugar or honey, but its still up to 90 percent liquid fructose.

At the end of the day, sugar is sugar. Honey or agave nectar may be slightly better for you than pure white sugar from an overall nutrition perspective, but dont get tricked into thinking that they are blood sugar-friendly alternatives.

Questions For Your Doctor

  • Is one sugar substitute better for my health than another?
  • Is it better to use real sugar in moderation than to use a sugar substitute?
  • Is sugar-free eating better for my overall health?
  • Can sugar substitutes make me fat?
  • Im pregnant. Are sugar substitutes safe for me?
  • I have diabetes. Which sugar substitutes should I avoid?

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What About Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are naturally found in plants and berries. The types most often used in the food industry are synthetically created. You can find them in food products that are labeled as sugar-free or no sugar added.

Labels such as this are misleading because sugar alcohols are still carbohydrates. They can still raise your blood sugar, but not as much as regular sugar.

Common FDA-approved sugar alcohols are:

Shop:erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol, isomalt, or maltitol

Erythritol A Sugar Alcohol With Fewer Side Effects Than Other Options

The Best Sugar Substitute for Diabetics & Prediabetics (Sugar Alternative for Diabetics)

Erythritol is also a sugar alcohol sweetener, but unlike the others just mentioned, it has less than 1 calorie per gram, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation, and doesnt have a big effect on blood sugar levels, per the American Diabetes Association. Its an ingredient in the stevia-derived sweetener Truvia and is marketed under the brand-name Swerve. Swerve measures cup-for-cup like sugar, and you can use it like table sugar, or in cooking and baking recipes that call for sugar.

If other sugar alcohol sweeteners give you tummy trouble, this may be a better option for you. It is less likely to produce the gas, bloating, and diarrhea that happen from fermentation by gut bacteria because only about 10 percent of the erythritol you consume enters the colon, per past research. The rest leaves the body through your urine.

Theres no ADI for erythritol, but the FDA hasn’t questioned notices submitted by erythritol makers that the sweetener is generally recognized as safe.

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Polyols And Diabetic Foods

Polyols are usually used in products marketed asdiabetic or suitable for diabeticsand, as these products can be as high in fat and calories as standard products, Diabetes UK and the European Commission Regulations dont recommend them. Consuming large amounts of polyols can have a laxative effect, causing bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea.

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Acesulfame Potassium A Popular Sugar Substitute In Diet Soda

Also known as Ace-K, this nonnutritive sweetener is FDA-approved and about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Often manufacturers combine it with other sweeteners, though it is also sold for tabletop use under the brand name Sweet One. You will also find it in some of your favorite diet soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Mountain Dew. The FDA recommends an ADI of 15 mg or less of Ace-K per kilogram of body weight per day.

A 132-pound individual would need to consume 23 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.

Why Are Sweetening Agents Bad For Diabetes

Best Sugar Substitutes for People With Type 2 Diabetes

Tips for eating sugar

  • Current findings suggest avoiding artificial sweeteners rather.
  • Stevia and entire fruits are better sweetener choices.
  • You may benefit the most from restricting overall sugar consumption, consisting of artificial sweeteners.

Some artificial sweeteners say sugar-free or diabetic-friendly, but research suggests these sugars really have the opposite of effect. Your body reacts to sweetening agents in a different way than regular sugar. Artificial sugar can disrupt your bodys learned taste. This can puzzle your brain, which will send signals telling you to eat more, especially sweet foods.

Stevia is a low-calorie sweetener which has anti-oxidant and antioxidant properties. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Unlike artificial sweeteners and sugars, stevia can suppress your plasma glucose levels significantly increasing glucose tolerance.

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The Best Sugar Substitutes For People With Diabetes + Their Pros & Cons

Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, birthdays no matter which month were in, theres always an occasion that seems to call for sweet treats. It can be hard to ignore your sweet toothbut for people with diabetes, its especially important to understand sugar to manage glucose levels.

One potential solution to this dilemma: sugar substitutes! These sweeteners promise to help people with diabetes enjoy sweet treats without putting their glucose levels at risk. Most of these products are not broken down by the body they pass through without providing any calories. However, not all sugar substitutes are created equal and some come with notable health risks of their own. Keep reading to learn about the best sugar substitutes for diabetes.

Baking With Sugar Substitutes

If youd like to bake with sugar substitutes while preparing for your next special occasion, its important not to use too much or too little of your sweetener of choice. To make life easier for you in the kitchen, weve put together a chart detailing how to use some popular sugar substitutes in recipes that call for sugar.

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Healthy Sugar Alternatives To Enjoy Daily

Most artificial sweeteners have been around for decades and are considered good sugar alternatives for diabetics. They are generally calorie-free while offering a concentrated dose of that sweetness you crave. The few calories they may contain arent fully absorbed by the body, so they wont affect your blood sugar levels. This means sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners are ideal for managing your diabetes.

Some of the healthy sugar alternatives for diabetics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration include:

Natural sweeteners like agave nectar, raw honey, date sugar, etc. can also be safe sugar alternatives for diabetics. These sweeteners are still laden with calories though, so theyre safest when used in moderation.

If you have diabetes, you should always contact your doctor before you start using any sugar substitutes. Labeling can be confusing, so make sure you choose the healthy sugar alternative thats best for you. When in doubt, try to get by without artificial sweeteners at all. Use naturally sweet substitutes like adding fruit to your breakfast or drinking flavored sparkling water instead of diet soda.

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