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Are Sugar Substitutes Good For Diabetics?

Artificial Sweeteners And Diabetes

Artificial Sweeteners And Diabetes

Is it possible to eat sweets when you have diabetes? The answer is "yes." But when you’re trying to satisfy your sweet tooth, it can be hard to know what to reach for at the grocery store (sugar-free this or low-calorie that). So, use this primer to help you choose wisely. The Sweet Facts When you’re comparing sweeteners, keep these things in mind: Sugars are naturally occurring carbohydrates. These include brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners’ sugar, fructose, honey, and molasses. They have calories and raise your blood glucose levels (the level of sugar in your blood). Reduced-calorie sweeteners are sugar alcohols. You might know these by names like isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. You'll often find them in sugar-free candy and gum. They have about half the calories of sugars and can raise your blood sugar levels, although not as much as other carbohydrates. Artificial sweeteners are considered "free foods." They were designed in a lab, have no calories, and do not raise your blood sugar levels. Types of Artificial Sweeteners Artificial low-calorie sweeteners include: Saccharin (Sweet'N Low, Sugar Twin). You can use it in both hot and cold foods. Avoid this sweetener if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). You can use it in both cold and warm foods. It may lose some sweetness at high temperatures. People who have a condition called phenylketonuria should avoid this sweetener. Acesulfame potassium or ace-K (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet, Sunett). You can use it in both cold and hot foods, including in baking and cooking. Sucralose (Splenda). You can use it in hot and cold foods, including in baking and cooking. Processed foods often contain it. Advantame can be used in baked goods, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic bev Continue reading >>

You Asked: Do Sugar Substitutes Cause Type 2 Diabetes?

You Asked: Do Sugar Substitutes Cause Type 2 Diabetes?

TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. By now you’ve heard that sugary foods drive insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. The more of the sweet stuff you swallow—whether it’s table sugar or organic honey—the more insulin your pancreas has to produce and release into your bloodstream in order to control your blood’s glucose levels. At some point, an overworked pancreas can become incapable of producing enough insulin to manage sugar loads in the blood, resulting in type-2 diabetes But what happens if you replace sugar with artificial sweeteners? The American Diabetes Association says on its website that sugar substitutes are safe by FDA standards, and “may help curb your cravings for something sweet.” But other experts are dubious. “The short answer is we don’t know what happens when you replace sugar with artificial sweeteners,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist and sugar researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. “We have data nibbling around the edges, but we don’t have enough to make a hard determination for any specific sweetener.” People who consume diet soda on a daily basis are 36% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and 67% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than people who don’t drink diet or regular soda, found a 2009 study. That may seem damning until you consider that overweight or obese people—the groups most at risk for type-2 diabetes—may be more likely to drink diet soda in an attempt to lose weight than their slimmer pals. Newer evidence, though still far from conclusive, is more telling. A 2014 study from Israel found that artificial sweeteners changed the microbiotic makeup of rodents’ guts in ways linked to metabolic disease. For another recent study, researchers at Washington Un Continue reading >>

What People With Diabetes Should Know About Sugar Substitutes

What People With Diabetes Should Know About Sugar Substitutes

The skinny on diabetic sugar swaps. Overconsumption of sugar is a problem nationwide, though it is especially troublesome for those with diabetes. Over the past two decades, there has been a surge in nonnutritive sweeteners (also known sugar substitutes) designed to help consumers avoid the calories and metabolic response of sugar, and aid in glycemic management. Artificial sweeteners can help diabetics manage their blood glucose while allowing them to consume many of their favorite foods. However, is there a downside to the intensely sweet sugar substitutes? Here, we take a deeper dive to explore the nonnutritive sweeteners available today and their potential negative effects. What Are Nutritive Sweeteners? Nutritive sweeteners such as table sugar, brown sugar, fructose, honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar supply four calories per gram and raise blood glucose levels upon consumption. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest individuals limit their intake of added sugars to account for no more than 10 percent of total daily calories for optimal health. It is imperative that diabetics limit their intake of these sweeteners for blood glucose management and to prevent further diabetes-related complications. What Are Sugar Substitutes? Sugar substitutes can be divided into two groups: artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. Artificial sweeteners with FDA approval include aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, advantame, sucralose, and neotame. These products are calorie-free and induce a negligible glycemic response. Stevia is also a calorie-free nonnutritive sweetener, though it differs from artificial sweeteners in that claims can be made that it is from a natural plant source. Because sugar substitutes are many times sweeter than table sugar, smaller amounts Continue reading >>

Sugars, Sugar Substitutes And Sweeteners: Natural And Artificial

Sugars, Sugar Substitutes And Sweeteners: Natural And Artificial

If you’re living with diabetes, or even if you’re not, you might think sweet foods are a barrier to your healthy, balanced diet. As a general rule,everyone should be eating less sugar– but sometimes, only something sweet will do. If want to lose weight, or you’re trying to keep your blood glucose levels stable, you may want to know whether artificial sweeteners could help. If you browse around your local supermarket, you’ll see a huge range of sweeteners on offer, so it can be baffling to know which, if any, to go for. So in this section we'll take you through: Sweeteners are ingredients that are added to food to enhance sweetness. They can be grouped in different ways: One way is to loosely group sweeteners as: sugar or sugar substitutes.Another way to group sweeteners is whether the sweetener is: natural or artificial. One of the most useful ways of grouping sweeteners is to look at those that have nutritive value, ie nutritive sweeteners, and those without nutritive value, ie non-nutritive or ‘low-calorie’ sweeteners. Nutritive sweeteners There are different types of nutritive sweeteners, but they all contain carbohydrate and provide calories. They are usually referred to as ‘sugars’ or ‘added sugar’, but they can also appear in the ingredient list of food packaging as: glucose fructose sucrose maltose honey and syrup, etc. Polyols One group of nutritive sweeteners is polyols, which are sugar alcohols, and include: erythritol isomalt maltitol mannitol sorbitol xylitol. They can be natural or artificially produced. Polyols contain carbohydrates and calories, but they have fewer calories and less of an effect on blood glucose levels than sucrose (sugar). Polyols and diabetes It’s not exactly clear how the polyols should be ‘counted’ by peopl Continue reading >>

Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetes

Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetes

Oh the sweet goodness of sugar…. Yes, our taste buds love it but our blood sugar and the belly fat doesn't! Which is exactly why we're going to chat about the best sugar substitutes for diabetes today. But first, a short story. Quite a few years back now, I was shocked to see Jamie Oliver walk out on stage and tip a whole wheelbarrow full of sugar cubes on the stage as a representation of the amount of sugar a person now consumes per year – around 140 pounds annually! Yep, experts now agree that a lot of our health problems around the globe are due to excessive sugar intake. The World Health Organization now recommends people eat no more than 25 g or 6 teaspoons of ‘added' sugar per day. Even good ‘ol vegetables have natural sugars, so we're not talking about those. We're talking about hidden sugars in grocery store products. The Hidden Names of Sugar And, it is hidden everywhere under 59 different names of sugar in more than 70% of grocery store items! Take a look at this chart – it's really crazy stuff! Should you completely avoid sugar? Unfortunately the ‘white poison' as some call it, is highly addictive too. In fact, Dr Eric Stice, neuro-scientist, has done studies on the brain showing that the same ‘addiction’ receptors are activated when we consume sugar as they are if we consume cocaine. So you know, you could try to limit it but that's hard to do. I know when I eat sugar I just want more, and there's a reason why – those parts of the brain Dr Eric Stice discovered – they get stimulated, along with various hormones. It's not going to kill you to eat small amounts of sugar. But, the truth is, eating sugar is hard to moderate so turning to sugar substitutes can be a good solution, if you choose the right ones. Aspartame, Saccharin, Acesulfame-K Continue reading >>

Sugar Substitutes And Diabetes

Sugar Substitutes And Diabetes

Are sugar substitutes a good choice for people with diabetes? Sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet) or sucralose (Splenda) can be healthy choices for anyone wanting to cut back on sugar and calories -- and that includes people with diabetes. By themselves, most sugar substitutes are "free foods" that won't raise your blood sugar or load you up with calories. "Sugar alcohols" such as mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol -- found in some gums, candies, and baked goods -- don't pack many calories, but they can raise blood sugar. But sugar substitutes aren't a free pass to eat whatever you want. If you're adding a sweetener to your morning cereal or buying artificially sweetened cookies or cakes, you should know that sugar-free foods may still have plenty of calories and carbohydrates. Even if you somehow managed to take every grain of sugar out of your diet, you'd still have to watch what you eat. Rather than diet sodas, for example, you might be better served by a glass of ice water with a squeeze of real lemon. How are sugar substitutes different from real sugar? Some sugar substitutes, including saccharin and aspartame, are man-made chemicals. Others, such as sucralose, are modified versions of real sugar. Whatever the source, sugar substitutes are hundreds or even thousands of times sweeter than the real thing. For this reason, you get plenty of sweetness from just a tiny amount of saccharin, sucralose, or other substitutes. Some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, have a few calories (saccharin and sucralose have none), but since you use just little at a time, the calories don't really matter. Are sugar substitutes safe? Sugar substitutes are thought to be safe. They have been tested again and again, and there's no evidence that the Continue reading >>

Artificial Sweeteners Or Natural Sugar: Which Is Best For People With Diabetes?

Artificial Sweeteners Or Natural Sugar: Which Is Best For People With Diabetes?

Here's what you need to know to understand the impact of sweeteners—both nutritive and non-nutritive—on your blood sugar. Walk down the supermarket aisles and you’ll find a dizzying array of sweeteners. Everything from ordinary (white) table sugar to newly-formulated sugars, sugar substitutes and more. Some claim benefits for people with diabetes that promise to have no effect on blood sugar. But with so many choices—from ordinary table sugar (aka cane, sucrose), maple sugar and agave to newer arrivals like coconut sugar, monk sugar and stevia, to nonnutritive sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, etc.)—how do you know which one is best for you and your blood sugar? It's important to know that use of the word natural is not a term regulated by the FDA, nor does it have a clear definition. These so-called “natural” sweeteners, also referred to as nutritive sweeteners, are a type of sugar (typically sucrose), which provide calories from carbohydrates. All nutritive sugars have about 14 calories per teaspoon and contain 5 grams of carbohydrates. Food companies seem to use the word “natural” as a marketing gimmick to give consumers a sense of additional health benefits. Popular nutritive sweetners include: brown sugar, honey, coconut sugar and agave syrup. But remember, sugar is sugar. Whether honey or table sugar, they all contain carbohydrates and will raise blood glucose levels. Having Sugar Knowledge is Important Contrary to popular belief, people with diabetes can consume sugar but it’s best when consumed in foods where it occurs naturally as it does in whole fruits. Understanding the type of sugar you consume and how much, is essential for successful diabetes management. People with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, don’t have the adequate insulin nee Continue reading >>

The Abc's Of Sugar Substitutes

The Abc's Of Sugar Substitutes

A sugar substitute is a food additive that tastes like sugar, but has either few or no calories. Sugar substitutes can be very useful to people with diabetes. Gillian Arathuzik, R.D., C.D.E., Nutrition Diabetes Educator, at Joslin Diabetes Center, goes over the basics of sugar substitutes and how they can impact your blood glucose levels when you have diabetes. Artificial Sweeteners Synthetic sugar substitutes are referred to as artificial sweeteners and have more intense sweetness than sugar. Artificial sweeteners have been controversial as to whether or not they pose any health risks, but so far no studies have conclusively found any and each sweetener is FDA approved. Some commonly used artificial sweeteners include: Aspartame (Equal): 200 times as sweet as sugar. No effect on blood glucose levels. Sucralose (Splenda): 600 times as sweet as sugar. Contains about 1 g carb per packet or teaspoon and could affect blood glucose levels if you consume a large quantity at one time. Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low): 300-500 times as sweet as sugar. No effect on blood glucose levels. Acesulfame potassium (Sunett or Sweet One): 300 times as sweet as sugar. No effect on blood glucose levels. Artificial sweeteners each have an acceptable daily intake (ADI). This can help a person determine how much of each sweetener to consume. “I recommend either Aspartame or Sucralose depending on a person’s taste preference and recommend using either in moderation,” Arathuzik says. Sugar Alcohols Natural sugar substitutes are known as sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are typically less sweet than sugar and provide half the calories of sugar. They are used in many sugar-free products and energy bars. Since half the carbohydrate of sugar alcohols is not absorbed by the body, you can subtract half Continue reading >>

The Relationship Between Diabetes And Sweeteners

The Relationship Between Diabetes And Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are always a “hot topic” and many people tend to have strong feelings about them, one way or another. It seems like every other month we get a report on the latest study on what artificial sweeteners do or don’t do to us. The data alternates between saying artificial sweeteners are good for us or they are going to kill us – so which is it? It can be hard to know what to believe and what to do, especially if you have diabetes and see artificial sweeteners as a healthy alternative. They seem like a great option for lowering calories and carbohydrates, but are they too good to be true? Let’s look at some of the claims, myths and facts related to artificial sweeteners. We’ll start with the basics. The Background and the Basics Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, were originally created to help people lose weight and manage diabetes. They were thought to be a great alternative. Saccharin was the first artificial sweetener, accidentally discovered by scientists at John’s Hopkins. Eventually there were concerns over the safety of saccharin based on studies done in rodents. Even though the FDA was leaning toward banning it, but they didn’t, and it was partially because of consumer uproar over that possibility. The final ruling was that saccharin was only required to have a warning label about cancer, but could remain on the market. In 2000, the warning label was removed because they could only prove its carcinogenic affect in rodents and not in humans. You will still find saccharin “the pink packet” on the market today. Now, we have a total of 8 sugar substitutes. There are two different kinds, nutritive and non-nutritive. Nutritive means it adds to the caloric value of food and it contains more than 2% of the amount o Continue reading >>

Is Agave Syrup The Best Sweetener For Diabetes?

Is Agave Syrup The Best Sweetener For Diabetes?

Some natural health advocates suggest that people with diabetes can substitute agave syrup for table sugar and other traditional sweeteners. For those with a sweet tooth, the promise of a better sweetener might seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, that's exactly what it is. Agave is not a good alternative sweetener for people with diabetes. Is agave a good alternative sweetener? Agave is a group of succulent plants that grow in warm climates, particularly the southwestern United States and Mexico. Although it can be used as a sweetener, blue agave is high in carbohydrates, and produces nectar that is high in a type of sugar called fructose. Some people in the alternative health community have turned to agave as a potential alternative to table sugar and other sweeteners. Support for agave stems from it being a vegan sweetener as well as its glycemic index (GI). The higher a food's GI, the more it increases levels of glucose in the blood. Agave boasts a lower GI than most other sweeteners, which means that it is less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. GI, however, is not the only - or the best - way to assess whether a food is healthful for people with diabetes. A 2014 study suggests that low-GI foods may not improve how the body responds to insulin. For people already eating a healthful diet, the study also found that low-GI foods produced no improvements in cardiovascular health risk factors, such as levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood. Agave contains higher levels of fructose than table sugar and most other sweeteners. The body releases less insulin in response to fructose. This means that blood sugar may remain higher after eating agave than other sugars. A 2014 study of mice suggests that agave syrup might be a healthful alternative to table sugar. Continue reading >>

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe For People With Diabetes?

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe For People With Diabetes?

As diabetes educators, we are frequently asked if sugar substitutes are safe and which ones are best. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy Over time, there have been many sugar substitutes, and we always tell people that the one you use is a personal choice. They are safe for people with diabetes, and they can be used to reduce both your calorie and carbohydrate intake. Sugar substitutes also can help curb those cravings you have for something sweet. Youll find artificial sweeteners in diet drinks , baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, light yogurt and chewing gum. You can also find them as stand-alone sweeteners to add to coffee, tea , cereal and fruit. Some are also available for cooking and baking. Its important to remember that only a small amount is needed since the sweetening power of these substitutes is (at least) 100 times stronger than regular sugar. There are currently six artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the FDAor placed on the agencys Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list. Numerous scientific studies have been performed on each of them to confirm they are safe for consumption. The FDA has established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each of the products. This represents the amount of a food ingredient that can be used safely on a daily basis over a lifetime without risk.Here is a current list of sweeteners that have been approved by the FDA. 1. Acesulfame-potassium, also known as Ace-K This is generally blended with another low-calorie sweetener. Brand names include Sunett and Sweet One It is stable under heat, even under moderately acidic or basic conditions, allowing it to be used as Continue reading >>

Artificial Sweeteners Raise Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Suggests

Artificial Sweeteners Raise Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Suggests

Artificial sweeteners, which many people with weight issues use as a substitute for sugar, may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research. The study was small and the detailed results have not yet been published, but experts said its findings fitted with previous research showing an association between artificial sweeteners and weight gain. Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity and rates of the disease are soaring around the world. Its complications, if it is not controlled, can include blindness, heart attacks and strokes. The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Adelaide, in Australia, who wanted to investigate whether large amounts of no-calorie artificial sweeteners altered the ability of the body to control the levels of glucose in the blood. Some of the 27 healthy volunteers who were recruited for the study were given the equivalent of 1.5 litres of diet drink a day, in the form of capsules of two different sweeteners, sucralose and acesulfame K. They took the capsules three times a day for two weeks, before meals. The others in the study were given a placebo. Tests at the end of the two weeks showed that the body’s response to glucose was impaired. “This study supports the concept that artificial sweeteners could reduce the body’s control of blood sugar levels and highlights the potential for exaggerated post-meal glucose levels in high habitual NAS [non-caloric artificial sweeteners] users, which could predispose them to develop type 2 diabetes,” said the authors. They presented their findings at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon, Portugal. Some experts said the findings were in line with previous research, while others said they did not support the conclusion that sweeteners coul Continue reading >>

5 Sugar Substitutes For Type 2 Diabetes

5 Sugar Substitutes For Type 2 Diabetes

1 / 6 A Small Amount of Real Sugar Is Best, but Sugar Substitutes Can Help If you think that people with diabetes should always avoid sugar, think again — they can enjoy the sweet stuff, in moderation. "The best bet is to use a very minimal amount of real sugar as part of a balanced diabetic diet," says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City. That being said, sugar substitutes offer sweetness while controlling carbohydrate intake and blood glucose. There are many sugar substitutes to choose from, but they’re not all calorie-free and they vary in terms of their impact on blood sugar. "The major difference between the sugar substitutes is whether they are nutritive or non-nutritive sweeteners," says Melissa Mullins, MS, RD, a certified diabetes educator with Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Va. "Non-nutritive sweeteners provide no calories and no changes in blood glucose levels, which is perfect for people with diabetes.” Here are six sweet options to consider. Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Sugar Substitutes

What You Should Know About Sugar Substitutes

The Facts About Sugar Substitutes Some of the most frequent questions we receive at Diabetic Living are about sugar substitutes. The topic is polarizing: some of you love them, some of you hate them. Some of you are concerned about their safety, and some of you want tips for how to use them more. For many people with diabetes, sugar substitutes -- which include artificial and natural sweeteners -- provide solutions for cutting out excess calories and carbohydrate while still being able to enjoy sweet treats. Sugar substitutes are among the world's most scientifically tested food products, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed them "generally recognized as safe." The one sweetener that still carries a warning on its label is aspartame (the sweetener in Equal Classic and NutraSweet) because a small group of people -- about 1 in 25,000 in the United States -- has a genetic condition that prevents the metabolizing of phenylalanine, an amino acid in aspartame. While there is still a lot of testing to be done as new products enter the market, we know a lot more about sweeteners now than we did when the first sugar substitute, saccharin, was discovered more than 100 years ago. Q. Is it better for a person with diabetes to use real sugar or sugar substitutes? A. It depends. Both can fit in a healthful eating plan, but you should limit your intake of both as well. In terms of heart health, short-term studies suggest diet soda is better than regular soda, says Kimber Stanhope, Ph.D., RD, at the University of California, Davis. Recently, a small study in Denmark found that healthy people who drank about 4 cups a day of sugar-sweetened cola for 6 months had significant increases in belly fat, cholesterol, and triglycerides compared with those who drank aspartam Continue reading >>

The Best Sugar Substitutes For People With Diabetes

The Best Sugar Substitutes For People With Diabetes

With a low to no calorie sugar count, artificial sweeteners may seem like a treat for people with diabetes. But recent research suggests that artificial sweeteners may actually be counterintuitive. Especially if you’re looking to manage or prevent diabetes. In fact, the increased consumption of these sugar substitutes may correlate to the increase of obesity and diabetes cases. The good news is that there are sugar alternatives you can choose from. You’ll still want to count your intake for glucose management, but these options are far better than the marketed “sugar-free” products. Stevia Stevia is a FDA approved low-calorie sweetener that has anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic properties. Unlike artificial sweeteners and sugar, stevia can suppress your plasma glucose levels and significantly increase glucose tolerance. It’s also technically not an artificial sweetener. That’s because it’s made from the leaves of the stevia plant. Stevia also has the ability to: increase insulin effect on cell membranes increase insulin production stabilize blood sugar levels counter mechanics of type 2 diabetes and its complications You can find stevia under brand names like: PureVia Sun Crystals Sweet Leaf Truvia While stevia is natural, these brands are usually highly processed and may contain other ingredients. For example, Truvia goes through 40 processing steps before it’s ready to be sold, and contains the sugar alcohol erythritol. Future research may shed more light on the health impacts of consuming these processed stevia sweeteners. The best way to consume stevia is to grow the plant yourself and use the whole leaves to sweeten foods. What’s the difference between Truvia and stevia? » Tagatose Tagatose is another naturally occurring sugar that researchers are s Continue reading >>

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