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Are Sweeteners Ok For Diabetics

Correcting Internet Myths About Aspartame

Correcting Internet Myths About Aspartame

An article circulating on the Internet has called into question the safety of aspartame. To the best of our knowledge, none of the symptoms the writer and her "sources" have attributed to aspartame have been proven in any clinical scientific studies. We would like to respond to her comments to assure people with diabetes, who use products with aspartame, that we are unaware of any credible scientific evidence that aspartame is associated with any of the adverse effects noted in the Internet communication. Aspartame is made up of two amino acids called aspartic acid and the methyl ester of phenylalanine. Amino acids and methyl esters are found naturally in foods like milk, meats, fruits and vegetables. When digested, the body handles the amino acids in aspartame in the same way as those in foods we eat daily. Although aspartame can be used by the whole family, individuals with a rare genetic disease called phenylketonuria (PKU) need to be aware that aspartame is a source of the protein component, phenylalanine. Those who have PKU cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine and must monitor their intake of phenylalanine from all foods, including foods containing aspartame. In the U.S., every infant is screened for PKU at birth. The Internet myth "Especially deadly for diabetics": there is no question that aspartame has been beneficial to people with diabetes, enabling them to enjoy sweet tasting foods without the carbohydrates. Since it does not contain calories in the usual amounts consumed, it cannot affect blood glucose levels or cause weight gain. The facts An 8-oz glass of milk has six times more phenylalanine and thirteen times more aspartic acid than an equivalent amount of soda sweetened with NutraSweet. An 8-oz glass of fruit juice or tomato juice contains three to Continue reading >>

Low Calorie Sweeteners

Low Calorie Sweeteners

Tweet Use of sugar needn't be outlawed for people who are diabetic, but keeping sugar intake to a minimum is certainly recommended. One way to reduce your sugar intake without sacrificing taste is by replacing table sugar (sucrose) with low calorie sweeteners, which can be beneficial for people who wish to enjoy certain foods without risking a spike in blood glucose levels as well as those who are overweight and wish to reduce their calorie intake. The charity, Diabetes UK, takes the approach that low-calorie artificial sweeteners can be included as part of the diabetic diet, as long as the food they are eaten with does not itself contain high fat or calorie content. Remember, a diabetic diet need not be 100% sugar free. Balance is the key. What is a low-calorie sweetener? Low-calorie sweeteners are sugar substitutes that have zero calories and do not raise blood glucose levels through eating them, which makes them a preferable choice for diabetic people over sugar. Low-cal sweeteners are neither carbohydrate, nor fat, and they don't fit any of the other categories of the diabetic exchange. Sweeteners can be added to a diabetic meal plan instead of exchanged. Explore low calorie sweeteners: The sweeteners listed above can be found in a number of food and drink products, whilst some are also the main ingredient of the UK's top 3 artificial sweetener brands: Canderel - which contains aspartame Splenda - which contains sucralose Sweetex - which contains saccharin One of the newest sweeteners on the market is 000 Stevia Sugar, which is a zero calorie, 100% natural sweetener that contains both Stevia and the sugar alcohol Erythritol. Types of low-calorie sweetener There are several varieties of low-calorie sweetener approved by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the government 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 >>

How Natural & Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar

How Natural & Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar

I have wanted to write a post about sweeteners for a while now. Mainly because I get a little frustrated when reading or hearing outright incorrect claims about how some of the natural and artificial sweeteners affect your blood sugar. As a person with diabetes, I want to know exactly what will happen to my blood sugar when I eat or drink something, and I don’t take kindly to half-true marketing claims. I’ve decided to focus on how natural & artificial sweeteners impact blood sugar rather than on whether they are healthy or not, since I think that is somewhat out of my domain and because plenty of others have already covered that. What are natural & artificial sweeteners? FDA defines sweeteners as: “…commonly used as sugar substitutes or sugar alternatives because they are many times sweeter than sugar but contribute only a few or no calories when added to foods”. This means that regular sugar, honey, and Agave nectar/syrup don’t fall into the sweetener category. However, I do want to address these shortly before moving on to the real artificial sweeteners, since I’ve seen claims of how honey and agave won’t impact blood sugar in the same way as sugar. Honey and agave nectar Let’s start with honey because, let’s face it, it’s sugar in liquid form. It’s delicious, but an October 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. As for agave, I think that the corporate marketing machine has been very clever when declaring this a health food, for as Dr. Jonny Bowden points out“..It’s basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as healthy food.” Agave nectar may have a lower glycemic index than sugar or honey, but Continue reading >>

6 Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics

6 Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics

Sodium saccharin (benzoic sulfimide) has been around since the late-19th century but gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s as the first commercially marketed artificial sweetener. It is most commonly recognized in brands that offer them in a characteristic pink packet, including Sweet'N Low and Sugar Twin. One packet contains three grams of carbohydrate and has a glycemic index of zero. It is good for sweetening both hot and cold foods. Aspartame was first created in 1965 and approved by the FDA in 1981. It is often recognized by its trademark light blue packet and marketed under various brand names, including Equal and Nutrasweet. Aspartame only has one net carb per packet and a glycemic index of zero. It tends to lose some of its sweetness when heated. Sucralose is one of the sweetest of the artificial sweeteners and marketed in the U.S. under the name Splenda. There are other brands available, each identified by their characteristic light yellow packet. Sucralose was approved as a food additive in 1998 and as a general purpose sweetener in 1999. Sucralose has less than a gram of carbohydrate and a glycemic index of zero. It can be used in both hot and cold foods. We know healthy eating is key to help manage diabetes, but that doesn't make it easy. Our free nutrition guide is here to help. Sign up and receive your free copy! Acesulfame potassium, also known as acesulfame K or Ace-K, was discovered in 1967 and approved by the FDA for use as a general food additive in 2003. It is available as a tabletop sweetener under the various brand names, including Sweet One. Acesulfame potassium has one carb unit and a glycemic index of zero. It remains stable when heated without the loss of sweetness but is often mixed with other sweeteners to offset its slightly bitter after 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 >>

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 >>

Artificial Sweeteners Linked To Diabetes Andobesity

Artificial Sweeteners Linked To Diabetes Andobesity

Artificial sweeteners linked to diabetes andobesity Artificial sweeteners linked to diabetes andobesity Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, University of Birmingham James Brown previously received funding from an independent food manufacturer to consult on their use of non-nutritive sweeteners Alex Conner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. University of Birmingham provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK. Aston University provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK. Many countries have introduced a sugar tax in order to improve the health of their citizens. As a result, food and drink companies are changing their products to include low and zero-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar. However, there is growing evidence that sweeteners may have health consequences of their own. New research from the US, presented at the annual Experimental Biology conference in San Diego, found a link with consuming artificial sweeteners and changes in blood markers linked with an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in rats. Does this mean we need to ditch sweeteners as well as sugar? Sweeteners are generally non-nutritive substances meaning we cant use them for energy. Some of these compounds are entirely synthetic chemicals, produced to mimic the taste of sugar. These include saccharin, sucralose and aspartame. Others sweeteners are refined from chemicals found in plants, such as stevia and xylitol. Collectively, sweeteners are being consumed in increasing amounts with most diet or low-calorie food and drink containing some form of non-nutritive sweetener. Combating or fuel Continue reading >>

Artificial Sweeteners: Any Effect On Blood Sugar?

Artificial Sweeteners: Any Effect On Blood Sugar?

Can I use artificial sweeteners if I have diabetes? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. You can use most sugar substitutes if you have diabetes, including: Saccharin (Sweet'N Low) Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) Acesulfame potassium (Sunett) Sucralose (Splenda) Stevia (Pure Via, Truvia) Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar, so it takes a smaller amount to sweeten foods. This is why foods made with artificial sweeteners may have fewer calories than those made with sugar. Sugar substitutes don't affect your blood sugar level. In fact, most artificial sweeteners are considered "free foods" — foods containing less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates — because they don't count as calories or carbohydrates on a diabetes exchange. Remember, however, other ingredients in foods containing artificial sweeteners can still affect your blood sugar level. More research is needed, but studies are increasingly finding that the benefits of substituting sugar-sweetened food and beverages with those that have been sweetened artificially may not be as clear as once thought, particularly when consumed in large amounts. One reason may be a "rebound" effect, where some people end up consuming more of an unhealthy type of food because of the misperception that because it's sugar-free it's healthy. Also, be cautious with sugar alcohols — including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level. And for some people, sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea. 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Best Sweetener For Diabetics

Best Sweetener For Diabetics

Sugar, sugar, sugar…sweet, sweet, sweet…it's just human nature to love it. In fact believe it or not even studies show young babies and infants have a preference for sweet tastes. So how can we help it, right? But when it comes to having sweets I'm not a sugar advocate at all. So I wanted to write up some info on the best sweetener for diabetics, and point you in the right direction so you can manage your blood sugar and still enjoy your sweets Why cut out sugar? The main reason for cutting out sugar is that sugar provides zero nutritional value! One reason why we eat is to provide fuel to our body in the way of nutrition, vitamins, minerals and so forth. Sugar doesn't contain any of these things. So although we might like the taste of it, it's deplete of anything valuable as far as nutrition goes. And here are a few more reasons to cut it out: Sugar is also easy to overconsume Sugar is a refined product Sugar contains too many (empty) calories – no nutritional value = empty calories The fructose component of sugar is problematic – fructose gets metabolised entirely by the liver and converted directly into fat (not a pretty picture) Sugar does result in sharp rises to blood sugar levels We don't need it Is that enough reason for you? I hope so. So what is the best sweetener for diabetics? Let's dig in and work our way through a few different things. Sugar & Sweeteners: Nutritional Comparison When it comes to choices, white sugar is definitely the worst type of sugar. This includes castor sugar and icing sugar as these are all highly refined. The whiter it is, the worse it is. Following closely behind white sugar is brown sugar and raw sugar. Though they are brown or ‘raw' they are still processed and refined. All the types of sugars I've just mentioned is what Continue reading >>

How Artificial Sweeteners Are Linked To Diabetes And Obesity

How Artificial Sweeteners Are Linked To Diabetes And Obesity

A new study has added to the growing body of research that suggests sweeteners are not benign alternatives to sugar ( Shutterstock ) How artificial sweeteners are linked to diabetes and obesity A new study in rats adds to the evidence that artificial sweeteners may be bad for your health Many countries have introduced a sugar tax to improve the health of their citizens. As a result, food and drink companies are changing their products to include low and zero-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar. However, there is growing evidence that sweeteners may have health consequences of their own. New research from the US, presented at the annual Experimental Biology conference in San Diego, found a link with consuming artificial sweeteners and changes in blood markers linked with an increased risk of obesity and type two diabetes in rats. Does this mean we need to ditch sweeteners as well as sugar ? Six easy ways to reduce childrens sugar intake Sweeteners are generally non-nutritive substances meaning we cant use them for energy. Some of these compounds are entirely synthetic chemicals, produced to mimic the taste of sugar. These include saccharin, sucralose and aspartame. Others sweeteners are refined from chemicals found in plants, such as stevia and xylitol. Collectively, sweeteners are being consumed in increasing amounts with most diet or low-calorie food and drink containing some form of non-nutritive sweetener. Combating or fuelling the obesity crisis? Artificially sweetened foods and drinks have become popular largely due to the growing worldwide obesity crisis. As sugar contains four calories per gram, sweet foods and drinks are normally highly calorific. In principle, by removing these calories we reduce energy intake and this helps to prevent weight gain. Increasingl Continue reading >>

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