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 >>
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 >>
Splenda: Is It Safe?
With the growing trends of obesity and type 2 diabetes, many people are looking to alternative sweeteners to ease their sugar cravings. Sucralose, known by the brand name Splenda, is an artificial sweetener approved for general use as a sugar substitute. But is Splenda safe? Here we explain what Splenda is, how it is used, and what the science says about this sugar substitute. We also compare it with stevia, another popular sugar alternative. Here are some key points about Splenda. More detail and supporting information is in the main article. Splenda is referred to as a high-intensity sweetener There are five artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S., including Splenda Although Splenda is considered safe to consume, recent research questions its role in disease What is Splenda? Splenda is a brand name artificial sweetener. It is used as a sugar substitute by people looking for low-calorie alternatives to their daily sweet treats. Sweeteners like Splenda mimic the sweetness of sugar, without the calories. The sweetness of Splenda is due to a compound called sucralose, a type of indigestible artificial sugar. This is made by replacing certain atoms in sugar with atoms of chlorine. Sucralose is also combined with other digestible sweeteners like maltodextrin to make Splenda. Splenda is approximately 600 times as sweet as sugar; this is why sweeteners such as Splenda are known as high-intensity sweeteners. Since it was introduced in 1998, Splenda has become one of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market. What is Splenda used for? Splenda is a general sweetener that can be found in everything from baked goods to beverages. Frozen desserts, chewing gum, and gelatins are also commonly sweetened with Splenda; diet foods of all sorts contain the sweetener. Continue reading >>
Can Splenda Or Equal Raise Your Blood Sugar?
When you have diabetes, you are careful to avoid sugar and sweet foods to better control blood sugar levels. However, if you have a craving for sweets, it can sometimes be hard to resist a sugary indulgence. Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Equal are alternatives to real sugar. These products add sweetness without raising your blood sugar levels. Video of the Day Artificial sweeteners are used in place of regular table sugar. The sweeteners are often made from natural substances, but they are many times sweeter than regular sugar. The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, must approve artificial sweeteners for use by the public. Splenda and Equal have both received FDA approval. For people looking to lower their calorie intake, these products are a convenient alternative, since they add almost zero calories to your diet. An added bonus for diabetics is that these products do not raise blood sugar levels. Carbohydrate foods, which include sugars, are the only food group that can raise blood sugars. Living with diabetes can make it hard to keep blood sugars from rising too high or dipping too low. Avoiding all sweetened foods can be difficult, and doing so severely limits your diet choices. Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Equal provide a wider variety of foods to choose from, making it easier to stick to a balanced diet that maintains stable blood sugar levels. Splenda is a zero-calorie, zero carbohydrate sweetener made from sucralose. Scientific studies have shown that Splenda has no effect on short-term or long-term blood sugar control. Your body does not recognize Splenda as a carbohydrate, so it is not metabolized. Diabetic meal plans categorize Splenda as a "free" food, meaning it contributes no carbohydrates. Splenda has also been deemed safe for Continue reading >>
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 >>
The Dangers Of Sucralose: Why Is It Considered Diabetic Friendly?
With all the negative media I’ve been reading lately in regards to sucralose, it started to make me think…can sucralose really be that bad for you? As a type 1 diabetic, let’s just say I had a lot of wow moments when deciding to research what was going into my body. If you think sucralose is safe, you may want to think again. Why they consider and promote this as safe for the diabetic community disturbs me on a lot of levels, let’s take a look why! When it comes to sucralose and diabetes, it seems like a perfect match. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is nearly 600 times sweeter than the ordinary (table) sugar. It contains zero calories and hence, is popular as a zero-calorie sweetener. It is widely used by diet and weight conscious people all over the world. Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda, which is commonly available in the market. It is also better than other artificial sweeteners as it can be used in baking. Most of the artificial sweeteners cannot be used in baking due to their instability. But, this is not the case with sucralose as it remains stable even when exposed to heat for a longer time. This additional property makes it a favored choice among other artificial sweeteners including aspartame. Also, due to its extra sweet property, it is used for making a variety of sweets and desserts like jams, jellies, candies, sweet fillings, fruits juices, etc. However, you should be aware of the negative side effects that sucralose can pose. Sucralose and Chlorine One possible side effect from Splenda unrelated to allergies is the possibility of chlorine poisoning. Sucralose is one of the few artificial sweeteners that claims to be made from sugar; chlorine atoms are added, that’s right Chlorine! Ingesting too much chlorine can lead to Continue reading >>
Sugar & Sweeteners
Sweeteners that increase blood glucose (sugar) levels Sweetener Forms & uses Other things you should know Sugars (some examples) Brown sugar Maltodextrins Icing sugar Agave syrup Invert sugar Brown rice syrup White sugar Corn syrup Dextrose High fructose corn syrup Fructose Maple syrup Glucose Fruit juice concentrates Lactose Honey Maltose Molasses Sucrose Barley malt Used to sweeten foods and beverages May be found in medications Sugars are carbohydrates that can affect your blood glucose (sugar), weight and blood fats. There is no advantage to those with diabetes in using one type of sugar over another. Sugars may be eaten in moderation by people with diabetes. Up to 10 per cent of the days calories can come from added sugar. Their effect on blood glucose levels will vary. Talk to your dietitian about how to fit sugars into your meal plan. Sweeteners that don't increase blood glucose (sugar) levels Sweetener Forms & uses Others things you should know Sugar alcohols & polydextrose Lactitol Xylitol Maltitol Polydextrose Mannitol Isomalt Polyols Palatinit Sorbitol Polyol syrups Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH) Used to sweeten foods labelled “sugar free” or “no added sugar” May be found in cough and cold syrups and other liquid medications (e.g. antacids) Sugar alcohols are neither sugars nor alcohols. Small amounts are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. They can also be manufactured. They are only partly absorbed by your body, have fewer calories than sugar and have no major effect on blood glucose (sugar). Check product labels for the number of grams of sugar alcohols per serving. If you eat more than 10 grams of sugar alcohols a day, you may experience side effects such as gas, bloating or diarrhea. Talk to your dietitian if you are carbohydrate co Continue reading >>
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 >>
Can Diabetics Eat Splenda?
People with diabetes must follow a dietary regimen that helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. The use of artificial sweeteners in the place of traditional white sugar is a simple way to continue eating and drinking sweetened foods and beverages without a major spike in blood sugar levels. Splenda, or sucralose, is an artificial sweetener that became available in 1999. Video of the Day Since Splenda and other sucralose-containing sweeteners or products are not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate, it has no impact on the insulin response of the body or blood sugar levels. Therefore, it may be better for people with diabetes to consume Splenda in the place of sugar in order to avoid a rise in blood sugar levels. Safety of Splenda Splenda is made from sugar or sucrose; however, it is chemically changed and goes unrecognized when inside the body, and thus is calorie-free. Sucralose sweeteners, including Splenda, are recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Although the FDA approves the safety of Splenda, it is still a relatively new product, and only time will reveal if there are any serious safety issues associated with the sweetener. More scientific research is necessary to fully understand possible hazards of Splenda. Some people who have used Splenda claim that it is a trigger for migraine headaches. Other reported side effects include dizziness, diarrhea, swelling and intestinal cramping. These symptoms do not result in everyone who uses sucralose, and some people may be less tolerant of artificial sweeteners than others. If you experience any negative side effects from consuming Splenda or other artificial sweeteners, discontinue use of those products immediately. If you are uncertain if using Splenda to replace regular sugar is right for you, Continue reading >>
Is Splenda Safe For Diabetes?
By Stacey Hugues | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD Remember when those little yellow sweetener packets started showing up next to the pink and blue packets in your local restaurant? Well, since its commercial introduction in 1999, Splenda has risen in popularity to take over 62 percent of the U.S. market share for artificial sweeteners. But, should you be using Splenda? Is it safe for people with diabetes ? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more. Splenda is made from the FDA-approved artificial sweetenersucralose. The FDA reviewed over 110 human and animal studies on sucralose prior to approving it safe for consumption. In its review, it included studies that looked for links to cancer and reproductive and nerological issues. None were found. An individual 1g packet of Splenda technically has 3.3 calories , however, this number is low enough to be considered "calorie-free" under FDA labeling laws. Interestingly, the low caloric content actually comes from bulking agents used in the production of Splenda, not sucralose . As with other artificial sweeteners, Splenda is intensely sweet. In fact, sucralose is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. In the U.S., Splenda is used as a sweetener in many pre-sweetened beverages and foods. It can be purchased as either individual packets or larger bulk packaged granuals, in both white and brown sugar baking forms. (If you're having tea across the pond in the UK, however, you could also find Splenda available in tablet form.) Many "sugar-free" and "reduced-calorie" foods use artificial sweeteners to add a sweet flavor without adding extra carbohydrates or grams of sugar. Splenda, in the form of sucralose, is one of the artificial sweeteners that is used. If you're wondering if a product contains Splenda, read Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
You May Want To Skip The Splenda
New research sheds light on sucraloses effect on blood sugar, insulin and fat Before you sweeten your coffee with the contents of a little yellow packet, read this. A popular artificial sweetener known as sucralose and marketed as Splenda can adversely affect how some people metabolize sugar, according to a new study from researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. The study compared overweight people with normal sugar metabolism to see how they reacted when they were given either water or sucraloseabout as much as is in one can of diet sodato drink before a glucose challenge test, which involves drinking a glucose mixture and then having blood taken at multiple intervals. Researchers found a kind of insulin-and-blood-sugar roller-coaster scenario. Peoples blood sugar levels peaked higher if they got sucralose, rather than water, before the glucose challenge test. Insulin levels also climbed higher. And, a few hours into the test, at the lowest blood sugar point, sucralose consumption led to lower blood sugar levels than did water, which can set the stage for carb cravings. Everyone got the same amount of glucose, both times, but their bodies secreted much more insulin when they got sucralose first, says M. Yanina Pepino, PhD, the studys main researcher. Insulin is needed for the body to use sugar for energy, but too much is harmful, Dr. Pepino says. High blood levels of insulin keep fat from being broken down for energy, making it hard to lose weight. And chronically high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to type-2 diabetes. Does that mean that people who drink diet soda all the time are setting themselves up for type-2 diabetes? No one knows, Dr. Pepino says. However, in two large population studies, consumption of non-nutritive sweete Continue reading >>
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 >>
Splenda® Brand Sweetener Is Suitable For People With Diabetes
SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener, or sucralose, is not sugar and the body does not recognize it as such. Unlike sugar, sucralose is not broken down for energy. It is not a source of carbohydrate or glucose, and clinical studies show that it has no effect on blood glucose levels, insulin secretion or blood levels, glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c), or blood glucose control. People with diabetes can eat a variety of food products, according to the dietary program prescribed by their doctor or registered dietitian. These can include foods sweetened with sugar. However, meal plans for people with diabetes usually control total carbohydrate intake and, often, calorie intake. In a meal plan for people with diabetes, up to 4 packets of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener or up to 8 teaspoons of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Granulated is considered a "free food." The American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association consider a free food to be any food or beverage that contains less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrate per serving. When used in place of sugar, SPLENDA® Sweetener Products can also help people with diabetes reduce their intake of carbohydrates and calories. It's important to note that SPLENDA® Sugar Blend does contain sugar, so people with diabetes need to consider this when counting their carbohydrate intake. Calories and carbohydrates can be present as well in other ingredients in foods and beverages sweetened with any SPLENDA® Sweetener product. People with diabetes need to count these calories and carbohydrates when planning their meals. To help people manage intake, complete nutrition information for dozens of recipes made with SPLENDA® Sweetener Products are available at: www.splenda.com. Continue reading >>