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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
What You Should Know About Sucralose And Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you know why it’s important to limit the amount of sugar you eat or drink. It’s generally easy to spot natural sugars in your drinks and food, though processed sugars can be a bit more challenging to pinpoint. Keep reading to learn more about the processed sweetener sucralose and how it can affect your blood sugar levels. Sucralose, or Splenda, is a manmade sweetener often used in place of sugar. One of the major benefits of sucralose is that is has zero calories. You may find this helpful if you’re trying to manage your daily calorie intake for dieting. Sucralose is a tad sweeter than sugar, leading many people to favor the substitute over the original. Because of this, you need only a small amount of sucralose to get a very sweet taste in your food or beverage. Unlike some other sweeteners, sucralose has no effect on tooth decay. Sucralose doesn’t have a negative impact on people with diabetes. It actually has zero effect on your blood sugar levels, so there’s no need to worry about a spike in sugar. When you eat sucralose, most of the substance passes through your body without being absorbed into your system. Less than 20 percent of the sweetener enters your blood, and the rest is removed through excretion. Check out: Diabetes and dessert » You may not realize it, but sucralose is likely a part of your diet already. If you like to drink low-calorie soft drinks and juices, eat diet snacks, or chew gum, sucralose is likely the sweetener you taste. If you want to make sucralose a daily part of your diet, you should first consider everything that you are currently drinking and eating and look for places where a substitute would be appropriate. For example, if you take sugar in your coffee, you may gradually replace the sugar with sucralos Continue reading >>
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 >>
You May Want To Skip The Splenda
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 sucralose—about as much as is in one can of diet soda—to 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. People’s 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 study’s 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 sweeteners (think all of those pastel packets at your local coffee 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 >>
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 >>
Sugar Substitutes: Sucralose
Last week we took a look at aspartame, a popular nonnutritive sweetener that’s been around for a long time and is found in a “little blue packet.” It’s interesting to hear and read about people’s reactions to and opinions about sweeteners. Some people won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole, while other people find them to be helpful to include in their diets. The good news, I suppose, is that there are many different types of sweeteners (caloric and non-caloric alike) to choose from. This week, we’ll look at another very popular sweetener called sucralose. What is sucralose? Not surprisingly, sucralose is a very different type of sweetener than aspartame. This sweetener, which is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar, is actually made from sugar. For you chemistry buffs, sucralose is made by replacing three hydrogen-oxygen groups on a sucrose molecule with three chlorine atoms. These chlorine atoms help to create a structure that is very stable. Sucralose was discovered in 1976 and was approved for general use in 1999. Sucralose is found in over 4500 foods and beverages. Unlike aspartame, which breaks down at high temperatures, sucralose is approved for cooking and baking. It’s heat stable and it’s sold in granular form, just like sugar. Many people prefer the taste of sucralose over other sweeteners, claiming that it tastes more like sugar and without an aftertaste. What are the concerns about consuming sucralose? Like aspartame, sucralose has undergone extensive safety testing. Studies conducted over a 20-year period have determined that sucralose is safe for the general population, including children, and pregnant and breast-feeding women. It’s a good choice for people who have diabetes as it does not impact blood sugar levels (although keep in mind 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 >>
Could Artificial Sweetener Cause Diabetes? Splenda 'modifies Way The Body Handles Sugar', Increasing Insulin Production By 20%
Study found sugar substitute sucralose had an effect on blood sugar levels Also discovered that insulin production increased by 20% when consumed Scientists aren't sure what implications are, but said that regularly elevated insulin levels could eventually cause insulin resistance and even diabetes Splenda can modify how the body handles sugar and could lead to diabetes, according to a new study. Scientists found that consuming the sugar alternative made of sucralose caused a person's sugar levels to peak at a higher level and in turn increase the amount of insulin a person produced. Researchers said that while they did not fully understand the implications of the findings, they might suggest that Splenda could raise the risk of diabetes. This is because regularly elevated insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, which is a known path to type 2 diabetes. 'Our results indicate that this artificial sweetener is not inert - it does have an effect,' said Yanina Pepino, research assistant professor of medicine at the Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, who led the study. 'And we need to do more studies to determine whether this observation means long-term use could be harmful.' Sucralose is made from sugar, but once processed its chemical make up is very different. Gram for gram it is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. The scientists analysed the effects of Splenda in 17 severely obese people who did not have diabetes and did not use artificial sweeteners regularly. Participants had an average body mass index of just over 42. A person is considered obese when their BMI reaches 30. Scientists gave subjects either water or dissolved sucralose to drink before they consumed glucose (sugar). They wanted to understand whether the combination of sucralose and glucose 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 >>
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 >>
The Bad Effects Of Artificial Sweeteners On Diabetics
Artificially sweetened treats can lead to unhealthy eating habits for diabetics.Photo Credit: MrButterworth/iStock/Getty Images The Bad Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on Diabetics A freelance writer since 1978 and attorney since 1981, Cindy Hill has won awards for articles on organic agriculture and wild foods, and has published widely in the areas of law, public policy, local foods and gardening. She holds a B.A. in political science from State University of New York and a Master of Environmental Law and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. Diabetics need to monitor their food consumption carefully to ensure that sugary snacks and simple carbohydrates do not create dangerous swings in their blood glucose levels. Some types of artificial sweeteners can allow diabetics to enjoy an occasional sweet treat without concern for its impact on blood glucose levels, but other artificial sweeteners create unpredictable glucose results. Over-reliance on artificial sweeteners can have many bad health effects, including leading to unhealthy eating patterns. Sugar alcohols are reduced-calorie sweeteners that contain about half the calories of table sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized food manufacturers to label foods containing sugar alcohols as sugar-free or no-sugar-added. This means people with diabetes cannot rely on the sugar-free label to ensure that the food product will not contain sugar. Read the food ingredients label carefully to ascertain if it contains erythritol, isomalt, lactitol, xylitol or other sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols will affect blood glucose, but the extent of the impact varies from product to product, according to the National Diabetes Association. Snacks containing sugar alcohols also frequently contain refined flour carbohydrates an Continue reading >>
Splenda (sucralose) Found To Have Diabetes-promoting Effects
Promoted for decades as a "safe" sugar alternative, presumably to prevent or reduce symptoms of diabetes, Splenda (sucralose) has been found to have diabetes-promoting effects in human subjects. The artificial sweetener sucralose, which is approximately 600 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), and marketed under a variety of brand names, such as Splenda, Cukren, Nevella and SucraPlus, has recently been found to have diabetes-promoting effects in human test subjects, despite containing no calories and being classified as a 'nonutritive sweetener.' A new study published in the journal Diabetes Care, lead by researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, set out to test the metabolic effects of sucralose in obese subjects who did not use nonnutritive sweeteners. Seventeen subjects underwent a 5-hour oral glucose tolerance test on two separate occasions preceded by consuming either sucralose (experimental condition) or water (control condition) 10 min before the glucose load in a randomized crossover design. The results were reported as follows: Compared with the control condition, sucralose ingestion caused 1) a greater incremental increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations (4.2 ± 0.2 vs. 4.8 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.03), 2) a 20 ± 8% greater incremental increase in insulin area under the curve (AUC) (P < 0.03), 3) a 22 ± 7% greater peak insulin secretion rate (P < 0.02), 4) a 7 ± 4% decrease in insulin clearance (P = 0.04), and 5) a 23 ± 20% decrease in SI (P = 0.01). In other words, a single dose of sucralose lead to a .6 mmol/L increase in plasma glucose concentrations, a 20% increase in insulin levels, a 22% greater peak insulin secretion rate, and a 7% decrease in insulin clearance, an indication Continue reading >>