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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Sucralose And Diabetes: Is It Safe?
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener. You might know is by the name Splenda – that's it's brand name. So on food labels you might find it listed as either of those. It tastes quite similar to sugar and is now used in products and marketed widely to people for weight loss, diabetes, and overall health benefits. But when it comes to sucralose and diabetes, is it safe and is it really good for you? Just in case you want to dig in and learn about other artificial sweeteners, we've covered them before over here. But today we'll dig into all things sucralose. Sucralose in the Body Studies suggest that in humans sucralose is not metabolized and is mostly unabsorbed and excreted in the faeces, with the remainder being excreted via the urine. The amount of absorption varies between individuals, humans absorbing approximately 15%. And some studies suggest that there is no accumulation of sucralose in the body over time, but this has recently been proven otherwise (as we'll explore below). Safety of Sucralose It’s true that sucralose has been widely studied for it’s toxicity and for any adverse effects and for the most part it does appear safe. Even In studies where healthy humans were given excessive doses no adverse effects were recorded. However there are a couple of studies that show otherwise and raise some questions. In one study rats were fed Splenda for 12 weeks and had a significant decrease in beneficial gut bacteria and subsequent weight gain, even at low doses approved by the FDA for human consumption. This is not great because changes in gut bacteria will increase inflammation, and as shown with the rats, other studies have shown links between changes in gut bacteria and weight gain. One side effect is that sucralose may trigger migraine and headaches in some pe 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>