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Which Sugar Is Best For Diabetes?

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 >>

Sugars, Sugar Substitutes And Sweeteners: Natural And Artificial

Sugars, Sugar Substitutes And Sweeteners: Natural And Artificial

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

Best 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 >>

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

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

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

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 >>

Is Agave Syrup The Best Sweetener For Diabetes?

Is Agave Syrup The Best Sweetener For Diabetes?

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

Here’s The 8 Best And Worst Sugar Substitutes For Your Health

Here’s The 8 Best And Worst Sugar Substitutes For Your Health

Now that people are becoming more aware about the dangers of too much refined sugar, people are opting for “healthier” substitutes for the sweetener. Whether it’s sugar-free soda, a lighter Starbucks drinks, or sugar-free gum, artificial sweeteners have been popping up everywhere, and many are choosing these options over their sugar-filled counterparts, believing them to be the more nutritious option. Unfortunately, many of these sugar substitutes are actually worse for you than the real thing. Whether you’re into baking at home or trying to buy the right products at the grocery store, it’s important to know which sugar substitutes to choose and which to avoid. If you’re at a loss as to what sweeteners are the healthiest option, use the below guide for the worst and best sugar substitutes. Worst Sugar Substitutes 1. Equal This popular sweetener is made from aspartame, which can cause headaches, and even worse, an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Aspartame is found in thousands of foods, especially diet soda, and it accounts for 75 percent of the adverse food reactions reported to the FDA. 2. Splenda Splenda, also known as sucralose, has been found to have some harmful effects on the body, including reducing good gut bacteria, releasing toxic compounds during baking, and altering insulin responses and blood sugar levels. Research has also shown that consumption of sucralose is linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. 3. Sweet N’ Low Sweet N’ Low contains saccharin, a white crystalline powder that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Studies from the 1970s show that rats who consumed the sweetener showed a higher risk of obtaining bladder cancer, and while the effect has not yet been shown on humans, the Center for Science in the Publi Continue reading >>

Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetes

Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetes

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

Diabetes & Diet: 7 Foods That Control Blood Sugar

Diabetes & Diet: 7 Foods That Control Blood Sugar

When you have type 2 diabetes, what you eat can help you control your blood sugar, stave off hunger, and feel full longer. “Diabetes is when your blood sugar or glucose levels are higher than normal. It’s carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and desserts that can cause this rise," says Maggie Powers, PhD, president-elect of Health Care & Education at the American Diabetes Association. Your eating plan should focus on the amount and type of carbs you put on your plate throughout the day, Powers says. But it’s also important to have foods you enjoy. You want to eat enough so you feel satisfied and avoid overeating and poor choices. Here are seven foods that Powers says can help keep your blood sugar in check and make you happy and healthy to boot. These add color, flavor, and texture to a meal. Choose tasty, low-carb veggies, like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and low-carb squashes, like zucchini. Try them with dips such as low-fat dressings, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, or roasted with different seasonings such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, or garlic. Go beyond your regular salad and try kale, spinach, and chard. They’re healthy, delicious, and low-carb, Powers says. Roast kale leaves in the oven with olive oil for quick, crunchy chips. You can also mix greens in with roasted veggies to add texture and a different flavor, or serve them with a little protein, like salmon. Plain water is always good, but water infused with fruits and vegetables is more interesting. Cut up a lemon or cucumber and put it in your water, or make ice cubes with some flavoring in them. If you’re not a hot tea drinker, try cold tea with lemon or a cinnamon stick. “Not only are these beverages low-carb, they can also help fill y 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 >>

10 Best Foods For Diabetes And Blood Sugar

10 Best Foods For Diabetes And Blood Sugar

Some foods have a bigger impact on your blood sugar than others. Knowing which ones are the best for keeping blood sugar levels steady is especially important when you have diabetes, but it's a good idea for everyone. Your dietary goal is to choose foods that help keep your blood sugar level on an even keel. That typically means whole, minimally processed foods. Here are… Continue reading >>

Artificial Sweeteners And Diabetes

Artificial Sweeteners And Diabetes

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

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 >>

Coconut Palm Sugar: Can People With Diabetes Eat It?

Coconut Palm Sugar: Can People With Diabetes Eat It?

In order to manage their condition, people with diabetes need to monitor their sugar intake. A good way of doing this might be by choosing a natural sweetener option. One of the more popular choices is coconut palm sugar. In this article, we look at the effect coconut palm sugar has on blood sugar (glucose) levels and whether it may be healthful for people with diabetes. Contents of this article: What is diabetes? People with diabetes have bodies that do not produce enough insulin or use insulin correctly. Insulin is the hormone needed to help the body to normalize blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels are a measurement of the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Most foods contain sugar. The body stores the sugar and transports it through the bloodstream to the cells, which use it as energy. When insulin is not working properly, sugar cannot enter cells, and they are unable to produce as much energy. When the cells of the body cannot process sugar, diabetes occurs. What is coconut palm sugar? Coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm. The sugar is extracted from the palm by heating it until the moisture evaporates. After processing, the sugar has a caramel color and tastes like brown sugar, making it an easy substitution in any recipe. Coconut palm sugar is considered a healthier option for people with diabetes because it contains less pure fructose than other sweeteners. The digestive tract does not absorb fructose as it does other sugars, which means that the excess fructose finds its way to the liver. Too much fructose in the liver can lead to a host of metabolic problems, including type 2 diabetes. Can people with diabetes eat coconut palm sugar? While the American Diabetes Association (ADA) do find coconut palm sugar to be an acceptable sugar sub 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 >>

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