6 BEST SWEETENERS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES

Diabetes patients have to follow a proper diet to prevent the spike in blood glucose levels. Regular sugar cannot be included in the diet as it comes with higher calorie values which will worsen the condition.

Sugar substitutes are the product that diabetes patients can depend on their food and beverages. It has low-calorie content, and various sweeteners are available in the market.

Users can choose the sweeteners based on their requirements, considering the physical features of the product. Some sweeteners have aftertaste which won’t be comfortable for the people using them in the diet.

Most of the sweeteners are safer for the patients as it reduces the intake of both carbohydrate and calories. Some sweeteners possess the resistance to higher temperatures which is favourable to be used in cooking and baking of food items.

Most suiting six sweeteners for diabetes patients are mentioned here:

  1. Stevia

Stevia SWEETENERS

This is a sweetener derived from the plant named Stevia rebaudiana, leaves of the plant are highly processed to get the form available in the stores. Glycosides present in the leaves have more sweetness than regular sugar; they also have stability against pH and heat.

The advantage of using Stevia is that the body won’t metabolize glycosides in it and so it adds sweetness in a calorie-free way without spiking your blood glucose levels. Several manufacturers introduce Stevia in the market, some with the natural flavours.

Some manufacturers add artificial colours and other ingredients; this has a chance of reducing the natural benefits of Stevia. People can use this sweetener if they are planning to lose weight as it has almost no calories.

Stevia has disadvantages also, and the main among them is the price which is a bit more compared to other sweeteners. Everyone may not like the taste of Stevia as it produces a bitter aftertaste.

All experts don’t recommend Stevia to their patients as some users have experienced digestive problems like bloating and diarrhoea. You can use this sugar substitute after taking advice from your physician to avoid the side-effects.

Stevia can be purchased online, click here to buy on Amazon.

  1. Sucralose

Sucralose-SWEETENERS

This product, also known as Splenda is one among the sweetener used by the people following specific diets, especially by diabetes patients. The attractive feature of using sucralose is that it has almost no calories.

Sucralose is used in the manufacturing of various food products as only a little amount of this sweetener is required to add taste to the food or beverage. Most of the sucralose passes through the body without getting absorbed; only a little percent enters the blood.

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The sucralose is already present in your diet, so consider your eating habits and substitute this product suitably. This sugar substitute is widely accepted as there are no confirmed adverse effects on the products when used by diabetes patients.

A dietician must plan the diet of a patient with diabetes as overuse of any food item can take their disease out of control. It is always better to get proper advice from the physician regarding the quantity of sucralose that can be included in the food.

Sucralose has the stability to heat, which means it doesn’t lose the natural flavour at higher temperatures. You can add this sweetener in your diet after taking expert opinion and control without any rise in blood sugar levels.

Sucralose can be purchased online, click here to buy on Amazon.

  1. Aspartame

Aspartame-sweeteners

There are several artificial sweeteners available in the market; aspartame is one among them offering more sweetness than regular sugar. It is commonly seen as a sugar substitute in many food products and beverages by the manufacturers.

Brand names used for aspartame in grocery stores are Nutrasweet, Equal, and Canderel. Diabetes patients can depend on this artificial sweetener as it helps in reducing the calorie intake, also supports weight loss.

The taste of the aspartame is closest to the sugar’s taste profile compared to other artificial sweeteners that are approved to be used in foods. The sweet taste longer for aspartame depending on the surrounding conditions.

Aspartame is unfavourable for baking purposes; it breaks down at higher temperatures degrading the property of the sweetener. Higher pH can also affect the nature and longevity of this artificial sweetener in food items.

For people suffering from the rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria, aspartame is not advised to include their diet. Otherwise, this sweetener is considered safe for usage based on the researches and studies conducted on the effects of aspartame.

Aspartame can be purchased online, click here to buy on Amazon.

  1. Saccharin

sweeteners

This is one of the famous names among the artificial sweeteners, widely used available. The presence of saccharin is there in many products like drinks, candies, and cookies that are part of our food habits.

Some of the brands like Sweet Twin, Sweet’N Low, and Necta Sweet, are there for saccharin manufacturing. It is safer to use and including this sweetener in the diet helps to prevent the intake of more calories through food items.

The saccharin is favourable for the diabetes patient’s diet as it is considered as the zero-calorie sweetener. Only a lesser amount of saccharine is required to add taste to the food item, and it has a higher ratio of sweetening property.

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When used at higher concentrations, the saccharine tend to produce a bitter or metallic aftertaste. This artificial sweetener has the stability to higher temperatures so it can be used for baking purposes.

Saccharin is a sulphonamide derivative, so if some people having allergies to this element can experience discomfort while using this sweetener. Else this is added to the food items as it won’t spike your blood sugar values even though it doesn’t have any nutritional values.

Saccharin can be purchased online, click here to buy on Amazon.

  1. Tagatose

Tagatose-sweeteners

It is a kind of fructose commonly seen in the dairy products, also in some of the fruits like apples, pineapples, and oranges. The texture of this sweetener is similar to sucrose, but a little amount of tagatose can give more sweetness to food.

The main factor that helps it to be included in the diet of diabetes patients is the low glycemic index. With this property, the blood glucose levels will not rise when this sweetener is used in food items.

The tagatose has the property of stabilizing the blood sugar levels by promoting the conversion of glucose to glycogen. The functional features of this sweetener also inhibit carbohydrate absorption.

Low-calorie content is another advantage of the tagatose, which helps the user to manage healthy body weight. It is added to the dishes to get the flavour, also has a brown colouring nature.

As we know, some of the other sweeteners have a bitter aftertaste. Tagatose is used along with them to mask this action. It has the stability to higher temperatures so can be utilized while cooking and baking as it won’t change their features.

Tagatose can be purchased online, click here to buy on Amazon.

  1. Neotame

Neotame-sweeteners

This is one of the artificial sweeteners with the low-calorie feature, suiting the diabetes diet. Neotame has sweetness more than the regular sugar; a small amount can add taste to the dish.

Newtame is the brand name of this sweetener which doesn’t affect the original flavour of the food item. To increase the effect of sweetness, some of the manufactures even use them in combination with other sweeteners.

Neotame shows tolerance to higher temperatures, so it is suitable for applications like baking. This sweetener without any nutritional quality is not approved to be added to the meat and poultry.

READ  Is White Chana Good for Diabetes? Answered by Doctors

Neotame can be purchased online, click here to buy on Amazon.

How to choose the best sweetener for you?

  • The sweetener must be chosen based on the availability at stores or online. Some of them may not be easier to find to purchase, and cost should also be taken into consideration.
  • The requirements of the user have a significant role in deciding which sweetener to choose for the food items. The sugar substitutes that cannot withstand higher temperatures are not the right choice for baking.
  • Aftertaste of certain sweeteners irritates the users, but adding anything artificial to this reduces the nutritional benefits. So, it is better to choose the sugar substitutes considering your taste preferences.
  • All sweeteners available are not artificial, some are naturally found in the fruits or other similar products. Some diabetes patients will prefer to use the natural sugar substitute rather than purchasing the artificial sweetener without any nutritional benefits.

Final thoughts

Sugar substitutes have a secured place in most of the diets as it is safer with the low-calories. Weight loss can also achieve as it reduces the intake of carbs through sugary foods by controlling the cravings.

Many food items that we use are manufactured with these sweeteners as they give more sweetness when added in smaller quantities. There is a standard amount of intake for these sweeteners decided by the FDA, and the patients should follow them to avoid risk.

References

  1. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/19/9/1004.short
  2. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/1/4/223.short
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1464-5491.1988.tb01079.x
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0002934387906930
  5. https://europepmc.org/article/med/359627
  6. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1517/13543780903501521
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0008621507004387

 

 

 

 

Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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