Who Should Buy A Blood Sugar Supplement
Blood sugar supplements are designed to help your body naturally regulate your blood sugar. They are particularly helpful for a few specific categories of people:
People who want to go beyond diet and exercise for metabolic health. Many people have trouble regulating their blood sugar optimally, which can lead to prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, and eventually type 2 diabetes .
Exercise and diet can make a huge difference, but supplements for glucose support might make an extra difference if these two alone arent doing it for you.
These pills are not a cure for diabetes, but their natural ingredients may help even out fluctuations in blood sugar.
People who are overweight or obese. Carrying around extra fat mass has a negative impact on your bodys ability to regulate glucose levels, so a glucose support supplement might be worth considering if your weight is higher than it should be.
People who may be prediabetic. Blood sugar support and glucose support supplements are primarily targeted at people who are prediabetic, meaning they have troubling trends in their metabolism of blood sugar, but do not have totally dysregulated insulin function .
Use In Cooking And Baking
Because many sugar substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a smaller amount to achieve the desired sweetness. Therefore, when cooking or baking, your recipe may need to be adjusted if you’re swapping white table sugar for a sweeter alternative.
While the sweetener package may have specific instructions for cooking and baking, this may come down to trial and error , or you can search for specific recipes that use sugar substitutes or natural sweeteners in place of white sugar.
A few other things to be aware of when cooking and baking with alternative sweeteners:
- Your baked goods may be lighter in color as natural sugar browns more deeply when baked and artificial sweeteners don’t brown as nicely.
- Cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- There may be a texture or aftertaste you’re not used to.
- The volume of cakes or cookies may be slightly decreased as you’re using much less sweetener.
Maple Syrup Or Coconut Sugar
Maple syrup is a pure sugar from the sap of maple trees, while coconut sugar is dehydrated coconut sap. Both maple syrup and coconut sugar are whole food sweeteners with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Coconut sugar can be used as a 1:1 replacement with processed sugar but it contains more fiber and nutrients. Maple syrup is high in vitamins and antioxidants.
Both maple syrup and coconut sugar contain a significant amount of calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, so low-carb dieters and diabetics may want to be careful with these options.
You may also want to check out my list of the Best Substitutes for Coconut Sugar.
Recommended maple syrup and coconut sugar brands:
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Supplements To Help Lower Blood Sugar
Scientists are testing many different supplements to determine if they help lower blood sugar.
Such supplements could benefit people with prediabetes or diabetes particularly type 2.
Over time, taking a supplement alongside diabetes medication may enable your doctor to decrease your medication dose though supplements likely cant replace medication entirely.
Here are 10 supplements that may help lower blood sugar.
Sugar Vs Sweeteners Vs Substitutes
Along with added and natural sugars, there are also many different forms of sweeteners and sugar substitutes. In addition to granulated sugars such as white sugar and brown sugar, sugar substitutes, such as stevia, alcohol sugars and artificial sweeteners have become increasingly popular, many of which are less ideal. However, for the purposes of determining the healthiest sugar, this review will focus specifically on added sugars that are commonly used in cooking and baking.
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Are All Added Sugars Created Equal
Added sugars come from a variety of sources and go by many different names, yet they are all a source of extra calories and are metabolized by the body the same way. A common misconception exists that some added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup are unhealthy, while others such as agave nectar are healthy.
The reality is that most added sugars are composed of glucose and fructose in varying ratios. For example, sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose the most common form of HFCS contains 45% glucose and 55% fructose and some types of agave nectar contain up to 90% fructose and 10% glucose.
Glucose and fructose have different metabolic fates, so in theory consuming one over the other could lead to differences in metabolic health. For example, glucose is absorbed from the intestine into the blood and is and taken up into muscle, liver, and fat cells in response to the release of insulin from the pancreas. In contrast, fructose is metabolized in the liver and does not increase blood glucose or insulin levels. But since glucose and fructose travel together in the foods and beverages we eat, we need to consider their effects holistically.
Whether an added sugar contains more or less fructose versus glucose has little impact on health. Some types of added sugar honey, for example may also contain micronutrients or other bioactive compounds. But these properties have little benefit when it comes to metabolic health.
About the Author
Vasanti Malik, ScD, Contributor
What Is The Healthiest Sugar Substitute For Table Sugar
Did you know?
Mexico and other Latin American countries have been at the forefront of using monetary policy to improve public health. Over 25 countries throughout the world have adopted a sugar-sweetened beverage tax. While some cities in the United States have followed suit, no statewide mandates for SSB taxes have been made.
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How To Get More In Diet
Getting more natural sweeteners in your daily diet isnt hard if you completely stop using refined table sugar and use healthier sugar substitutes instead. Plus, you also can look for food products that are sweet thanks to ingredients like stevia rather than refined sugar.
To find your best sugar substitutes, youll likely have to test out a few. You might end up liking one for your morning coffee but a different one for your baking needs.
Even when using natural sweeteners, like raw honey, you still want to be mindful of your overall sugar consumption.
How much natural sugar should you have a day? According to The American Heart Association , you should limit the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance.
For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men . The AHA defines added sugars as any sugars or caloric sweeteners added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation.
So added sugars include refined sugar as well as natural sweeteners like honey.
If you are being treated for any ongoing health concern, especially diabetes, check with your doctor before incorporating any new sweeteners and sugar substitutes into your diet.
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What Is The Healthiest Alternative To Sugar
The best alternative is the one that helps you control your need for sweeteners. I know, its not a straight answer, but every sweetener, whether caloric or non-caloric has its pros and cons. Were going to look at that now. Well break it all down so you can make an informed choice.
Its important to note that sugar-free sweeteners can often have bulking agents like dextrose mixed in. Read the label before you buy to make sure you know what you are getting.
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How To Use Sugar Substitutes When Baking
While sugar substitutes can often be great alternatives to sugar when baking, they often canât be interchanged on a 1:1 basis. Finding the right measurements for your recipe can be a challenge, as you have to account for different textures, quantities, and moisture levels.
Below weâve shared printable kitchen signs that you can hang in your kitchen to use as a resource and for inspiration as you bake and cook. Weâve also created recipe cards that you can use to keep track of your favorite recipes and the best sugar substitutes to use with each.
Note that researchers have not yet studied the exact conversions for various sugar substitutes, so we offer this resource only as a starting place for you to find how alternative sugars may fit into your diet. We suggest that you consult with a physician for more specific recommendations about how sugar substitutes could interact with various medications or medical conditions.
Important note: The below measurements are general suggestions. If you have any questions about sugar substitutes and your body, consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider.
Supplements For Type 1 Diabetes
While there is not a set of supplements that people with type 1 diabetes should for sure take, there are certain nutrients that people with type 1 diabetes have a greater risk of being deficient in. These include Vitamin D, Iron, Vitamin B12, Zinc, other B vitamins and more. Yearly micronutrient blood draws at the direction of your doctor can scan for deficiencies in these and other nutrients.
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How To Spot Added Sugars In Processed Foods
Dont be fooled just because you stay away from obviously sweet foods like cake, cookies, doughnuts, and candy. Added sugars hide in a number of foods you may not expect, like processed frozen foods, baby food, dried fruit, cereal, granola, instant oatmeal, salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauces, pasta sauces, flavored yogurt, protein bars, and more. Theyre also found in organic foods and plenty of foods youll find at your local health food store.
The good news is that tallying up added sugars on packaged foods just got easier. The Nutrition Facts Label now includes added sugars underneath where it says total sugars.”
Why Do Certain Drugs And Supplements Affect Blood Sugar
Its important to remember that these drugs and supplements are not targeting blood sugars, but are working to treat other ailments or deficiencies in the body, and blood sugars are sometimes the inevitable victim.
Blood sugar levels are extremely precarious, and taking a prescription drug that acts as a stimulant, for instance, can have significant effects on your blood sugar, but it doesnt necessarily mean that the drug is bad for you, per se.
As a person living with diabetes, you will inevitably need to take other prescription drugs throughout your life, and the goal is not to avoid other medications altogether because of their impact on blood sugars, but rather to manage the effects they may have.
Many of these drugs and supplements are either hormones that raise blood sugars naturally to prepare the body for fight or flight situations or work to inhibit liver functioning that produces higher blood sugars.
Certain stimulants, such as caffeine and Niacin, cause insulin resistance, which will raise ones blood sugars naturally.
Still more medications, such as common cold and cough suppressants, contain sugar that raises blood sugars when not carefully calibrated for.
On the other hand, aspirin has been shown to decrease diabetes-related inflammation, and thus actually decrease blood sugars.
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Safe Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics
Monk fruit extract
Monk fruit naturally contains mogrosides, a type of antioxidant responsible for the sweet taste of this treat. Researchers have found a way to extract this antioxidant to produce a sugar-free sweetener that does not contain calories and does not affect blood sugar levels.
To make stevia sweetener, manufacturers collect the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and process them into fine crystals. Stevia is low in calories and retains its flavor when heated, making it an ideal sweetener for baking or hot drinks.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol derived from the fermentation of cornstarch or wheat. It has very few calories and has no impact on blood sugar. While erythritol is less likely than others to do so, sugar alcohols can upset your stomach. Start with small amounts and discontinue use if it causes any discomfort. With that said, it is safe even in relatively large quantities.
Did you know that you can find the most natural sweetener in the aisle? Fresh fruit can be a great addition to your recipes, as fruits contain fiber that helps slow down sugar absorption and thus reduce the impact on your blood sugar levels. Try using mashed bananas, unsweetened applesauce or date paste in your next recipe.
“Most people with diabetes do not need to reduce the amount of fruit they eat,” says Dr. Ho. “However, dried fruits and fruit juices can be high in sugar and should therefore be better limited or avoided.”
What Are The Treatment Options For Chronic Ear Infections In Dogs
In some dogs, chronic ear infections cannot be cured and the goal of therapy is to reduce flare-ups as much as possible. For example, for dogs with chronic ear infections caused by allergies, the goal would be to manage the allergies as much as possible in order to reduce secondary infection occurrences.
Treating chronic ear infections in dogs is much different than treating an acute ear infection. Yes, both require initial medication to treat, but to be successful the underlying disease or cause needs to be isolated and managed.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:
- feel hungry or have hunger pains in their stomach
- feel shaky or like theyre trembling
- have a rapid heart rate
- feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
- have pale, gray skin color
- have a headache
- have seizures or convulsions
- lose consciousness
If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when youre having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.
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What Foods Have Zero Sugar
Refer back to the carb hierarchy above and youll see that vegetables, particularly greens, have little to no sugar, so theyre always a safe bet when youre hungry. Of course, the typical keto-friendly foodsmeats, fish, eggs, cheeses, avocados, and other foods rich in protein and fatare sugar-free. Below is a short list of no- to low-sugar options.
- Animal proteins
- Butter, ghee, cheese
Remember that sugar/carbs are a big energy source for the body, so, unless youre ready to commit to a very low-carb or keto diet, you shouldnt aim to stop eating carbs entirely. The more active you are, the more carbs you should consume to fuel your workouts, recreation, etc. For instructions on how to set up a lower-carb diet that still permits enough sugars to support an active lifestyle , see the Mod Keto eating plan in our FREE ebook on the keto diet.
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Why Should You Use Sugar Substitutes
Wondering why it might be wise to avoid added sugar and use substitutes instead? Excess sugar consumption is not just bad for your teeth, its also associated with high rates of diseases like diabetes. Pure sugar is high in carbohydrates, which can cause unwanted spikes in blood glucose levels.
Sugar is also high in calories without having much nutritional value, so substitutes are useful for those seeking to lose weight.
How To Stop Eating Sugar
If youre like most Americans, you eat more sugar than is good for you. But its entirely possible to eat less sugar without sacrificing much if any of the pleasures of eating. Surprising as it may sound, many people who have cut back on sugar say they find their new eating habits more pleasurable than their old ones. This guide will walk you through why sugar matters, how you can make smart food choices to reduce sugar consumption, and how you can keep your life sweet, even without so many sweets.
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What Is A Good Glucose Level For Type 2 Diabetes
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What About Other Natural Sugar Substitutes Like Honey
There are several popular sugary sweeteners that health-conscious people often eat instead of sugar, including coconut sugar, molasses, honey, and maple syrup. These really arent much different from sugar.
They may contain slightly smaller amounts of fructose and a tiny amount of nutrients, but your body really wont be able to tell the difference.
Furthermore, while these natural sugar substitutes may be a better alternative to regular sugar if used in moderation, they should not be considered a quick fix for your health concerns.
In fact, consuming high amounts of natural sugars or sugar substitutes over the long term could increase cravings for sweets and may contribute to issues like weight gain and type 2 diabetes .
The harmful effects of sugar depend completely on the context. Most of the related studies were conducted in people who were already eating a diet high in carbs and processed foods.
For these people, especially those with overweight or insulin resistance, large amounts of sugar can be especially harmful .
Healthy people can eat sugar in small amounts without any harm. While sugar still provides calories without much nutritional value and may cause cavities, small amounts of these natural sugars can be included in a well-rounded diet.
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