The Best Sugar Substitutes For People With Diabetes + Their Pros & Cons
Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, birthdays no matter which month were in, theres always an occasion that seems to call for sweet treats. It can be hard to ignore your sweet toothbut for people with diabetes, its especially important to understand sugar to manage glucose levels.
One potential solution to this dilemma: sugar substitutes! These sweeteners promise to help people with diabetes enjoy sweet treats without putting their glucose levels at risk. Most of these products are not broken down by the body they pass through without providing any calories. However, not all sugar substitutes are created equal and some come with notable health risks of their own. Keep reading to learn about the best sugar substitutes for diabetes.
So Why Is Sugar So Bad For You
There really are no health benefits to eating sugar. It just gives you empty calories thatll skyrocket your blood sugar levels.
There are no vitamins, minerals, proteins, good fats or antioxidants to be found in sugar.
Eating sugar can damage your metabolism by increasing the amount of insulin your body releases. This can cause your body to store more fat, lose more muscle and have decreased energy levels.
Theres more evidence today than ever sugar causes obesity and type 2 diabetes. It can stop your body from telling you its full. Next thing you know youre eating more and more because of the sugar you ate.
Studies have found individuals who eat the most sugar are more likely to be overweight and have deadly visceral belly fat.
Even drinking diet soda has been heavily linked to increases in abdominal fat.
Along with obesity and stomach fat from eating sugar comes increases in the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Sugar is incredibly addictive and Ive found it to be one of if not the hardest part of embarking on a new diet.
Eating sugar causes your brain to release dopamine in the reward center part of the brain. Very similar to hardcore addictive drugs.
This gradually leads to overeating and can be very hard for someone to kick sugar to the curb for good.
See my other blog post on How To Stop The Painful Sugar Withdrawal.
Why Are Electrolytes Important
Electrolytes are essential minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
The body needs these minerals to function at an optimum level they regulate muscle contractions, keep the body hydrated, support the nervous system to function properly, and help balance pH levels.
If you dont have enough electrolytes you may become dehydrated, experience cramps, headaches, low energy levels, reduce levels of performance, and slow muscle repair.
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Organic Milk Or Cream
Those who take their coffee with milk or cream can tell you how well it cuts the bitterness with just a little bit. Next time you’re looking for a sweetener, use an organic milk or cream. If you want to be even healthier, try using unsweetened Soy or Almond milk. Plus, consider the calcium youâll get as an added bonus!
How Can I Tell If A Food Or Drink Contains A Sugar Substitute
Sugar substitutes are used in many processed foods and drinks, including baked goods, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes, candy, puddings, canned foods, jellies, and dairy products. Check the ingredient list on the nutrition facts label for the names of the sugar substitutes. This list gives ingredients in descending order by weight. Unless you add a sugar substitute yourself, it is often hard to know exactly how much of it a food or drink contains.
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Is Splenda Keto Friendly
Splenda is a blend of dextrose, maltodextrin, and sucralose, it is not recommended for keto diets .
Better blended alternatives to Splenda are Swerve and Natvia which are both blends of natural keto-friendly sweeteners.
We use both Swerve and Natvia they are excellent keto-friendly baking ingredients and work just as good as Slenda for taste as sweetness.
For more information read our article on the dangers of maltodextrin.
What Can I Substitute For Caster Sugar
If you are cooking a baked good and run out of Caster Sugar, you dont need to worry much. We are here with a list of the best substitutes for Caster Sugar. Now, you can complete the remaining recipe you have left in between your cooking process. You can choose accordingly what you have in your pantry. Lets have a look at the below-mentioned list.
1. Powdered Sugar :
Powdered Sugar is not the same as Caster Sugar, but it is grounded ultrafine sugar that melts so fast. It is one of the best Caster Sugar substitutes used to make cakes, pies, donuts, puddings, and desserts. Powdered Sugar contains an anti-caking agent like cornstarch. It works well with ice cream whereas it shouldnt be used in cocktails.
2. Brown Sugar :
Brown Sugar has a distinctive brown color due to Molasses. Brown Sugar is known as the healthiest sugar when compared to White Sugar. The taste of this sugar is similar to caramel. If you are making a light color good with Brown Sugar, you may see some color differences in the resulting product. It would give a similar taste in terms of sweetness when used in a ratio of 1:1. This can be a great substitute for Caster Sugar.
3. Coconut Sugar :
4. Granulated Sugar :
5. Demerara Sugar :
6. Rice Malt Syrup :
7. Maple Syrup :
8. Corn Syrup :
9. Agave Syrup :
10. Artificial Sweetener :
11. Honey :
12. Muscovado Sugar :
13. Molasses :
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Best Substitute For Baking
When looking for a sugar substitute to bake with you have to make sure the substitute you want to use is baking friendly because not all of them are. Some become harmful to the body at certain temperatures, and others just dont taste good.
- Splenda comes up again when searching for the best baking sugar substitute. It is thought to be the best sugar substitute for baking by many people, and has been proven to be the closest to real sugar as far as taste in baking.
- Sweet N Low is another favorite artificial sweetener for bakers. It dissolves easily in hot and cold environments, so it is versatile and can be used in any of your favorite recipes. The product does not loose its sweetness when heated either, making it ideal for sweetening baked goods before or after cooking them. It is made with saccharin.
Stevia A Natural Sweetener Option
Steviol glycosides are sweeteners derived from the leaf of the stevia plant, which is native to Central and South America. Truvia and Pure Via, both brands of stevia-based sweetener, are calorie-free, and stevia is often used as a sweetener in foods and beverages. According to the 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, , nonnutritive sweeteners, including stevia, have little to no impact on blood sugar. The FDA has approved the use of certain stevia extracts, which it has generally recognized as safe .
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center notes that people have reported side effects, like gastrointestinal symptoms, after eating high amounts of stevia. But to date, there is no solid scientific research to prove these claims.
The FDA recommends an ADI of 4 mg or less of Truvia per kilogram of body weight per day. A 132-lb individual would need to consume nine tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
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Sugar Addiction Is The Real Deal Quitting This Sweet Drug Of Choice Isn’t So Simple But Knowing Which Types Of Sweeteners To Choose Can Make All The Difference In How You Look Think And Feel
Sugar has long been integrated into our culture as a reward mechanism. But, what once was a natural and healthy indulgence has become quite problematic for our health. Sugar has been blamed for everything from obesity to mental health disorders.And, it’s no wonder why.One of the great marvels of modern living in western industrialized societies is the quick and convenient access to “food”.But this desire for convenience and fuel on-demand has come with some ugly and undesirable side-effects.The main culprit being ultraprocessed foods that are more freakish science experiements than they are nutritive fuel for our bodies.And the most common ingredient among them? You guessed it SUGAR!Today, sugar is literally in EVERYTHING we consume. Now, you may be wondering, whats so bad about this sweet white powder that weve come to desperately crave? The answer? Well, it depends.After all, not all sugar is created equally and the type you choose can affect your mind and body in different ways.Read on to find out how sugar affects us and how to choose the best natural sugar alternative for your health. Or, to skip to a section that interests you most, simply click on one of the topics below.
What makes sugar so addicting?
But First Some Science
To understand the difference between bad sugars and better sugars, first its important to note the difference between fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
Better sugarsincluding maple syrup, coconut sugar, and date syrupscore low on the glycemic index and have lower amounts of fructose. Sucrose and glucose are what cause insulin levels to spike, whereas fructose does not.
Fructose is whats found in fruit . However, too much fructose can be challenging for the liver to metabolize. The recommended quantity of fructose per day should not exceed 50 grams. Over this quantity, the metabolism of fructose in the liver starts to produce free radicals.
All of the best sugars score lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, which means they wont cause your insulin levels to spike.
In essence, what youre looking for in a better sugar is both a low glycemic index, a fructose content that is not too high, and additional nutrients that cane sugar does not offer.
Whether youre looking for sugar substitutes for baking, cooking or to sweeten your morning coffee, heres a list of the best natural sweeteners you can use and why.
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What Sugar Substitutes/artificial Sweeteners Are Approved By The Fda
The following sugar substitutes are FDA approved as food additives in the United States:
- Acesulfame K
According to the FDA, some sugar substitutes are generally recognized as safe . This means they dont require FDA approval because qualified experts agree the scientific evidence shows these products are safe for use in foods and drinks. Sugar substitutes in this category include highly purified stevia extracts called steviol glycosides and monk fruit extracts .
Sugar alcohols are another class of sweeteners that can be used as sugar substitutes. Examples include mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. The FDA has determined that sugar alcohols are generally recognized as safe for use in foods and drinks.
Aspartame is a common low-calorie sugar substitute. Its a combination of 2 amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Its about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It can be found in thousands of processed foods and drinks. Products that contain aspartame include yogurt, frozen desserts, pudding, dry dessert mixes, chewing gum, and soft drinks.
Its used as a tabletop sweetener. It also can be found in some medicines and vitamins. Aspartame shouldnt be used as a substitute for sugar when youre baking. It loses its sweet taste when its heated.
Is aspartame safe?
Is acesulfame K safe?
Is saccharin safe?
A Few Words Of Caution About Sugar Substitutes
There are many sugar substitutes out there that say theyre sugar free. And while this is true, it does not mean that they can be used without moderation.
Just like everyone has to be careful with regular sugar diabetics especially need to be careful when it comes to sugar substitutes.
The no sugar, zero calorie promise on the packaging can cause people to eat more than they would otherwise. And while the sweetener might not contain calories, the other ingredients in the food might.
And calories aside, these foods might also contain ingredients that do cause issues with blood sugar and insulin levels. These ingredients, like trans fats, arent something most people think to check for. But when it comes to diabetes, you have to know what youre putting in your body.
For this reason, its usually best to stick with natural alternatives. Theyre typically less processed and are paired less often with other ingredients you want to avoid.
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High Fructose Corn Syrup
Another example of clever marketing, high fructose corn syrup disguises itself as a “natural” sugar but it couldn’t be further from the truth. With corn being one of the highest production crops in the U.S. it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’ve found a way to include it in almost everything we eat. Everything these days, from sauces and salad dressing to desserts and pastries, seem to contain this harmful sweetener. So what makes it so harmful? With corn being one of the most common genetically modified crops, the majority of HFCS is produced using GMO corn, but that’s not the only issue. The problem is that just as the name suggests, this sugar alternative is extremely high in fructose. The problem with fructose in highly concentrated forms is that it gets rapidly metabolized by the liver, which has downstream affects that contributes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , insulin resistance, and obesity.
The Better Sugar Substitutes
Stevia comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana bush, native to South America. It contains no calories and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia looks like a white powder or available in drops. Some sports drink and soda companies add it to their products.
Pros: Stevia is 100% natural and may have disease-preventing potential. A 2017 study in the Journal of Medicinal Foodsuggests that it could prevent metabolic syndrome and related conditions. It may also help lower high blood pressure.
Cons: Stevia can possibly lower blood pressure too much. It may interact with certain medications. There is also ongoing research around naturally occurring compounds in stevia and whether they can potentially cause cancers and genetic mutations.
#11 Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are reduced-calorie sweeteners. Despite the name, they dont contain alcohol. Two of these are erythritol and xylitol.
Erythritol occurs naturally in many fruits. Its found in mushrooms and foods derived from fermentation as well. And it can be man made.
Pros: It has no calories and doesnt seem to cause the same digestive problems as other sugar alcohols. It also doesnt lead to tooth decay, might be a preferred substitute for people with diabetes, and has been found to act as a strong antioxidant.
Xylitol is often used as a no-calorie sweetener for gums, mints, candy, and even some toothpaste.
#12 Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is around 150 to 200 times sweeter than table sugar.
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Here Is A List Of Common Forms Of Sugar From Best To Worst
Well, there you have it! If you’ve ever wondered what sugars to avoid and which sugars are best, you should have a better understanding. At the end of the day, sugar is sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation. If you are looking for healthy meals with delicious swaps, my 4 week meal plan for winter is pretty amazing. I give you so many delicious options with plenty of good for you swaps that will make eating healthy a breeze. You can check it out here!
Here’s to helping you love the body you live in!
Top 14 Best Substitute For Caster Sugar In Baking
Last weekend, I was making a cake for our dinner dessert. I cracked the eggs in a bowl and in between this process I was looking for Caster Sugar on my kitchen shelves. There was an empty jar of caster sugar. I was shocked that time but didnt want to go through the nearest grocery store. I had some extra alternatives in my pantry. Then, I decided to use Caster Sugar substitute for my cooking.
There are a lot of Caster Sugar substitutes that can be used in place of caster sugar. We just need to find that substitute in our kitchen or pantry. How can we decide what is the best substitute for our recipe/dish? To find the best substitute, you just need to get some info related to Caster Sugar.
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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 theyre 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 > >