sugar substitutes for diabetics

Types of Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics

There are several types of sugar substitutes, also known as artificial sweeteners or sugar alternatives. Our favourites are stevia and erythritol. Here are some common ones along with their benefits and potential negatives:

  1. Stevia: Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is significantly sweeter than sugar but has zero calories and does not raise blood sugar levels. Stevia is considered safe for most people, including those with diabetes. However, some people may find it has a slightly bitter aftertaste.

  2. Aspartame: Aspartame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free products. It is intensely sweet, and a small amount provides a lot of sweetness. Aspartame is not suitable for people with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) and may cause headaches or other symptoms in some individuals.

  3. Sucralose: Sucralose is a zero-calorie sweetener that is 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is heat stable, making it suitable for cooking and baking. Sucralose is generally considered safe, but some people may experience digestive issues or adverse reactions.

  4. Saccharin: Saccharin is one of the oldest artificial sweeteners and is commonly used in tabletop sweeteners. It is very sweet and has no calories. Saccharin was previously linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in rats, but subsequent studies have not shown a clear link in humans. It is considered safe for most people.

  5. Monk fruit extract: Monk fruit extract, also known as Luo Han Guo, is a natural sweetener derived from the monk fruit. It is intensely sweet, has zero calories, and does not raise blood sugar levels. Monk fruit extract is generally well-tolerated, but some products may contain additives or other sweeteners, so it's important to read labels.

  6. Erythritol: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits. It has fewer calories than sugar, does not raise blood sugar levels, and has minimal impact on insulin levels. Erythritol is generally well-tolerated, but consuming large amounts may cause digestive issues in some people.

It's important to note that individual responses to sugar substitutes can vary, and some people may experience side effects or have sensitivities to specific sweeteners. Additionally, while sugar substitutes can be useful for reducing calorie intake or managing blood sugar levels, it's still important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. If you have specific concerns or health conditions, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance.

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