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5 Best Sugar Substitutes for People With Type 2 Diabetes

People with diabetes looking for a sweetener that won’t affect their blood sugar levels frequently turn to sugar substitutes. However, although every artificial sweetener on the market is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is considered safe, there is research to show they may do more harm than good in preventing obesity and diabetes. If you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, it’s important to understand the types of sugar substitutes and how they affect the body.

Types of Sweeteners

Sweeteners can be divided into two camps: nutritive and non-nutritive. Artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value, while sugar alcohols and natural sweeteners such as honey boast some nutritional benefit.

Bill Boch/ Photolibrary/Getty Images

Artificial Sweeteners

You’ve probably seen artificial sweeteners in individual packets at your local diner, but they’re also found in diet drinks, light yogurt, baked goods, ice cream, gum, cereal, cough drops, and candy, among other foods. Most artificial sweeteners are rgarded as “intense sweeteners” as they’re several times sweeter than white table sugar (sucrose). Splenda, for example, is 600 times sweeter than sugar.

The eight non-nutritive sweeteners approved by the FDA are:

  • Saccharin (Sweet’N Low, Sugar Twin)
  • Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
  • Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Steviol glycosides (Stevia)
  • Luo Han Guo fruit extracts
  • Neotame
  • Advantame

Note that neotame and advantame are approved as general food additives and are unavailable as tabletop sweeteners.

Although sugar substitutes are manufactured chemical compounds that offer little to no nutritional value, many people find they can satisfy a sweet craving without raising glucose levels as they contain neither carbohydrates nor calories. In fact, some of non-nutritive sweeteners pass through the body without being digested.

However, there is research to show that using sugar substitutes non-judiciously may be associated with diabetes and obesity in several ways. For one, they can change how the body metabolizes fat and energy.

Artificial sweeteners also may alter the gut microbiome—the beneficial bacteria the colonize the intestinal tract and can affect metabolism, immune health, growth, and brain neurotransmitter creation.

One small study found that women with obesity who drank three diet sodas daily had altered gene expression, including new markers for inflammatory cytokines (cells that promote inflammation).

Also, in studies both acesulfame potassium and saccharin have been found to negatively affect the microbiome of animals, who experienced decreased strains of bacteria and other changes in gut microbiota. If humans are similarly affected by these sweeteners, they could experience changes in metabolism and inflammation potentially leading to worsening of type 2 diabetes by inducing glucose intolerance. Saccharin may be particularly problematic.

Sugar Alcohols

A number of so-called nutritive sweeteners such as isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol are found in many sugar-free gums and candies. Technically known as sugar alcohols, or polyols, they are extracted from natural fiber in fruits and vegetables.

Sugar alcohols can raise blood sugar though usually not enough to cause harm. Their impact on blood sugar can vary, ranging from a glycemic index of 13 for xylitol to nine for sorbitol. Others, like mannitol, border on zero. Despite their relatively low impact on blood glucose, certain sugar alcohols (like xylitol and mannitol) may have a laxative effect if overused. These sweeteners are less commonly found in grocery stores but can be sourced from a major drugstore and health food retailers.

Natural Sweeteners

Natural sweeteners like Stevia and monk fruit have gained popularity in recent years and are considered safe for diabetics. These plant-based extracts may also be several hundred times sweeter than sugar, and Stevia, thaumatin, and Luo Han Guo (monk fruit) extracts have all been approved by the FDA as sugar substitutes.

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 (try to use less than you think at first and adjust accordingly after tasting), 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.

5 Best Sweeteners for Diabetes

There are several sugar alternatives that may be preferable if you have diabetes, as these options tend to have a lesser effect on blood sugar than traditional sugar.

Xylitol

Commonly found in many fruits and vegetables, xylitol is a sugar alcohol compound that is similar in sweetness to sugar. Xylitol contains 40% fewer calories than sugar at 2.4 calories per gram, and has negligible effects on blood sugar and insulin, thanks to a lack of fructose.

Look for brands such as Xlear and Xyla on the market. Xylitol may be sourced from birch trees or from plant fiber known as xylan.

Erythritol

Also a sugar alcohol, erythritol has been praised for its sweetness while having little to no calories. Erythritol is sourced from fermented wheat or starch and contains 70% of the sweetness of sugar and just 6% of the calories, at 0.24 calories per gram.

Erythritol is very safe to use but still may cause some digestive upset if consumed in large quantities (as with any sugar alcohol). Because humans don’t have the necessary enzymes to digest erythritol, most of it is absorbed into the bloodstream and is then excreted into the urine unchanged, meaning it won’t raise blood sugar levels.

Monk Fruit Extract

Popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), monk fruit, or Luo Han Guo, is a diabetes-safe sugar alternative that is extracted from a dried melon. Monk fruit extract contains zero calories, zero carbs, and is about 150 times sweeter than table sugar. It doesn’t raise blood glucose levels, making it a useful choice for people with diabetes.

The FDA recognizes monk fruit as safe for all people, with no side effects. While it has been used in TCM for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory agent and to combat sore throat, there have been no long-term scientific studies on its usage yet.

You may see monk-fruit-sweetened products popping up on the shelves, such as Monk Fruit In the Raw or Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener, both powdered forms. It does have a slight aftertaste, but this minor drawback may be outweighed by the products many benefits.

Yacon Syrup

Harvested from the roots of the yacon plant, native to the Andes mountains in South America, yacon syrup is a fiber-rich sweetener that’s full of fructooligosaccharides, a form of soluble fiber that serves as food for the bacteria in your microbiome (known as prebiotics).

Yacon syrup been studied for weight loss, but its true benefit is in its high fiber content that helps balance glucose levels. It has a glycemic index of 1.

Yacon looks and tastes a bit like molasses, with a deep, caramel sweetness that lends itself well to baked goods, sauces, and desserts.

Stevia (Truvia, PureVia)

Stevia is a plant-based product extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia in its powdered form is marketed under various brand names, including Truvia and PureVia. It has 3 grams of carbs per packet and a glycemic index of 0. Stevia may also be found as a liquid extract. It doesn’t offer quite the intensity of sweetness as most artificial brands but does remain stable when heated. It has a characteristic aftertaste that is well-tolerated by most people but may be very noticeable to some.

Stevia can also be grown indoors as a potted plant—you can add a single fresh leaf to a cup of tea for an unprocessed alternative to the powdered form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much sugar can you eat if you have diabetes?

There is no set limit for people with diabetes, though general dietary recommendations say to limit added sugars to less than 10% of your daily calories. The most important thing is to track your carbohydrate intake (including sugars) and account for them in your diabetes management plan. Work with your doctor on the amount that’s right for you.

What fruits are low in sugar for diabetes?

Fruits with a glycemic index less than 55 are ideal. These include cherries, berries, apples, pears, and oranges,among others.

The 5 Best (and Worst) Sweeteners You Can Eat – Cleveland Clinic

Let’s face it: Sweeteners aren’t great for your health. They stimulate your appetite, encourage your sweet tooth and pack on the pounds while also placing you at risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and fatty liver.

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But, we’re all human and cutting all sweeteners tomorrow isn’t realistic.

That’s why we asked dietitian Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDCES, to rank the best and worst sweeteners to help you decide which one is best for you and how to (eventually) break your habit.

1. Fresh or frozen fruit

Coming in at the number one way to sweeten your food and drinks is by using fresh or frozen fruit.

Fruit doesn’t have any empty calories, which makes it an ideal sweetener, Taylor says.

Try sweetening oatmeal by mixing in banana or applesauce, adding berries to plain Greek yogurt and sweetening smoothies with frozen fruit. Another option is to add natural flavorings like vanilla or almond extract, cocoa powder and spices like cinnamon and clove. 

“I grew up with a diet high in sugar. When I cut down on added sugars and sweeteners, I started enjoying the natural sweetness of fresh berries and melon,” Taylor says. “That’s when my sugar cravings started to fade.”

2. Sugar substitutes

Stevia — in packet, drops or plant form — is a dietitian favorite.

Not only does it contain zero calories, but stevia-based sweeteners are herbal as opposed to artificial. Stevia blended with a sugar alcohol called erythritol (Truvia®) works well in low-carb baked desserts, too. For a quick and easy sweet treat, Taylor suggests mixing 1 teaspoon of the sweetener with plain Greek yogurt and peanut butter.

If you have prediabetes or diabetes, artificial sweeteners and stevia are preferable to real sugar.

“Artificial sweeteners will not immediately raise your blood sugar like real sugar,” Taylor says. 

Sugar substitutes may cause you to crave more sweet and sugary foods. Studies link artificial sweeteners, considered safe in moderation, with a higher risk of glucose intolerance, a precursor to prediabetes and diabetes. 

Artificial sweeteners may be associated with changes in gut bacteria and lead to increased fat storage, which no one wants. 

3. Natural sugar: raw honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, raw sugar

The good news is that natural sweeteners provide a few more nutrients than table sugar. The bad news? They’re all still forms of sugar and are high in calories, so use no more than 1 to 2 teaspoons per day, Taylor says. 

Raw honey and pure maple syrup both contain antioxidants and have prebiotic oligosaccharides that help feed gut flora. Raw honey has an added benefit of vitamins E and C as well as minerals. Note: Honey should not be given to infants because it may contain botulism bacteria spores, a serious health hazard for babies. 

When hitting the grocery store, read all food labels for hidden ingredients because commercial maple syrup brands often contain high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose diets are linked to long-term metabolic complications like insulin resistance, belly fat accumulation and high triglyceride levels. When in doubt, stick primarily with pure maple syrup. 

Agave nectar provides fewer nutrients than raw honey or pure maple syrup. It should not be given to infants because it is not pasteurized.

“Agave nectar has the same number of carbohydrates and calories as table sugar, but you get a lot of flavor from a small amount,” Taylor says. “Since agave nectar has a slightly lower glycemic index but still contains sugar, it will still raise your blood sugar.”

Bottom line, when it comes to your waistline, weight and blood sugars, all natural sweeteners behave like sugar.

4. Refined sugar

Table sugar is inflammatory, high in calories, offers no nutritional benefit and, unfortunately, it’s already hiding in many of your favorite foods. 

“Most flavored granola bars, yogurts and cereals already contain around 12 grams (1 tablespoon) of added sugar per serving,” Taylor says. “Many sugary drinks contain about 40 grams of added sugar per serving.”

Even your favorite frozen desserts and baked goods can pack tons of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 25 grams per day (6 teaspoons, or about 100 calories) for women and children over the age of 2. For men, they recommend limiting added sugar to 36 grams per day (9 teaspoons, or about 150 calories).

“The average American eats about 77 grams per day, which is about three times what the recommendation is for a woman,” Taylor says. “That is equivalent to about 230 calories per day, which could add up to as much as 23 pounds of body fat per year. This is a serious contributor to our obesity epidemic.”

Food isn’t the only place where added sugar hides. Beverages are the leading category source of added sugar, clocking in at nearly half of the total added sugar consumed by Americans. Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages is crucial in lowering the risk for obesity, which is a risk factor for at least 12 different kinds of cancer. Meanwhile, there is no strong evidence that diet drinks are a cause of cancer in humans.

5. No sugar — how to break your habit

No sugar or sugar substitute is healthy in excess. 

“That’s true whether it’s in soda, sweet tea, fruit drinks, packs of sugar or sugar substitute for coffee or tea, or artificially sweetened flavor packets for water,” Taylor says. “Drink plain water! At the very least, drink unflavored tea, coffee, bubbly water or water with fruit infused in it.”

How can you break your habit? Use a true measuring spoon (not just what you think is a teaspoon that you grabbed out of your silverware drawer) to gauge how much added sugar you’re using daily.

“Challenge yourself — your foods and beverages don’t always need to taste sweet,” Taylor notes.

Try decreasing the sweetener in your coffee or tea by 1 teaspoon per week and start diluting juices by mixing half your usual portion with water to retain some of the sweetness. While at the grocery store, start a habit of reading labels. Much of the sugar in the American diet is found in processed and sweetened pre-made food and beverages. 

That way, you won’t have to quit cold turkey.

“Our goal isn’t to get added sugar intake down to zero because that isn’t realistic,” Taylor says. “Americans need to work hard to drastically reduce sugar intake to support healthy weights and decrease our risk for chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.”

Types of Artificial Sweeteners for Your Diabetic Diet

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 beverages, chewing gum, candies, frostings, frozen desserts, gelatins and puddings, jams and jellies, processed fruits and fruit juices, toppings and syrups.
  • Neotame (Newtame)

 

Read Between the Lines

Use this “cheat sheet” to identify which products are sweetened the way you want them.

  • No sugar or sugar-free. The product does not contain sugar at all, though it may contain sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
  • No added sugar. During processing, no extra sugar was added. However, the original source might have contained sugar, such as fructose in fruit juice. Additional sweeteners such as sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners also might have been added.
  • Dietetic. The product may have reduced calories, but this word can mean a lot of things.

 

When in Doubt, Read the Nutrition Label

To know for sure what kind of sweetener a food product contains, check the Nutrition Facts label. In the Carbohydrate section, you can see how many carbohydrates the product has, and how much of these carbohydrates are in the form of sugar or sugar alcohol.

For even more nutrition information, read the Ingredients list. It should show any added sweeteners, whether they are sugars, sugar alcohols, or artificial.

By understanding more about artificial sweeteners and diabetes, you will be able to make better food choices as you balance sweetness with good blood sugar control.

A Diabetic’s Guide to Natural Sweeteners

Many assume that a diabetes-friendly diet lacks sweetness and excitement, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

We spoke with Dr. Thinh Xuan Ho, primary care physician at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group, to share wholesome ingredients and interesting alternatives to make your meals delicious and nutritious. One way you can do this is by using a diabetic-safe sweetener in place of granulated sugar in your favorite recipes.

Sweeteners Diabetics Should Avoid

Not all natural sweeteners are safe alternatives for people with diabetes. For example, while agave has a low glycemic index (meaning it’s less likely to cause spikes in blood glucose levels), it has more calories than granulated sugar and higher fructose content. Fructose (compared to the sucrose in table sugar) can cause the body to produce less insulin and put more strain on the liver as it breaks down the sugars.

In short, the side effects or effects of an alternative sweetener on insulin resistance may outweigh the benefits. Be careful when consuming artificial sweeteners and even more natural ones such as maple syrup, corn syrup and xylitol.

4 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.

Stevia

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

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.

Fresh fruit

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.

According to Dr. Ho, “Most fresh fruits have a low to medium glycemic index, so they do not lead to a sharp rise in blood glucose level compared to other carbohydrate containing foods.” That means fruit is generally a safe way to add extra sweetness to your diet, as we cannot eat lots of fruits at the same time. “A portion of fresh fruit contains on average about 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, which is the equivalent of a slice of bread.”

“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.”

A diabetes-friendly dessert

Put what you have learned into practice! Try our oatmeal raisin banana cookies:

Oatmeal Raisin Banana Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (without added sugar)
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup raisins
     

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the rolled oats, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and raisins together. Set aside.
  3. Mash the bananas, and mix with the peanut butter. Incorporate the dry ingredients until you have a smooth dough.
  4. Take a large spoonful of dough, roll it into a ball, place it on a cookie sheet, and gently press it down. Continue until you use all the dough.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

If you have diabetes, you don’t have to give up the meals you love. Make an appointment with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician or endocrinologist for advice on how you can modify your diet and achieve better health.

Sources:

Medical News Today | What are the best sweeteners for people with diabetes?

American Diabetes Association | Glycemic Index and Diabetes

Healthline | The Best Sugar Substitutes for People with Diabetes

Diabetes UK | Sugar, sweeteners and diabetes

Healthline | Monk Fruit Sweetener: Good or Bad?

Healthline | Erythritol — Like Sugar Without the Calories?

Medical News Today | Is agave syrup the best sweetener for diabetes?

The 4 Safest Sugar Substitutes and a Few to Avoid Completely

The best and safest sugar substitutes are erythritol, xylitol, stevia leaf extracts, and neotame—with some caveats:

  • Erythritol: Large amounts (more than about 40 or 50 grams or 10 or 12 teaspoons) of this sugar alcohol sometimes cause nausea, but smaller amounts are fine. (Sensitivities vary among individuals.) Erythritol, small amounts of which occur naturally in some fruits, is about 60 to 70 percent as sweet as table sugar and has at most one-twentieth as many calories. Unlike the high-potency sweeteners, erythritol provides the bulk and “mouthfeel” of sugar.
  • Xylitol: This sugar alcohol, which occurs naturally in birch and some other plants, is about as sweet as table sugar and has about three-quarters of the calories. Too much xylitol (about 30–40 grams or 7–10 teaspoons, although sensitivities vary) could produce a laxative effect and/or gastrointestinal distress.
  • Stevia leaf extracts: Stevia leaves have long been consumed in Japan, and we rate the extracts made from those leaves as safe, although additional safety tests (particularly long-term tests for cancer) should be conducted. That’s because some short-term tests found that some stevia-related substances caused mutations and other changes in DNA, yet stevia has been tested for cancer in only one species (rat) instead of two species, as usually recommended.
  • Neotame: We also rate this among the safest sugar substitutes, but taste problems limit its use.

If you find that certain sugar substitutes taste best in different foods, you could keep several in your cupboard. Note, though, that while any sweetener can be used in a cold beverage, for baking you’ll need a sweetener that holds up to the heat (not aspartame). Also, for baking you may need to use either xylitol or a sugar-substitute product that includes maltodextrin (manufactured from cornstarch) or another bulking agent to make up for the volume of missing sugar. (Maltodextrin is safe.)

What about sucralose?

We rate sucralose as caution. The same lab that found that aspartame caused cancer also announced—but has not yet published—its findings that sucralose caused leukemia in mice that were exposed to it from before birth.

Which sugar substitutes should you avoid?

Aspartame tops our list of sugar substitutes to avoid, because it caused cancer in three independent studies using laboratory rats and mice. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer and government agencies around the world, a chemical that has been shown to cause cancer in animals should be assumed to pose a cancer risk to humans.

Based on those studies, the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) should ban aspartame. We also recommend avoiding saccharin because of evidence from human and animal studies, albeit inconsistent, that it may increase the risk of cancer. Acesulfame-potassium (acesulfame-K) also gets our “avoid” rating since two 1970s-era, industry-sponsored studies in rats suggested that it may cause cancer, and it lacks high-quality, modern-day safety studies.

Which are the safest sugar substitutes for children?

It is especially important for children to avoid consuming any substances that may pose a risk of cancer or other chronic effect, since their bodies are still developing and since they have longer to manifest a disease like cancer that has a long latency period. For that reason, we recommend that children avoid aspartame, acesulfame-K, cyclamate (available in Canada), saccharin, and sucralose.

Among the safest sugar substitutes for children is erythritol, although too much could produce nausea. Limited amounts of the other sugar alcohols are safe for children, though too much can cause diarrhea. Neotame, though rarely used, also appears to be safe.

Is it OK for pregnant women to use sugar substitutes?

We recommend that pregnant women make a special effort to avoid consuming artificial sweeteners, since two Scandinavian studies linked artificially sweetened beverages to pre-term delivery of babies. The studies could not distinguish between the various artificial sweeteners, although aspartame and acesulfame-K are the most widely used in those countries.

Are all sugar substitutes suitable for individuals with diabetes?

Sugar substitutes do not contain carbohydrates and most studies indicate that they do not increase blood sugar levels (saccharin may be an exception for some people). However, foods containing them are not necessarily carbohydrate-free, or low in carbohydrates, even if they claim to be “sugar-free,” “reduced sugar,” or “no sugar added.”

Always check the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient list on food packages. For example, even when you buy sugar substitutes as table-top sweeteners, bulking agents, such as dextrose and maltodextrin, may be present. Those ingredients add a small amount of carbohydrate (and calories).

Sugar alcohols do provide calories, although less than sugar, and have less of an effect on blood sugar than other carbohydrates. Drinks, desserts, and other foods with sugar substitutes may still be high in calories, so, again, check the label. If you use a large amount of these products, the calories could start to add up.

Are there some people who should not use sugar substitutes?

People who have phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder, have difficulty metabolizing phenylalanine, a component of both aspartame and advantame, and should avoid aspartame. All newborn babies are tested for PKU. FDA requires that all packaged foods containing aspartame be labeled “PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE” so that people with PKU can avoid it. Since advantame is so much sweeter than aspartame, a much smaller amount is used, and thus FDA does not require foods containing advantame to bear that statement.

If I have an adverse reaction to a sugar substitute, what should I do?

FDA has a program called MedWatch where consumers can report non-emergency adverse reactions to FDA-regulated products, including food and food additives such as sugar substitutes. FDA recommends consumers contact the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator for their state. You can obtain the phone number from FDA’s website.

If you think you may be having a reaction to a sugar substitute or another ingredient in food, you may find it useful to keep a record of what foods you eat, when you eat them, what symptoms you have, and when you have them. That, combined with closely reading food labels, may help you pinpoint what is causing the reaction, and help you avoid the offending ingredient.

Do you have a favorite sugar substitute? Let us know in the comments. 

Sources: Halldorsson TI, Strom M, Petersen SB, et al. Intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and risk of preterm delivery: a prospective cohort study in 59,334 Danish pregnant women. Am J Clin Nutr 2010;92(3):626-33. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28968.

Englund-Ogge L, Brantsaeter AL, Haugen M, et al. Association between intake of artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages and preterm delivery: a large prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(3):552-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.031567

This post was originally published in 2014 and is updated regularly. 

The 5 Best and Safest Artificial Sweeteners and a Few to Avoid Completely

The best and safest artificial sweeteners are erythritol, xylitol, stevia leaf extracts, neotame, and monk fruit extract—with some caveats:

  • Erythritol: Large amounts (more than about 40 or 50 grams or 10 or 12 teaspoons) of this sugar alcohol sometimes cause nausea, but smaller amounts are fine. (Sensitivities vary among individuals.) Erythritol, small amounts of which occur naturally in some fruits, is about 60 to 70 percent as sweet as table sugar and has at most one-twentieth as many calories. Unlike the high-potency sweeteners, erythritol provides the bulk and “mouth feel” of sugar.

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  • Xylitol: This sugar alcohol, which occurs naturally in birch and some other plants, is about as sweet as table sugar and has about three quarters of the calories. Too much xylitol (about 30–40 grams or 7–10 teaspoons, although sensitivities vary) could produce a laxative effect and/or gastrointestinal distress.
  • Stevia leaf extracts: Stevia leaves have long been consumed in Japan, and we give the extracts made from those leaves a “safe” rating, although additional safety tests (particularly long-term tests for cancer) should be conducted. That’s because some short-term tests found that some stevia-related substances caused mutations and other changes in DNA, yet it has been tested for cancer in only one species (rat) instead of two species, as usually recommended.
  • Neotame: We rate this among the safest artificial sweetener, but taste problems limit its use.
  • Monk fruit extract, another natural sugar substitute that is used in a few products, is also an option. This sweetener is derived from a fruit that has been consumed in China for hundreds of years and may be safe. However, it has been even less well tested than stevia leaf extracts, and so we recommend caution.

If you find that certain sugar substitutes taste best in different foods, you could keep several substitutes in your cupboard. Note, though, that while any from this group of safest artificial sweeteners can be used in a cold beverage, for baking you’ll need a sweetener such as stevia leaf extract (and not aspartame) that holds up to the heat. Also, for baking you may need to use a sugar-substitute product that includes maltodextrin (manufactured from cornstarch) or another bulking agent to make up for the volume of missing sugar. (Maltodextrin is safe.)

What about sucralose?

We rate sucralose as caution. The same lab that found that aspartame caused cancer also announced–but has not yet published–its findings that sucralose caused leukemia in mice that were exposed to it from before birth.

Which sugar substitutes should you avoid?

Aspartame tops our list of sugar substitutes to avoid, because it caused cancer in three independent studies using laboratory rats and mice. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer and government agencies around the world, a chemical that has been shown to cause cancer in animals should be assumed to pose a cancer risk to humans.

Based on those studies, the FDA should ban aspartame. We also recommend avoiding saccharin because of evidence from human and animal studies, albeit inconsistent, that it may increase the risk of cancer. Acesulfame-K also gets our “avoid” rating since two 1970s-era, industry-sponsored studies in rats suggested that it may cause cancer, and it lacks high-quality, modern-day safety studies.

Which are the safest artificial sweeteners for children?

It is especially important for children to avoid consuming any substances that may pose a risk of cancer or other chronic effect, since their bodies are still developing and since they have longer to manifest a disease like cancer that has a long latency period.

For that reason, we recommend that children avoid aspartame, acesulfame-K, cyclamate, saccharin, and sucralose. Among the safest artificial sweeteners for children is erythritol, although too much could produce nausea. Limited amounts of the other sugar alcohols are safe for children, though too much can cause diarrhea. Neotame, though rarely used, also appears to be safe.

Is it OK for pregnant women to use sugar substitutes?

We recommend that pregnant women make a special effort to avoid consuming artificial sweeteners, since two Scandinavian studies linked artificially sweetened beverages to pre-term delivery of babies. The studies could not distinguish between the various artificial sweeteners, although aspartame and acesulfame-K are the most widely used in those countries.

Are all sugar substitutes suitable for diabetics?

Artificial and natural high-potency sweeteners do not contain carbohydrates and most studies indicate that they do not increase blood sugar levels (saccharin may be an exception for some people). However, foods containing them are not necessarily carbohydrate-free, or low in carbohydrates, even if they claim to be “sugar-free,” “reduced sugar,” or “no sugar added.”

Always check the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient list on food packages. For example, even when you buy sugar substitutes as table-top sweeteners, bulking agents, such as dextrose and maltodextrin, may be present. Those ingredients add a small amount of carbohydrate (and calories).

Sugar alcohols do provide calories, although less than sugar, and have less of an effect on blood sugar than other carbohydrates. Drinks, desserts, and other foods with sugar substitutes may still be high in calories, so, again, check the label. If you use a large amount of these products, the calories could start to add up.

Are there some people who should not use sugar substitutes?

People who have phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder, have difficulty metab¬olizing phenylalanine, a component of both aspartame and advantame, and should avoid aspartame. All newborn babies are tested for PKU.

FDA requires that all packaged foods containing aspartame be labeled “PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYL¬ALANINE” so that people with PKU can avoid it. Since advantame is so much sweeter than aspartame, a much smaller amount is used, and thus FDA does not require foods containing advantame to bear that statement.

If I have an adverse reaction to an artificial sweetener or other sugar substitute, what should I do?

FDA has a program called MedWatch where consumers can report non-emergency adverse reactions to FDA-regulated products, including food and food additives such as sugar substitutes. FDA recommends consumers contact the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator for their state. You can obtain the phone number from FDA’s website: http://www.FDA.gov/safety/reportaproblem/consumercomplaintcoordinators /default.htm.

If you think you may be having a reaction to a sugar substitute or another ingredient in food, you may find it useful to keep a record of what foods you eat, when you eat them, what symptoms you have, and when you have them. That, combined with closely reading food labels, may help you pinpoint what is causing the reaction, and help you avoid the offending ingredient.

Sources: Halldorsson TI, Strom M, Petersen SB, et al. Intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and risk of preterm delivery: a prospective cohort study in 59,334 Danish pregnant women. Am J Clin Nutr 2010;92(3):626-33. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28968.

Englund-Ogge L, Brantsaeter AL, Haugen M, et al. Association between intake of artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages and preterm delivery: a large prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(3):552-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.031567

 

This post was originally published in 2014 and is updated regularly. 

11 Best Sugar Substitutes (the Healthiest Natural Sweeteners)

It’s estimated that the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar every day and around 57 pounds of added sugar each year. Not only are many people eating and drinking way too much sugar, but the use of artificial sweeteners is on the rise too. Thankfully, there are sugar substitutes that can actually help cut back on sugar, so long as you choose the correct ones.

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, ace-K and saccharin have been debated for years in regard to their potentially damaging effects. While all of these sweeteners are technically “safe” and sugar-free, according to the Food and Drug Administration, they are coming under increased scrutiny.

Side effects related to their consumption seem to range from headaches and poor digestion to cravings and even mood disorders.

Refined sugars aren’t healthy either. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “table sugar is inflammatory, high in calories and offers no nutritional benefit.”

Side effects of of consuming too much sugars include diabetes, tooth decayobesity, heart disease, certain types of cancer and even poor cognitive functioning.

So what is a good natural sweetener and the best alternative to sugar then? Fortunately, there are many sugar substitutes that are healthy and tasty alternatives to refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

Natural sweeteners can actually provide nutrients and therefore boost health. For example, one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that substituting healthy sweeteners in — including blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and honey — can increase your antioxidant intake and offer other benefits.

Healthiest Sugar Substitutes

What is the healthiest sugar substitute to use? Some experts like fruit the best because there are no empty calories involved and the sugars are naturally occurring, but it really can be a matter of personal opinion and/or individual health needs.

Are sugar substitutes bad for you? It depends a lot on the specific type.

Benefits of sugar substitutes vary, but one thing they all have in common: They come from nature.

Natural sweeteners (or non-nutritive sweeteners) are those that may contain calories (depending on the kind) and also usually supply some nutrients. Honey, maple syrup and molasses, for example, all contain beneficial components, such as enzymes, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, that the human body knows how to process.

Certain natural sweeteners (like banana puree and date paste) provide health benefits, according to United State Department of Agriculture, such as encouraging healthy blood pressure and reducing cholesterol levels and heart disease risk, thanks to their fiber content.

How many calories do sugar substitutes have? Here’s the calorie content of some of the most popular natural sweeteners:

  1. Raw honey (1 tablespoon = 64 calories)
  2. Stevia (0 calories)
  3. Dates (1 Medjool date = 66 calories)
  4. Coconut sugar (1 tablespoon = 45 calories)
  5. Maple syrup (1 tablespoon = 52 calories)
  6. Blackstrap molasses (1 tablespoon = 47 calories)
  7. Balsamic glaze (1 tablespoon = 20–40 calories, depending on thickness)
  8. Banana puree (1 cup = 200 calories)
  9. Brown rice syrup (1 tablespoon = 55 calories)
  10. Real fruit jam (varies depending on fruit)
  11. Monk fruit (0 calories)
1. Raw Honey

Raw honey is a true superfood and one of the best natural sweeteners. It’s packed with enzymes, antioxidants, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B6, riboflavin and niacin.

Together, these essential nutrients help neutralize free radicals while promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.

One tablespoon of raw honey has less impact on glycemic load than a single banana. Once pasteurized, honey loses many of its benefits, so look for raw (ideally local) honey at farmers markets and directly from local beekeepers.

The darker the honey, the richer the flavor and the greater the nutrition benefits.

How to use raw honey:

Don’t cook or bake with raw honey. Drizzle it on breakfast cereals, over your sprouted grain toast, on yogurt and for salad dressings.

Raw honey is also a great substitute for molasses in case you’re not a fan or don’t have it on hand.

Many people only think of using honey in their tea, but honey is one of the best natural sweeteners for coffee too. One thing to note: If you enjoy honey in your tea or coffee, wait until the drink is just tepid enough to sip comfortably, and then add honey to taste.

2. Stevia

Stevia is native to South America and has been used for hundreds of years in that region to support healthy blood sugar levels and prompt weight loss.

Stevioside is the element in the leaves that makes it more than 200 times as sweet as sugar. It’s available in liquid drops, packets, dissolvable tablets and baking blends.

It has zero calories, zero carbohydrates and none of the nasty side effects of artificial sweeteners.

Stevia is related to the sunflower, and some people experience a slight metallic aftertaste. If that has been your experience with stevia in the past, try a brand that is higher in the steviosides.

If you’re looking for natural sweeteners for diabetics, the American Diabetes Association includes stevia on its list of recommended sugar substitutes. Stevia and erythritol are typically the top sugar substitute recommendations for people following a ketogenic diet.

Read labels carefully to know what you’re getting, since some stevia products contain stevia as well as erythritol, which may trigger indigestion in some people.

How to use stevia:

Unlike raw honey, stevia is heat-stable, so feel free to use it in any way you desire. Remember, it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, so don’t use it in the same ratio.

To make up for the lost bulk when using stevia in baked goods, use ⅓ to ½ cup of one of the following bulking agents: fresh fruit puree, yogurt, roasted winter squash, two whipped egg whites or one to two tablespoons of coconut flour.

3. Dates

Dates provide potassium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6. From the date palm tree, they are easily digested and help to metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Evidence shows that dates may help reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood and may reduce the risk of stroke.

How to use dates:

The first step is to make a paste. Date paste can be used one-to-one in most recipes, unlike stevia, and it does add bulk for baking.

Soak Medjool dates in hot water until soft. If the water reaches room temperature and the dates aren’t soft enough, soak in hot water again.

Reserve the soaking liquid, as it’s integral to making a good paste. Add the soaked dates to your food processor, along with one tablespoon of the soaking liquid.

Blend until smooth. Add more water as needed to create a thick, rich paste.

You are looking for the consistency of peanut butter. Use in your favorite cookie or cake recipe to cut out refined sugar and boost the nutrients.

You can also use date paste to sweeten your favorite muffins and pies. For fruit pies, mix 1–1½ cups of puree with four cups of fruit, and bake as normal.

Depending on the water content of the fruit, you may need to add a thickener, like tapioca.

4. Coconut Sugar

Most people have heard about the benefits of coconut water, coconut milk, coconut flour and, of course, fresh coconut. Now, more and more people are using coconut sugar as their natural sweetener of choice because of its low glycemic load and rich mineral content.

Packed with polyphenols, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, antioxidants, phosphorous and other phytonutrients, coconut sugar is versatile and now readily available.

Coconut sugar is extracted sap from the blooms of the coconut and then heated. Next, through evaporation, we get coconut sugar.

Date sugar (made from dried dates) and coconut sugar are often used interchangeably in recipes because they provide similar flavor. Both are great sugar substitutes for baking.

How to use coconut sugar:

Use coconut sugar in your favorite recipes, for it measures just like traditional sugar. It’s a bit more coarse than refined sugar, but that’s OK.

Add the amount of sugar called for in a recipe to your food processor, and give it a whirl until you get the desired texture.

You can even make a confectioner’s sugar substitute with coconut sugar quite quickly. For every cup of coconut sugar, add one tablespoon of arrowroot powder and blend until smooth in a clean coffee grinder or high-powered food processor.

5. Maple Syrup

Native to North America, maple syrup comes in both grades A and B. While time-consuming, maple syrup processing requires only four steps: drilling the hole in the tree, hanging a bucket to catch the sap, boiling to evaporate out the water and then filtering of any sediment.

Maple syrup is one of the best natural sugar substitutes because it’s an outstanding source of manganese and contains calcium, potassium and zinc. Rich with antioxidants, this all-natural sweetener helps neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative damage.

Select darker, grade B maple syrups, as they contain more beneficial antioxidants than the lighter syrups.

How to use maple syrup:

Maple syrup is heat-stable, so you can use it in virtually any application. Add it to marinades, glazes or sauces, and use for baking.

Use it to sweeten homemade granola and your morning coffee or tea.

For a glaze for cookies or cakes, heat until just barely simmering and add the coconut-powdered sugar from above. Stir until smooth, allow to cool to room temperature and then drizzle away.

6. Blackstrap Molasses

Organic blackstrap molasses is highly nutritious, rich in copper, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, selenium and vitamin B6. Sugarcane and beet molasses have been shown to have the highest phenolic content and antioxidant activity when compared with refined sugar, beet sugar, rape honey, corn syrup and dates.

There are several types of molasses, depending on which level of processing it has gone through. All molasses is obtained from raw cane sugar, made by boiling it until it’s a rich, sweet syrup.

Blackstrap molasses comes from the third boiling, concentrating its nutrients and providing for its deep rich flavor.

How to use blackstrap molasses:

Molasses has a unique, rich flavor. It may not be appealing for some to use for topping toast, porridges or other concentrated applications. However, it’s a perfect sweetener for marinades and to use in baking.

You can even make a brown sugar alternative by adding two tablespoons of molasses for each ½ cup coconut sugar a recipe calls for. Put the coconut sugar and the molasses in a food processor, and pulse until the consistency of commercial brown sugar is reached.

7. Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic vinegar is rich in antioxidants that destroy free radicals and the enzyme pepsin that helps promote healthy digestion and tastes great.

How to use balsamic glaze:

Balsamic glazes are available in natural health food and gourmet stores, but you can also quickly make your own glaze at home. Simply simmer two cups of balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it’s reduced to ½ cup.

This process can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. It will thicken further upon cooling.

Drizzle the glaze over grilled wild-caught salmon, raw cheese or even fresh berries to bring a natural sweetness and a bit of a tang.

8. Banana Puree

Bananas are rich in fiber and potassium and a good source of vitamins B6 and C. They are also naturally sweet with a subtle flavor, making them a perfect natural sweetener.

How to use banana puree:

First, over-ripe bananas are the best to use when replacing refined sugar in recipes. They are sweeter and puree well.

For every cup of sugar called for in a recipe, use one cup of banana puree.

To make the puree, add bananas to a food processor with a tablespoon of water and blend. Add more water if necessary to reach the consistency of thick applesauce.

As bananas brown when exposed to air, use as quickly as possible in recipes. If you are using banana puree in raw preparations, add one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the food processor to help retard the oxidation process.

9. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup starts with brown rice that is fermented with enzymes to break down the starch. The liquid is then heated until the syrup consistency is achieved.

The result? A thick, amber-colored, sweet syrup perfect for recipes calling for corn syrup and other unhealthy sweeteners.

The fermented process helps break down the sugars into ones that are easily digestible. The fermenting process is key; some brown rice syrups are fermented with barley enzymes, meaning it contains gluten.

Purchase brown rice syrups that are labeled gluten-free.

How to use brown rice syrup:

As mentioned above, brown rice syrup is the perfect replacement in recipes that call for corn syrup. Use a one-to-one ratio.

To replace regularly processed white sugar, use one cup for each cup of sugar called for and decrease liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup.

Use brown rice syrup to make healthy granola bars and granola, nut clusters, and to sweeten nut and fruit pies.

10. Real Fruit Jam

The key here is real fruit jam. Berries, stone fruit, apples, pears and grapes are great replacements for sugar in recipes.

You can use commercially available fruit jam; just be sure there is no added sugar or pectin.

It’s better to make your own sugar-free jam with organic fresh or frozen fruit. It’s easy and economical.

How to use real fruit jam:

Replace sugar in recipes at a one-to-one ratio, decreasing the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup. Or, for recipes that don’t have added liquids, you can add a tablespoon of coconut flour to thicken the recipe as desired.

To make your own fresh jam, combine four cups of your favorite fruit or berry in a saucepan with ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.

Simmer until fruit has broken down and has started to thicken. Puree in a food processor and use immediately.

For a tasty apple pie, simmer ½ cup of peeled diced apples with one cup of green grapes until soft. Puree in the food processor until smooth.

Toss with sliced apples and a touch of cinnamon and bake as directed. The grapes add a subtle sweetness while the natural pectin in the apples helps thicken the pie.

11. Monk Fruit

One of the most popular sugar substitutes for low-carb dieters is monk fruit.  Monk fruit contains compounds that, when extracted, provide 300–400 times the sweetness of cane sugar, but monk fruit sugar contains no calories and has no effect on blood sugar.

How to use monk fruit:

Monk fruit can be used in all kinds of recipes from cheesecakes and cookies to smoothies and healthy mocktails.

How to Get More in Diet

Getting more natural sweeteners in your daily diet isn’t 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, you’ll 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 (AHA), 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 (or about six teaspoons per day for women and nine teaspoons 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.

Related: Is Allulose Safe to Consume? Potential Benefits & Risks of This Sweetener

Recipe Swaps

Ready for some awesome recipes that swap out refined sugar for some healthier sweetness? Try these Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies that are naturally sweetened with dates and blackstrap molasses or these Maple Glazed Rosemary Carrots, which make a delicious side dish.

More tasty recipes that use natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar or artificial sweeteners include:

Sugar Substitutes to Avoid

Evidence suggests that we shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that zero-calorie artificial sweeteners with zero grams of sugar are healthy. Both human and animal studies continue to reveal that frequent consumption of diet soda or artificial sweeteners is associated with greater body mass index (BMI), obesity and metabolic syndrome.

What are the worst sugar substitutes? One is high fructose corn syrup, which is usually produced from genetically modified corn.

Fructose is a simple sugar that is rapidly metabolized by the liver, causing a “sugar high.” Researchers believe this quick-acting sugar leads to increased storage of fat in the liver, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, digestive upset and atherosclerosis.

Another popular one is sucralose, which is 600 times sweeter than sugar and may contribute to an addiction for overly sweet foods and drinks. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that cooking with sucralose at high temperatures can generate dangerous chloropropanols — a toxic class of compounds.

Human and rodent studies demonstrate that sucralose may also alter glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide 1 levels.

There are many artificial sweeteners on the market today, including:

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Sugar alcohols (like mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol and hydrogenated starch hydrolysate)
  • Equal
  • Glucin
  • Kaltame
  • Mogrosides
  • Neotame
  • NutraSweet
  • Nutrinova
  • Phenlalanine
  • Saccharin
  • Splenda
  • Sucralose
  • Twinsweet
  • Sweet ‘N Low

Here are a few surprising examples of where these chemicals may be found:

  1. Toothpaste and mouthwash
  2. Children’s chewable vitamins
  3. Cough syrup and liquid medicines
  4. Chewing gum
  5. No-calorie waters and drinks
  6. Alcoholic beverages
  7. Salad dressings
  8. Frozen yogurt and other frozen deserts
  9. Candies
  10. Baked goods
  11. Yogurt
  12. Breakfast cereals
  13. Processed snack foods
  14. “Lite” or diet fruit juices and beverages
  15. Prepared meats
  16. Nicotine gum

Which is the safest artificial sweetener? It depends on what you consider to be “artificial.”

A sweetener in extract form, such as stevia or monk fruit, is a good choice if you’re looking for a zero-calorie option.

Sugar alcohols may be a better choice than certain other artificial sweeteners if you can tolerate them well. Sugar alcohols are sweeteners that have about half the calories of regular sugar.

They are found naturally in small amounts in a variety of fruits and vegetables and produced from sugars and starch, made into extracts and granules.

Examples of sugar alcohols include xylitol, erythritol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol and other sugar alcohols that end in –itol. These are not always absorbed well by the body and can cause digestive reactions and gastrointestinal side effects in some people, including bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea.

The laxative effect of xylitol is so pronounced in fact that it’s actually part of the chemical makeup of some over-the-counter laxatives. Even though these sweeteners have been on the market for decades, pregnant and breastfeeding women should select other natural sweeteners instead, since their safety is not known in these situations.

Special note to dog owners: Sugar alcohol-based artificial sweeteners are life-threatening toxins to dogs. Be mindful of breath mints, candies, sugar-free gum, frozen desserts and other foods when your pets are around.

Sugar Consumption Stats

Here are some recent statistics involving sugar in the American diet that are quite concerning:

  • The United States ranks as having the highest average daily sugar consumption per person, followed by Germany and the Netherlands.
  • In 1822, the average American ate the amount of sugar found in one of today’s 12-ounce sodas every five days. As of 2012, we were eating that much every seven hours.
  • Using brain-scanning technology, scientists at the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse were among the first to show that sugar causes changes in people’s’ brains similar to those in people addicted to drugs, such as cocaine and alcohol. These changes often result in heightened cravings for more sugar.
  • The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting total intake of discretionary calories, including both added sugars and fats, to 5 percent to 15 percent per day. Yet children and adolescents in America obtain about 16 percent of their total caloric intake from added sugars alone.
  • A large amount of clinical studies have found consistent data that body weight changes correlate directly with increasing or decreasing intake of sugars. Just by decreasing 5 percent of sugar intake, individuals were witnessed to lose an average of 1.8 pounds of their body weights, and by increasing sugar intake by 5 percent, individuals were seen to gain an average of 1.7 pounds.
  • In 2018, the projected cost for treating obesity-related illnesses was 21 percent of the total health care expenditure of $344 billion.

Conclusion

  • What is the best alternative to sugar? That is definitely a matter of taste preference as well as health status, but a good alternative to refined sugar is a healthy natural sugar substitute rather than artificial sweeteners.
  • Examples of some of the best natural sugar substitutes include stevia, monk fruit, pureed fruit, coconut sugar, honey and molasses.
  • Are natural sweeteners better than sugar? Unlike refined sugar, natural sweeteners like date paste and fruit jam provide beneficial nutrients and sometimes fiber and enzymes. That said, eating any type of sugar in moderation is still important, even these natural sugar substitutes.
  • Living healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up sweets entirely; it just means you need to replace unhealthy refined sugars and artificial sweeteners with these natural sweeteners and sugar substitutes.

Sugar substitute for diabetes – MedMag SPb

Blood sugar fluctuations are a key companion for diabetic patients. Control over its content in the body is the basis for the treatment of pathology


Blood sugar fluctuations are a key companion for diabetic patients. Control over its content in the body is the basis for the treatment of pathology and helps to normalize the condition of patients. Eating a large amount of sugar-containing foods inevitably leads to an overestimation of glucose values, therefore sweets, fruits and other elements of the diet with a high sugar content in the composition are prohibited.Sweeteners come to the aid of those with a sweet tooth.

What is a sugar substitute?

Sahzams are natural or synthetic substances that have a sweet taste similar to sugar. They do not cause a sharp rise in insulin in the blood and have a significantly lower caloric value while maintaining the same level of sweetness.

Types of natural sweeteners

Natural sweeteners include:

It is found in vegetables and fruits. In terms of intensity of sweetness, it exceeds sugar by 1.5-2 times. Fructose is recommended for diabetics due to its moderate glycemic index (19 units versus 80 units for sugar). Doctors recommend consuming no more than 30-45 g of fructose per day. This is quite enough to compensate for the refusal of sugar and to preserve the bright taste of the dishes.

Substance is miniature crystals similar in appearance to sugar. They dissolve perfectly in water, and their caloric content is so low that in most countries it is taken equal to zero. Erythritol is easily absorbed by the body, does not cause tooth decay and does not lead to insulin surges.

Contained in some fruits and berries (mountain ash, apples, apricots). In terms of sweetness, it is 2 times inferior to sugar, but it attracts with its extremely low calorie content (2.4 kl / g) and safety for diabetics. According to its chemical structure, sorbitol is not a carbohydrate and does not need insulin for absorption.

Extremely popular natural sahzam. It is obtained from the leaves of the herb of the same name. Stevia is 300-400 times sweeter than sugar and has zero calories.The minimum glycemic index makes it absolutely safe for diabetics. Of the deficiencies in the substance – a specific herbal flavor.

Artificial sweeteners

Chemists have developed more than 10 varieties of synthetic sugzams. The most popular of these are the so-called intense sweeteners. They are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, while they do not take part in metabolism and have zero energy value.

Most controversial sahzam.New myths constantly appear about its harm, but the accusations are groundless. Aspartame is safe for health, its sweetness exceeds sugar 200 times and has a minimum calorie content.

The substance is obtained from natural sugar and is called sahzam, the safest for humans. Sucralose is 600 times sweeter, has no calories and has a zero glycemic index. Such properties make its use absolutely safe for diabetics. The advantages of sucralose do not end there.Unlike many other sweeteners, this substance has a natural taste that perfectly mimics regular sugar.

The sweetest sweetener. Its taste is 20,000 times more intense than natural sugar. The substance is thermally stable: it retains its properties at high temperatures and can be freely used in baking.

How to choose a substitute?

When using sahzam, do not forget about the total calorie content of the diet. Not all sweeteners have zero energy value: glucose, xylitol, sorbitol contain from 3 to 4 kl per 100 g.Uncontrolled consumption of foods with their content can lead to exceeding the daily calorie intake. At the same time, most sweeteners have daily consumption restrictions: they are indicated on the package. Please read the permitted limits carefully before using the substances.

The endocrinologist named the safest sweeteners

https://ria.ru/20210228/sakhar-1599181474.html

The endocrinologist named the safest sweeteners

The endocrinologist named the safest sweeteners – RIA Novosti, 28.02.2021

An endocrinologist named the safest sugar substitutes

Excessive sugar consumption has a detrimental effect on health, so many people think about using substitutes for this product. The safest … RIA Novosti, 28.02.2021

2021-02-28T02: 11

2021-02-28T02: 11

2021-02-28T02: 11

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MOSCOW, Feb 28 – RIA Novosti. Excessive consumption of sugar is detrimental to health, which is why many people think about using substitutes for this product. Zukhra Pavlova, an endocrinologist at the Moscow State University clinic, Ph.D., named the safest options in an interview with Sputnik radio, and recommended that people who want to limit the amount of sugar in their diet choose substitutes such as erythritol, stevia or sucralose.The first two of them are natural, the doctor said. However, some consumers attribute a bitter herbal taste to the disadvantages of stevia. Therefore, the sweetener stevioside was developed, it is made from the same raw materials as stevia, but there is no bitterness in it, the doctor explained. Unlike erythritol and stevia, sucralose is an artificial product. Nevertheless, according to the endocrinologist, it is harmless even for pregnant women and infants. “Despite the fact that sucralose is an artificial sweetener, it is practically the only sweetener that is approved for use by both pregnant proved his safety, “Pavlova said.The endocrinologist also explained how reduced calorie sodas can be a safe alternative to traditional counterparts due to the reduced amount of sugar. According to her, in the United States, a study was conducted in which different groups of participants were given a liter of water, regular Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, or a liter of milk every day for six months. “In the Coca-Cola Light group, everything was much happier than in the group where they drank regular Coca-Cola, but visceral fat, the very one with which all metabolic catastrophes begin, has grown significantly on Coca-Cola Light,” she noted Pavlova.

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society, food, food, USA, Russia, Zukhra Pavlova

MOSCOW, 28 Feb – RIA Novosti. Excessive consumption of sugar is detrimental to health, which is why many people consider using substitutes for this product. The safest options were named in an interview with radio Sputnik by the endocrinologist of the Moscow State University clinic, candidate of medical sciences Zukhra Pavlova.

She recommended that people who want to limit the amount of sugar in their diet to stay on such substitutes as erythritol, stevia or sucralose. The first two of them are natural, the doctor specified.

“Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar, so literally two drops in a glass of water or coffee – and it turns out very sweet, calorie-free and without any effect on carbohydrate metabolism,” Pavlova noted.

However, some consumers attribute a bitter herbal taste to the disadvantages of stevia. Therefore, the sweetener stevioside was developed, it is made from the same raw materials as stevia, but there is no bitterness in it, the doctor explained.

February 10, 13:27

The woman had been on the diet for over a year and was surprised by the results

Unlike erythritol and stevia, sucralose is an artificial product. However, according to the endocrinologist, it is harmless even for pregnant women and babies.

“Despite the fact that sucralose is an artificial sweetener, it is practically the only sweetener that is approved for use by both pregnant women and infants all over the world, so it has proven its safety,” Pavlova said.

An endocrinologist also explained how reduced calorie carbonated drinks can be a safe alternative to traditional counterparts due to the reduced amount of sugar. According to her, in the United States, a study was conducted in which different groups of participants were given a liter of water, regular Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, or a liter of milk every day for six months.

“In the Coca-Cola Light group, everything was much happier than in the group where they drank regular Coca-Cola, but the visceral fat, the one from which all metabolic catastrophes begin, has grown significantly on Coca-Cola Light”, – noted Pavlova.

February 3, 02:12

What foods stimulate the brain 9000 Rating of the best sugar substitutes for diabetics in powder, tablets and liquid

Despite appeals from nutritionists, many people still consume excessive amounts of sugar.However, not everyone, for health reasons, can afford a little “white pleasure”. Sweeteners and low-calorie sugar substitutes come to the rescue. We select the best sugar substitutes for diabetics with a natural and safe composition for baked goods and drinks. In the rating there are good sugar substitutes (sweeteners) in tablets, powder, liquid with reviews.

The best sweeteners in powder form

One of the most popular forms of sugar substitute production is powder.It looks like sugar in appearance, it is convenient to use it in baked goods, as well as add to various drinks:

Best powdered sweeteners:

Fit Parad No. 7

This sweetener does not look different from regular sugar. The taste is also similar, they can be used to sweeten tea, use for cakes or desserts. It is one of the most commonly selected sweeteners. Used by people struggling with diabetes, overweight and obesity, it is low in calories and promotes oral health.Belongs to the group of sugar alcohols. The chemical compound is low in calories and has a low glycemic index, it does not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels, is not metabolized by the human body, and is removed from it unchanged.

Characteristic Value
Volume 60, 200, 400 g
Form of issue powder
Country of origin Russia

Pros:

  • sold in different volumes;
  • form of issue to choose from;
  • is safe for diabetics and children;
  • is convenient for baking;
  • is sweet enough.

Cons:

  • high consumption;
  • loses sweetness when heated.

Review: “So far, the only low calorie baking sweetener I love. I also add it to tea and coffee. Sufficiently sweet, one spoon is enough for drinks, the price would be slightly lower, would be ideal, in general I recommend for those who follow the figure ”.

PREBIO SWEET Fitness with prebiotics

This sweetener will find its use in people looking for a healthy alternative to white sugar, as well as those who care about their shape.Its taste is slightly different from sugar. The product contains erythritol – a sugar polyol that is naturally found in fruits, lactulose, a prebiotic (normalizes microflora and strengthens the immune system), as well as the safest sugar substitute sucralose. The product contains 0 calories, when consumed it is not absorbed by the body. It perfectly enhances the taste of sweets and goes well with everyday baked goods and dishes.

Characteristic Value
Volume 150, 250, 300 g
Form of issue powder
Country of origin Russia

Pros:

  • is economically spent;
  • leaves no aftertaste;
  • can be added to baked goods;
  • there is a measuring spoon;
  • is sweet enough.

Cons:

  • inconvenient packaging;
  • is not sold in every store.

Review: “Ideal for baking. It does not lose sweetness and, above all, does not become bitter after baking, like most sweeteners. It is economically consumed, does not leave an aftertaste, pleases the affordable cost ”.

BIONOVA Erythritol

Natural low calorie sweetener with 0 kcal. Zero Glycemic Index – inhibits the action of bacteria that cause tooth decay.This makes the product an ideal replacement for traditional sugar, which is very similar in appearance. Suitable for sweetening coffee, tea, desserts and as an ingredient in cakes. The active component erythritol is less sweet, has about 60-70% of the sweetness of sucrose, which should be taken into account in recipes when replacing these products. When consumed, it leaves a pleasant sensation in the mouth. The product is not metabolized by the body, completely eliminated from it and does not affect the intestinal flora at all.

Characteristic Value
Volume 200, 1000 g
Form of issue powder
Country of origin Russia

Pros:

  • natural;
  • good sweetness;
  • affordable price;
  • different volume of packages;
  • leaves no aftertaste.

Cons:

  • inconvenient packaging;
  • prevalence in availability on sale.

Review: “Best sweetener I’ve ever eaten. Definitely better than stevia. Ideal for baking. I have been using it for years – it does not change the taste, does not have a metallic aftertaste ”.

Rating of sugar substitutes in tablets

Tablet sweetener is another popular form of sweetener. It is chosen by people who value the convenience of dosing – most often the proportions in the tablets are selected so that one tablet corresponds to the sweetness of one teaspoon of sugar.

TOP of the best sweeteners in tablets included:

NOVASWEET Stevia

Stevia is used as an active ingredient – a product of natural origin. Used as a natural sweetener for many years, it is sweeter than regular sugar. One tablet corresponds to the sweetness of one teaspoon of sugar. Convenient automatic dispenser makes use more comfortable. Also, the product has many beneficial properties. Research shows the beneficial effects of stevia in high blood pressure and diabetes.Calorie-free, soluble in water and alcohols, resistant to high temperatures, can be used for baking and cooking.

Characteristic Value
Volume 150 pcs
Form of issue tablets
Country of origin Russia

Pros:

  • convenient release format;
  • can be taken with you;
  • compact packaging;
  • natural;
  • dissolves quickly.

Cons:

  • is expensive;
  • specific taste;
  • is rarely on sale.

Testimonial: “I recommend this sugar substitute in tablets, it has a natural taste and not any chemicals. It only takes two tablets isn’t that sweet. ”

Rio Gold

This is a low calorie, economical sweetener that replaces sugar. It perfectly sweetens coffee, tea and other hot, cold drinks and desserts, fresh fruits, breakfast cereals.The product is recommended for all people who care about health and proper nutrition, watch their weight and worry about the condition of their teeth. Can also be used by diabetics. 1 tablet is as sweet as 1 teaspoon of sugar. The product does not raise the pH in the mouth like sugar does, and it also protects teeth from tooth decay. Practical and economical packaging with automatic dispenser for convenient sweetening.

Characteristic Value
Volume 1200 pcs
Form of issue tablets
Country of origin China

Pros:

  • no calories;
  • is convenient to take with you;
  • compact packaging;
  • economical option;
  • sweet.

Cons:

  • synthetic compound;
  • Not everyone likes the taste.

Review: “Very economical product, many tablets in a package. One piece is enough for tea or coffee. I have been using it for a long time, I’m used to the taste ”.

Milford Sucralose

This low calorie sweetener that tastes like sugar is ideal for diabetics and dieters. Available in pill form.Contains natural ingredients sucralose with inulin. The product has good stability at high temperatures, which allows it to be used in baked goods. The sweet aftertaste stays in the mouth for much longer than other sweeteners. 1 tablet equals a whole teaspoon of sugar. The product contains lactose and is not recommended for people with intolerance to this substance.

Characteristic Value
Volume 370 pcs
Form of issue tablets
Country of origin Germany

Pros:

  • natural origin;
  • optimal volume;
  • sweet;
  • convenient use;
  • is economically consumed.

Cons:

  • individual intolerance;
  • is more expensive than analogs.

Review: “An excellent substitute for sugar. My son has diabetes and has no problem replacing the sugar in his tea with this sweetener. It is as sweet as sugar, low in calories, natural product of good quality, I recommend it. ”

NOVASWEET 0 calories

Table sweetener in tablets based on sodium cyclamate and saccharin is ideal for sweetening coffee, tea and other beverages without increasing their calorific value or causing an increase in blood glucose levels.1 tablet for sweetness corresponds to 1 teaspoon of sugar. A sweetener for diabetics is a suitable substitute for sugar. It is also commonly used by dieters and anyone looking to eliminate sugar from their diet, as it has a glycemic index of 0. The product contains lactose and is not recommended for people with an intolerance to this ingredient.

Characteristic Value
Volume 650, 1200 pcs
Form of issue tablets
Country of origin Russia

Pros:

  • does not change the taste of beverages;
  • convenient format;
  • affordable cost;
  • economical consumption;
  • sweet;
  • no aftertaste.

Cons:

  • individual intolerance;
  • is not recommended to be used too often.

Review: “When it comes to eliminating calories, this product met all my expectations. It may not be very helpful, but it does help with weight loss.

The best liquid sweeteners

Liquid sweeteners are supplied in a convenient package that makes it easy to dispense the product. They are easier to stir with water and are used to sweeten cold and hot drinks, as well as baked goods and other dishes.

The rating of the best liquid sweeteners includes:

Smart Fit Stevia

This is a very low glycemic index sweetener. It contains natural sweeteners: the sweet leaves of the Stevia plant, erythritol and sucralose . It is used as a healthy, natural and calorie-free substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners. The product is useful for such diseases: diabetes – does not increase the level of glucose in the blood, obesity – does not contain calories and additionally suppresses appetite, caries – prevents its formation.It is also used in the treatment of tobacco and alcohol addiction. Liquid product dispensed in drops, 1 drop = 1 teaspoon of sugar. It can also be used as a baking sweetener and is heat stable.

Characteristic Value
Volume 30 ml
Form of issue liquid
Country of origin Russia

Pros:

  • without bitterness;
  • can be added to baked goods;
  • economical consumption;
  • is convenient to dose;
  • sweet.

Cons:

  • weakening effect;
  • short storage period after opening.

Review: “Sweets have always been my biggest obstacle to my diet. As a result, I never managed to lose weight. A friend recommended this liquid sweetener to me because she had a similar problem herself. Liquid Stevia is an excellent sugar substitute and is calorie-free. I have been using it for a year now and during this time I managed to lose 10 kg. ”

ROYAL FOREST Jerusalem artichoke syrup

The best natural sweetener. It perfectly strengthens and restores the body, especially recommended for people after chemotherapy. Has a regenerating effect, supports the growth and development of body functions. It strengthens the immune system and helps with chronic fatigue. Made from 100% Jerusalem artichoke tubers juice with the addition of an acidity regulator. It is a rich source of potassium, iron and thiamine. It also contains a lot of inulin, which is well tolerated by diabetics.When combined with pectins, inulin helps to remove toxins from the body.

Characteristic Value
Volume 250, 1350 g
Form of issue liquid
Country of origin Russia

Pros:

  • sweet;
  • completely natural;
  • without bitterness;
  • is convenient to dose;
  • honey consistency.

Cons:

  • short shelf life;
  • high consumption;
  • is expensive.

Review: “Caring for health is my passion. I try to eat rationally, I do a lot of sports, but I also love delicious dishes. Jerusalem artichoke syrup is very suitable as a sweetener for many dishes and desserts. This is the best product of its type that I have used. I recommend”.

Milford Suss

Diabetes Sugar Substitute is available in a very efficient and economical packaging that fits easily into a bag or backpack.2.5 ml of liquid sweetener corresponds to the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar. Made on the basis of sodium cyclamate, it is recommended for people on a diet, health-conscious and slim figure. The product is resistant to high temperatures, which means that it is suitable for sweetening coffee and tea and does not change their taste. Due to the fact that the product is liquid, there are no problems with solubility. Not metabolized by the human body, excreted in the urine.

Characteristic Value
Volume 200 ml
Form of issue liquid
Country of origin Germany

Pros:

  • identical in taste to sugar;
  • convenient dosage;
  • pleasant taste;
  • can be used in baked goods;
  • is economically consumed.

Cons:

  • synthetic components;
  • is rare on the market.

Testimonial: “I am very pleased with the taste and service life of one bottle. I recently tried making a cake and added a substitute instead of sugar. I was afraid that bitterness would come out under the influence of temperature. Fortunately, nothing like this happened and the cake turned out to be great. I recommend, but in limited quantities. ”

Which sweetener is better?

Many substitutes for traditional white sugar can be found in stores today.It is best to choose formulations of natural origin, based on the following substances:

  • Stevia. Available on the market in various forms, incl. in tablets or powder form. It should be used very little because the product is much sweeter than sugar. Contains no calories.
  • Agave syrup. It is most commonly found on health food shelves. Considered one of the best sugar substitutes, its substance may resemble honey. It is ideal for diabetics, is low in calories and has a low glycemic index.Its use adds a lot of sweetness, and at the same time does not change the taste of the dish.
  • Honey. You can find it on almost every store shelf. It can be used as a sugar substitute, but its calorific value is similar to white sugar. Honey has a lot of health-promoting ingredients. If you are using honey, do not add it to drinks or hot dishes because it loses its properties.
  • Maple syrup. A very useful Canadian product made from the trunk of a maple tree.You need to be careful when using it, although it contains much fewer calories compared to sugar, the syrup contains a large amount of sucrose. On a sugar-free diet, it should not be consumed.
  • Xylitol. One of the most popular substitutes lately. It can be added to cakes, drinks, and tastes indistinguishable from white sugar. Made of birch bark. Better than sugar because it contains 40% fewer calories and has a low glycemic index. There are also many beneficial substances that have a positive effect on health.

Other known sugar substitutes are, for example, date syrup, molasses, erythritol.

It is impossible to say unequivocally which sweetener is best for the body. It all depends on what vitamins a person needs most of all, what kind of life he leads and what his state of health is. It is worth remembering the above, and then choosing one of them either with the help of a doctor or on personal experience.

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The best sweetener without taste

The list of sugar substitutes of natural and synthetic origin should be known to every diabetic, and those who wish to lose weight should also look at the sugar substitutes.Not every sweetener is actually safe or harmless.

Contents

  1. Benefits of Stevia
  2. Forms of release of stevia
  3. Why Stevia Group?

Even natural sugar substitutes that have proven to be the best are not without side effects. Previously popular ones are worth considering in more detail:

  • Fructose: 1.2-1.8 times sweeter than sugar, but comparable in calories and glycemic index. Therefore, there is a daily restriction on the use of the product.
  • Sorbitol: sugar is twice as sweet in sweetness, and taking into account the caloric content of sorbitol, the restrictions on its intake by diabetics are significant.
  • Erythritol: A natural sweetener with nearly zero calories. If we compare the sweetness of erythritol to sugar, then the ratio is 0.7: 1, but with excessive use it has a laxative effect.

In the debate about which sugar substitute can be considered the best and safest, an end has been put today.Stevia, a honey herb that is 30 times sweeter than sugar in its natural form, has taken the leading position in the market for the most harmless sweeteners. Processed stevia, depending on the degree of purification, becomes 200-400 times sweeter than sugar.

The Stevia Group company is engaged in the production of stevia-based sugar substitutes. We know what the safest sugar substitute should be in order to remain beneficial to your health.

The benefits of stevia

The main benefit of stevia is zero calories and glycemic index.This sweetener is recognized as completely harmless for diabetics and is currently recognized as the safest sweetener. In addition, stevia has the following properties:

  • anti-inflammatory;
  • antimicrobial.

Stevia, unlike sugar and a number of other sugar substitutes, helps to reduce excess weight, improve the condition of the oral cavity and digestive system. It has no contraindications either for age or for health reasons, since of all sugar substitutes it is recognized as the best and most harmless for both diabetes and weight loss.

Forms of release of stevia

Earlier, stevia was prevented from obtaining the status of the best sweetener by its characteristic herbal flavor, and without modern technologies this sweetener would not have been the most popular today. Thanks to technological purification, the stevia sweetener not only acquired sweetness without foreign aftertastes, but also became widespread in the following forms:

  • extract;
  • crystals;
  • powder;
  • cubes;
  • tablets;

Try one of the safest sweeteners available – and order the one that’s right for you.

Why Stevia Group?

Our company does everything to ensure that the most useful and harmless sugar substitute appears in your home.

We guarantee the following benefits:

  • Manufacturability of production: thanks to high-quality modern cleaning, we get a product with excellent taste.
  • Prompt delivery: pick up your order by self-pickup or order courier delivery services through the Russian Post.
  • Open cooperation: we trade in wholesale and retail, we work with all groups of clients.

Our products

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Read also:

Are sweeteners dangerous? – BBC News Russian Service

  • Claudia Hammond
  • BBC Future

Photo Credit, Thinkstock

People choose sweetened products to consume less sugar.However, in recent years, more and more doubts about the harmlessness of sweeteners for health can be heard. How safe are sweeteners, the correspondent of understood

BBC Future .

Perhaps the most famous sugar substitute is aspartame. He is also the object of the most criticism in the media. It is a fatty acid formed during the synthesis of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. In 1996, it was suggested that the rise in brain tumors may be related to the increasing popularity of aspartame.Soon, this supplement began to be mentioned in connection with other types of cancer.

To find out if the additive is dangerous, the American National Cancer Institute conducted a study of almost half a million people. According to results published in 2006, no association was found between taking aspartame and an increased risk of brain cancer, leukemia, or lymphoma. And the European Food Safety Agency, having studied all the materials available at that time, came to the conclusion that, subject to the recommended daily intake (40 mg per kilogram of body weight), aspartame is safe even for children and pregnant women.

The reason why the use of aspartame does not cause health problems for most people is that only a small amount of it enters the bloodstream: the substance is quickly broken down into its constituent components. However, there is one exception. People with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria cannot break down phenylalanine, a component of aspartame. This sweetener is not safe for them. This is why the packaging of aspartame comes with a warning that the product contains phenylalanine.

Teeth protection

Some sweeteners do have side effects that are noticeable to a healthy person. If you’ve ever overeating xylitol mints, you may have felt the effects yourself. Xylitol is obtained from birch and other hardwoods. The substance is 30% lower in calories than sugar, and practically does not give an aftertaste, but if consumed excessively can cause water retention in the body, which, in turn, leads to diarrhea.On the other hand, there is evidence that xylitol can stop tooth decay. Chewing gum or sucking on xylitol sweetened candies will neutralize the acidity of plaque.

Photo author, Thinkstock

Photo caption,

Stevia sweetener contains no calories

The newest sugar substitute used in the industry comes from the perennial stevia plant, although in reality it has long been known to man. In Paraguay and Brazil, stevia has been used medicinally for centuries.The resulting sweetener is calorie-free and 300 times sweeter than sugar. It has been marketed as a dietary supplement in Japan for over 40 years. Stevia is native to tropical and subtropical regions of South and Latin America. The steviol glycosides contained in its leaves are extracted by soaking in water. These compounds are completely eliminated from the body in a natural way. Stevia was approved as a dietary supplement in the United States in 2008 and in the European Union in 2011. The only downside is the bitter anise-like aftertaste.For this reason, artificial sweeteners are often added to stevia.

Are steviol glycosides safe? The European Food Safety Agency reviewed the available data in 2010 and concluded that these substances are non-cancer-causing, non-toxic and safe for children and pregnant women.

Sweeteners are believed to help people satisfy their sugar cravings without gaining weight or risking diabetes. However, despite the fact that sweeteners have been used for decades, they do not seem to have any effect on the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the world.Scientists still do not know what happens in the body when the expected amount of sugar does not follow the signal that the presence of sweet food in the mouth reaches the brain. There is a suspicion that the body in this case produces an excess amount of insulin for the situation, which in the future may lead to weight gain. While there is no scientific evidence for this suspicion, the European Food Safety Agency notes that there is no evidence that stevia contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.

Sweeteners and Diabetes

It would seem that sweeteners have not earned their bad reputation. However, according to a recent Israeli study, the sweeteners aspartame, saccharin and sucralose not only fail to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, but may also contribute to it.

Scientists gave healthy mice water with the addition of one of three sweeteners, and then measured their blood glucose levels. The animals developed glucose intolerance, which is one of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.This was not observed in the control mice that drank plain water or water with added sugar.

Photo author, Thinkstock

Photo caption,

Mice that drank water with added sugar did not show symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Researchers concluded that it was all about gut bacteria – in mice that were given sweeteners , the intestinal microflora has changed.

The results of experiments on mice cannot always be extrapolated to the human body, and the usual mouse diet, of course, differs from ours.However, in subsequent experiments by Israeli scientists involved people who were given 40 cans of diet drink a day, which corresponds to the maximum allowable daily dose of saccharin. Five days later, more than half of the subjects showed some degree of glucose intolerance. Moreover, their intestinal microflora has also changed.

The researchers went even further with what is known as a faecal microbiota transplant, in which the feces of one person or animal are transferred to another.In this case, human feces were transplanted into mice. It turned out that glucose intolerance was transmitted from humans to healthy animals, which additionally confirmed the direct participation of the intestinal microflora in the development of this condition.

Safe sweeteners

However, you should not rush into statements about the dangers of sweeteners. So far, we are talking about only one study, mainly involving mice – only 7 people participated in the experiments.Researchers themselves recognize the need for further study of this problem. There is still no scientific evidence for the long-term negative effects of sweeteners on the human body.

In 2013, a survey of more than 300 thousand people in eight EU countries was conducted, which did not reveal any connection between the development of type 2 diabetes and the use of sweeteners.

From all this scientific research, one conclusion can be drawn: none of the sweeteners we know is uniquely beneficial or harmful.They are all different, and the properties of each must be studied separately. So far, there is no compelling reason to exclude diet drinks from your diet.

Sweetener – how does it affect the body? How to choose the safe one?

Sweetener is a substance that has a sweet taste, but does not contain molecules of glucose, fructose or other simple carbohydrates. Since sweeteners do not contain carbohydrates, they have virtually no effect on blood glucose levels and do not require the body to produce insulin.

However, it is a mistake to consider sugar substitutes as a means for losing weight and as a safe substitute for sweets – in the end, their use may be associated with overeating. Which sweetener is better with proper nutrition, and which is better for diabetes?

// Sweetener – what is it?

Sweeteners are substances and chemical compounds that have a sweet taste, but do not contain simple carbohydrates. It is important not to confuse them with sweeteners – substances designed to replace sugar, but with comparable calories (for example, honey and agave syrup).

The first sugar substitute, saccharin, was discovered in 1879. However, in the 1970s, studies appeared that it could be a potential carcinogen. Aspartame is the second open sweetener, and when consumed in adequate amounts, it is considered safe.

At the same time, we note that the key danger of sugar substitutes from the point of view of their effect on the body is not at all a possible carcinogenic effect, but the effect on the brain. Specifically, the brain receives signals for sweets, which can trigger cravings for fast carbohydrates – and overeating¹.

// Read more:

Benefits and harms of PP

Sweeteners are often considered to be a component of a healthy diet and the best way to reduce calorie intake by limiting carbohydrate intake. For example, instead of the usual sodas with sugar, people who want to lose weight choose the light version, which results in a reduction in calories.

This point of view is erroneous – having given up pure sugar, a person does not stop loving sweets at all.According to research, when choosing a drink with a sweetener, people tend to be less critical of the composition of other foods that they consume.

// Read more:

The best and worst sweeteners

Often the price of a sweetener is directly related to its beneficial and harmful qualities. Aspartame, saccharin, and cyclamate are the cheapest and most complete chemicals – and research suggests they can cause cancer when consumed in large quantities.

Sugar substitutes obtained from alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol) can cause gas formation and negatively affect the functioning of the intestines, inhibiting its microflora. But again, they are completely safe when consumed in small amounts.

The more expensive sweeteners, stevia and sucralose, are natural and theoretically healthier alternatives for diabetes. In turn, agave syrup, although suitable for proper nutrition, should not be used by diabetics as it affects blood glucose levels.

// Rating of safe sweeteners:

  1. Stevia
  2. Agave syrup
  3. Sucralose
  4. Erythrol

Dependence on saccharin

Sugar substitute is the first sugar substitute in history. Although studies in the 1970s showed that it can cause cancer in mice, human studies have not confirmed this. The key problem with saccharin is that it makes the brain think the body is consuming sugar – which can activate the mechanisms that cause diabetes and obesity.

In one study, mice were first fed alternately saccharin and cocaine, then asked to choose one of the two substances³. Paradoxically, 94% of the animals made a choice not at all in favor of a drug, but in favor of a synthetic sweet substance. Although the solution mechanism is not completely clear, this once again suggests that chemical sweeteners need to be treated with caution.

Is aspartame harmful?

Aspartame emerged as a “healthier” alternative to saccharin in the 1980s, and is the most commonly used sweetener in the food industry today.Note that it is contraindicated for people suffering from the rare genetic disease phenylketonuria – the aspartame content should be explicitly mentioned on the product packaging.

Although the scientific community considers aspartame a well-studied and safe supplement for health when consumed in adequate amounts (no more than 90 servings per day), critics believe that aspartame can disrupt the chemical balance of the brain, provoke the development of depression and affect cognitive decline. functions.

Which sweetener is the safest?

The safest natural sweeteners are honey and agave syrup – however, they contain comparable calories to sugar. Agave syrup has a low glycemic index and is suitable for diabetics, and the inulin contained in it is useful for the functioning of the intestines and liver. A similar substance is found in chicory.

The best low-calorie natural sweeteners are stevia, sucralose and erythrol (melon sugar).At the same time, erythrol can only conditionally be considered “natural”, since the mechanics of its production are purely chemical. The key downside is that it can cause gas and stomach problems when consumed in large quantities (however, to a lesser extent than sorbitol and xylitol).

// Read more:

Sucralose

Sucralose is an additive produced by chemical reactions from common sugar. The body is unable to digest sucralose, so it is excreted unchanged without increasing blood glucose levels.However, sucralose can affect the gastrointestinal flora and can also cause bloating.

The advantage of sucralose is its high thermal stability – this sweetener can be used not only for cooking, but also for baking (unlike stevia, which changes its taste when heated to high temperatures).

Stevia

Brazilian stevia plant extract is the most popular natural sweetener.Its sweet taste is due to the presence of glycosides in the composition – these substances are 300 times sweeter than sugar, but do not contain calories and have a zero glycemic index. It is also important that glycosides are capable of exerting therapeutic properties against diabetes mellitus, hypertension and obesity.

Research suggests that due to its high content of phenolic compounds, Stevia acts as an effective antioxidant and anticancer agent2. The only known disadvantage of this sweetener is a specific bitter aftertaste, as well as the high price of stevia, which is several times higher than the cost of chemical sweeteners.

Agave Syrup

Agave Syrup is a natural sweetener derived from a tropical tree growing in Mexico. Its key difference from other sweeteners is that it contains a comparable amount of calories and carbohydrates to regular sugar – however, the structure of these carbohydrates is different.

Unlike sugar, fructose in agave syrup has a low glycemic index. In fact, small amounts of agave syrup can be used by diabetics – however, it must be understood that this syrup contains calories that will sooner or later be absorbed by the body.

***

New Fitseven materials, 5 times a week – in telegram:

Although the use of sweeteners is an alternative to sugar use for diabetics, sweeteners are not always suitable for people trying to cut calories and lose weight. Saccharin can significantly disrupt metabolism, and agave syrup has a caloric content comparable to honey and cannot be used in dietary nutrition.

Scientific sources:

  1. Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings, source
  2. How fake sugar can lead to overeating, source
  3. Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward, source

1 Continuing the last topic 900 material updates – October 29, 2020

Which sweetener is the most harmless?

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Today, sweeteners are presented in a huge assortment, they differ not only in price, but also in their quality.So, many people ask the question: “What is the most harmless sweetener?” and in this article we will try to answer it.

These food additives are divided into two groups – natural and synthetic. Naturally, natural products are safer and more harmless to the human body. Natural sweetener is extracted from berries and fruits. In terms of taste, fructose is in no way inferior to sugar, which is an irreplaceable advantage. So, people who suffer from diabetes mellitus can indulge in sweets.

We can safely say that the most harmless sugar substitute is ordinary fructose. If you use it in small quantities, then there will be no harm to the body, which cannot be said about synthetic products. But do not forget that fructose has a high calorie content, practically no less than ordinary sugar. If you are watching your figure or are on a diet, then you should not consume large amounts of fructose. As a result, this food supplement is the most harmless sugar substitute.Plus, it’s the most affordable.

Separately, I would like to dwell on such a substance as stevioside. This additive is one of the modern sweeteners. It is obtained from a plant called stevia or honey herb. The plant grows in South America. The advantage of stevioside is that it not only replaces sugar in the daily human diet, but also significantly reduces blood glucose levels. This is a real find for people who have diabetes.It can be used in large doses, because it is absolutely harmless. But it is worth noting that such a food supplement costs a little more than fructose.

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