People with diabetes must watch the amount of carbohydrates they eat as it can raise the blood sugar levels. Because of this, diabetics need to control their sugar intake by eating less glucose heavy food like sweets.
You might think diabetics will need to skip out sugar entirely, but that’s not true; they only have to regulate their sugar intake. This can be hard as certain foods may come in small servings but heavy on the carbohydrates. A solution to this is sugar substitutes, also called artificial sweeteners. Now, just because you’re taking these sugar substitutes instead of plain, cane sugar does not mean you can skip your medicine for diabetes. You still have to take them! Here’s a list of sugar substitutes you can use in your daily life.
In 1967, a German chemist named Karl Clauss accidentally discovered Acesulfame potassium. Since then it has been widely used by many companies in their food products such as ice cream, canned goods and candies. It can be used for baking due to its heat stability and ability to retain its sweetness
This artificial sweetener is produced by the fusing of two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. It can be found in gum, fizzy drinks and powdered drink mixes. It is often blended with another sugar substitute, saccharine, for products in need of a prolonged shelf life. Items containing aspertame must be avoided by people with Phenylketonuria, a genetic condition which impairs the body’s ability to process the amino acid phenylalanine.
Numerous food manufacturers prefer this artificial sweetener due to the lowered production cost as compared to using cane sugar. This is a recently approved sweetener derived from Aspartame. Aside from Neotame being 8 000-13,000 times sweeter than sugar, it is also safe for people with PKU. Products containing Neotame include cereals and candies.
First developed in 1879, Saccharine may be the oldest sugar substitute available right now. It is highly recommended for diabetics as it is not processed by the digestive system, rendering it safe for them. If you are a pregnant diabetic, avoid saccharin as studies have found out it can cross the placenta and remain in your infant’s fetal tissues. Saccharin can be found in iced tea, toothpaste and certain processed foods.
Stevia is an all-natural sweetener made from the extracts of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. In the early 90s, it was banned in the United States after studies found it to be carcinogenic but in 2008, certain extracts were approved as food additives by the FDA. In Japan, it is widely used and this country accountr for 40% of its users. Stevia can be found in soda products and other food products. You can purchase stevia in either liquid or powder form.
Often used in baking, sucralose is a sugar substitute 300-1000 time sweeter than sugar itself. It’s also commonly found in commercial sweeteners you use in place of sugar for your coffee or your tea. Like Acesulfame K, Sucralose is also highly recommended for cooking due to its stability under heat.
Thanks to these six sugar substitutes, life will surely be sweeter for people with diabetes. They can now enjoy a life of sweets and desserts without worry.