What is the best sugar substitute for diabetics?
- What is the best sugar substitute for diabetics? Moderation is the key to most matters related to nutrition, and sugar substitutes are a better alternative to sugar for some people, and it is not considered the same for others, and to reduce the intake of sugar or its alternatives, it is advised to do so gradually.
- It is not There is a clear opinion about the best alternative to sugar, but the effect of sugar substitutes on blood sugar and insulin determines this, as maple syrup and honey are natural alternatives to sugar, but they affect blood sugar and insulin. It is worth noting that such use should be in moderation.
- Alternatives are calculated within the sugar rations during the day, according to the sugar guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA), and there are some opinions that erythritol sugar, monk fruit, and stevia sugar are among the best alternatives. Which have little or no effect on blood sugar and insulin, but you must adhere to eating small amounts of alcoholic sugars, to avoid digestive disorders, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Types of the best sugar substitute for diabetics
It’s confusing because the terms are interpreted in different ways, and sugar substitutes can be defined as sweeteners that are used in place of regular table sugar or sucrose, and these substitutes can be classified into two types: nutritional sweeteners, which add calories to foods that contain them, and unsweetened sweeteners.
Food, that contains a small number of calories, or is free of them. The following points must be taken into account when comparing and choosing sweeteners:
Sugars from Natural Sources
Natural sources of added sugar such as agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup contain nearly the same calories as table sugar, and they contribute to raising blood sugar, although they contain many nutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, and iron, small amounts of these alternatives must be eaten daily to obtain these benefits, and the following is a simplified explanation of some natural sources of sugar: Agave syrup:
- Agave sugar is extracted from the agave plant, and each teaspoon of it contains: 21 calories, and although the agave plant contains a form of dietary fiber known as inulin, in addition to some beneficial nutrients, the process of processing it to extract the agave syrup removes all the fiber and nutrients from it.
- Maple syrup: Maple syrup is extracted directly from the maple tree, and it is one of the commonly used sweeteners, it contains more than half of sucrose, and a third of fructose and maple syrup also contains a greater amount of minerals than other added sugars. Despite this, the benefits gained may be few; This is due to the lack of minerals that are consumed.
- Honey: Two-thirds of honey consists of sucrose, and the remaining third is water, and a teaspoon of it contains 21 calories, and it provides many health benefits, but it does not contain large amounts of nutrients, which cover the required doses.
Alcoholic sugars or low-calorie sweeteners
Alcoholic sugars or low-calorie sweeteners are characterized by containing half the amount of calories found in sugar, and they can raise blood sugar levels by a smaller amount than other carbohydrates, and their names are xylitol, Sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and isomalt are often found in sugar-free candies and chewing gums.
- Xylitol: It is one of the types of sugar alcohols, extracted from corn, or birch wood, which is available in many fruits and vegetables and is characterized by giving a sweetness similar to the sweetness of regular sugar, and each gram of it contains 2.4 calories, which It is 40% less than sugar’s caloric value, plus it doesn’t raise insulin levels or blood sugar.
- Erythritol: It is also like xylitol, one of the sugar alcohols that have a taste similar to sugar, but it contains fewer calories than it, as each gram contains 0.24 calories, which is equivalent to only 6% of the calories in regular sugar.
are foods that do not contain calories, and do not raise blood sugar levels, as they are not broken down and digested inside the body, and they pass through it without providing it with calories, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Many of these products are safe for people, including diabetics, such as saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, and Stevia sugar.
Benefits of sugar substitute
The following are some of the benefits that artificial sweeteners provide to the human body:
- Helping lose weight: Sugar substitutes are characterized by few or no calories, compared to high-energy sugar, or corn syrup, which helps to eat foods. Same with fewer calories, plus lettuce weight at the same time.
- Dental care: The microflora bacteria present in dental plaque do not affect the fermentation of sugar substitutes, unlike regular sugar, so doctors are advised to prescribe sugar-free medicines as much as possible.
- Control diabetes: Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners helps diabetics enjoy a varied diet, by reducing sugar intake, and although some sugar substitutes contain energy, their metabolism is slow, which helps control sugar levels in the body. the blood.
Damage to sugar alternatives
The presence of many alternatives to sugar to study led to the emergence of inconsistencies in the results of the research about the possible consequences of using them regularly, and that they only constitute part of people’s dietary habits, and among the damages of these alternatives we mention the following:
- Many studies are safe in the use of artificial sweeteners, but many other studies indicated that there are some side effects of their use, and it is worth noting that most of these studies were conducted under several restrictions.
- Such as conducting them on animals only, and the small size of the sample on which the experiments were conducted, in addition to The higher doses in which they were used, which are not usually used, and therefore there is still a need to conduct more studies to know the harms of artificial sweeteners.