If you suffer from Type 2 diabetes, then you have to reduce your intake of sugar. Fortunately, there are many options on the market today. In fact, there are many substitutes for real sugar and many of them are low calorie or even no calorie options.
Some of these options have been criticized by the media, but, there has been no scientific data to disprove their abilities. In fact, using sugar substitutes have been show to improve your health through the reduction of sugar intake.
The FDA has approved some sugar substitutes: aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and neotame. Of course, there may be other choices out there, but these are the ones that meet the standards of the FDA.
Also read: How I Reversed T2 With Any Medication
Sugar Substitutes with Low or No Carbohydrates
1. Agave Nectar
This is not really a true, artificial sugar substitute. Agave nectar is a natural alternative to sugar though and it may be a good idea to think about using it. The pros of using agave include:
- Low carb
2. Sweet ‘N Low Sugar Substitute
Sweet ‘N Low is the classic sugar substitute, known throughout the country by its distinctive pink packaging. This is a true sugar substitute and is also very low in carbohydrates.
3. Superose Liquid Sweetener
Saccharin is another sugar substitute that meets the standards of the FDA. This sugar alternative has low carbs (approximately 0.25 grams per serving). To many it is a “no-carb” alternative since the values are so low.
Saccharin is available in many forms too, you can get it as a liquid or buy it in large, granulated form.
Another good thing about saccharin, you can use it when you cook or bake.
4. Sugar Twin
Sugar Twin is a substitute that is composed of saccharin, since that is one of the main ingredients, it is approved by the FDA. This is a no carb option that comes in either a liquid or a powder. You can also use Sugar Twin in cooking and baking.
Stevia is another great, natural option when it comes to sugar substitutes. This is a plant-based alternative that contains no carbohydrates. Stevia is still being studied and has not gained FDA approval yet. However, Stevia is an ancient sweetener, it is known across history for its uses as an organic sweet alternative. You can get stevia in granular form like traditional sugar or liquid form. You can also use it as a powder for baking or cooking.
6. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
Splenda is a sugar alternative that is made up of an FDA approved substance called sucralose. Splenda is great since it has no carbs and can be in a variety of forms like granules or powder. You can even get brown sugar in Splenda form.
7. Smoky Mountain Sweetener
Smoky Mountain Sweetener is another saccharin based alternative that is very good when used in baking. It has no carbohydrates and can come as a liquid or powder.
8. Our Family Sweetener Saccharin
Our Family Sweetener is also based with saccharin, it can be used in baking too and is a very good alternative. Like some of the other options in this list, Our Family Sweetener is no carb.
Equal is another popular option for sugar substitutes. Equal comes in a blue packet and is made of aspartame. This is an FDA approved option and has no carbohydrates.
The Truth about Sugar Alternative or Substitutes
When you have diabetes, it is natural to think about sugar and how you are going to reduce it in your life. A common way to reduce sugar intake is to use an alternative sweetener. Alternatives to sugar have their pros and cons. Some people swear by the use of sugar substitutes while others absolutely hate them. Some of the opponents of sugar alternative are just worried about some of the health effects. But if you have concerns, you should know that artificial sweeteners undergo some of the most intense testing of any food item in the U.S.
The single most harmful sweetener in the U.S. is aspartame and this is because some people cannot metabolize the main ingredient in it. Obviously a lot of studies must be done when there is a new item on the shelf. But it can be said that there has been a lot of research done on the existing market.
- Should someone with diabetes use alternatives to sugar?
- There is no right answer to this question, people will vary depending on the individual. A good diet and healthy eating should be integrated into your lifestyle and that means also cutting back on harmful ingredients like sugar. So, consult your doctor if you have concerns, but also be aware that it won’t be a one size fits all option.
- Is it true that sugar substitutes will cause cancer?
- The notion that sugar substitutes are harmful or that they may even be responsible for some cancers were from studies years ago, when these products first came out. The sweetener in question was cyclamate which is no longer used. This product was also shown to cause problems when ingested in large amounts. So, as long as you maintain a reasonable intake of alternatives, you should be fine. There are even established daily doses or servings that are recommended for you to stay healthy. If you follow the directions on the packet or box, you should be ok.
- If I am cooking, what is the best sugar alternative?
- The best alternative to regular sugar is either Stevia in the Raw or Splenda. This has been proven in several trials where customers performed a blind test taste. Some of the customers that were trialed could not even tell the difference between these and items baked with regular sugar, which is amazing!! It is definitely worth trying a sugar substitute if you like to cook or bake. This can be an easy way to reduce your sugar intake without really thinking about it!
- What about honey? I’ve also heard about agave nectar, are either of these good options to substitute as a sweetener?
- Honey is a great alternative and naturally sweet. It has many uses and health benefits, so using honey to substitute as a sweetener is a great choice. You’ll get an added benefit of antioxidants too. Agave nectar is not as well known, but it is also a very good choice. Both of these are natural, organic options. Just be sure that you get an unprocessed or raw option if you can find it. You should be aware that while these are a great option or alternative to white sugar, the calories can be high, so if you’re trying to watch your weight be careful on the amount you use.
- I have heard about sugar alcohols, what are these?
A. You may also hear these referred to as polyols. They are made to substitute as sugar with lower calories. A good example of a sugar alcohol is sorbitol. Sugar alcohols are not the best alternative when it comes to sugar substitutes. There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done and some people respond poorly to these alternatives. However, like many things, if done in moderation these alternatives may be useful in lowering your glycemic index. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns about sugar alcohols.
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