Sugar is the most common compound found in most food out there. Most of us also consume extra sugar within a day. However, when you have diabetes, sugar is undoubtedly not your friend. So, in this blog post, we will look at the best sugar substitutes for people with diabetes!
The best sugar substitutes for people with diabetes include sugar alcohols, stevia, monk fruit extract, date sugar, yacon syrup, tagatose, and sucralose.
There are quite a few sugar substitutes available out there in the market. Most of them are artificial sweeteners, which are also very low in calories. So, many people have been drawn towards these over the years, regardless of whether they have diabetes.
While artificial sweeteners are great in some ways, there are significant side effects of consuming them regularly. Firstly, our bodies are not programmed to digest them. So, in most cases, artificial sweeteners tend to increase glucose levels.
Moreover, artificial sweeteners also tend to send wrong signals to the brain, which can increase the chances of cravings. This, in turn, can lead to weight gain and is also bad for people trying to manage diabetes.
In this blog post, you will find a few substitute options that are technically artificial sweeteners. However, these options can still be consumed occasionally and are better than most of the available sweeteners.
We will look at more natural sweetener options that can give you the same results as sugar without any adverse effects on your health. So, let us take a look at what these sweeteners are!
7 Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics
In this section, you will find all the best substitutes for sugar, which are great for people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. You will also find information about what these sweeteners are all about!
This is a natural sweetener made from the leaves of the Stevia Rebudiana plant. This natural sweetener is made in a way that it is almost 300 times sweeter than table sugar, which means you would need a minimal amount of it.
Stevia, being a natural sweetener, also does not increase blood glucose levels. So, that makes it a good option for people with diabetes. However, there are some cons of stevia as well. Often, people find the aftertaste of stevia a little bitter.
So, manufacturers mix it with artificial sweeteners, making it harmful to people with diabetes. This may, however, only be the case with some brands of stevia available in the market. Regardless, it is best to be cautious about the amount you consume.
2. Sugar Alcohols
These are derived from natural fibers in fruits and vegetables, which makes them a natural sweetener as a substitute for sugar. Some of the main types of sugar alcohols that many may be aware of are erythritol and xylitol.
These are great in many ways and are often used to make sugar-free gums and candies. They are all low-calorie sweeteners and are also suitable for blood glucose levels. However, overconsumption of the same can cause laxative effects, so be careful about the same.
3. Monk Fruit Extract
This extract is derived from China’s Monk fruit, Luo Han Guo. It is indeed a natural sweetener that is perfect for diabetics in many ways. It is much sweeter than sugar, which makes it a great option.
Moreover, unlike many other sweeteners, this one has zero calories and carbohydrates. The monk fruit extract is often used to make Chinese medicine, so there are no known side effects. It does have a slight aftertaste, but not strong enough to overpower anything.
4. Date Sugar
This is yet another natural sweetener made by drying and grinding dates. As you may know, dates are highly nutritious and packed with fiber and many minerals that make them great for health.
So, while using date sugar, you will surely get many health benefits. Moreover, since they are packed with fiber, they will also lower blood glucose levels. Date sugar, in most cases, is just as sweet or slightly sweeter than regular table sugar.
5. Yacon Syrup
This one is harvested from the yacon plant native to South America. The syrup is packed with soluble fibers, which makes it a lovely substitute for sugar, especially for people with diabetes.
The syrup has been linked to maintaining glucose levels, as many studies have been carried out on the same. Some studies have also related it to maintaining a healthy weight! Yacon syrup tends to have a thick and sticky texture, like molasses, and a sweetness similar to caramel.
This is another natural sweetener on which many studies are being conducted. It is extracted from fruits, where it is most naturally found. Research has shown that tagatose is suitable for people with diabetes for a few reasons.
Firstly, it can reduce blood sugar levels and help manage insulin. Moreover, studies have also linked it to working a healthy weight. Although it has no significant side effects, it is wise to talk to your doctor before including tagatose in your diet.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is extremely popular. Many sugar-free beverages, gums, and desserts all have sucralose added to them. Although it is an artificial sweetener, its popularity and availability make it on this list of substitutes.
Sucralose is also often added to hot beverages, and it is the most popularly known by the name “Splenda” in the market. However, studies have shown that consuming too much sucralose can harm health, so be careful about the quantities.
Short Recap Of Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics
Here is a little recap of the best sugar substitutes for diabetics based on a few factors.
Best Sugar Substitute Based On Flavor:
- Yakon Syrup
- Date Sugar
Best Sugar Substitutes Based On Availability:
- Date Sugar
Sugar Substitute That Diabetics Should Consider Using Last:
How To Use Sugar Substitutes
7 Best Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics You Need To Try
- Sugar Alcohols
- Monk Fruit Extract
- Date Sugar
- Yacon Syrup
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and make the dish according to the recipe.
Sugar is an essential part of most of our diets. However, sadly, people with diabetes always need to look for options for the same. Quite a lot of sweeteners available in the market are artificial sweeteners. Studies have shown that these are not good for health.
Luckily, there are a few natural sweeteners that work just as well. They might not be as readily available as artificial sweeteners, but if you find them, they are worth it. However, if you have diabetes and would like to know more about the effects of these sweeteners on your blood sugar levels, it is best to consult your doctor about the same.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is sucralose a natural sweetener?
No, sucralose is an artificial sweetener, most popularly known by its brand name, “Splenda.”
Can date sugar be made at home?
You can easily make date sugar at home by drying dates and grinding them up.
Do natural sweeteners also have adverse effects on health?
No, studies have shown that most natural sweeteners don’t adversely affect health like artificial sweeteners.
What are sugar alcohols used for?
Sugar alcohols are most widely used for sugar-free gums and candies.