Best Sweetener For Diabetics–Are you always wondering what the right sweeteners are for people living with diabetes? You are not alone. We all know how important it is to avoid any food item that can cause a spike in the blood sugar level of diabetics.
The use of regular table sugar as a sweetener has been found to cause a sudden increase in blood glucose and insulin levels after consumption.
This is not ideal in the management of diabetes as it tends to overwhelm the body’s ability to maintain good glucose metabolism.
It is to this end that other natural sweeteners that do not cause a spike in blood sugar are being sought after as the best sweetener for diabetics.
The sugars in the foods we eat are natural sugars. When we eat foods with high sugar contents, mostly carbohydrate-rich foods, the body breaks them down into glucose or fructose before they are absorbed into the blood.
Sweeteners are agents added to foods to provide a sweet taste and give desired satisfaction. They are made available as plant extracts (natural sweeteners) or manufactured synthetically in labs (artificial sweeteners).
Table sugar is a regular natural sweetener with very wide use. It is gotten from sugar cane by extracting the juice in a factory, filtering, and crystallizing it into the raw sugar we see. The body is capable of absorbing table sugar thereby causing a significant change in your blood sugar level.
Honey is another natural sweetener with up to 82% sugar. The myth that honey is safe for diabetics is not entirely true since several studies recorded mixed results.
However, raw honey has the advantage of containing some vitamins and anti-inflammatory agents which are helpful in protecting the body against some complications of diabetes.
Secondly, honey is 1.5times sweeter than sugar and people tend to use smaller quantities to sweeten foods than they would sugar.
Stevia is a sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant. It has an intensely sweet taste and offers little to zero calories.
Other natural sweeteners are date syrup, maple syrup, coconut sugar, molasses, and agave nectar.
These are chemically modified sweeteners that are produced in the lab as substitutes for sugars. They are often labeled zero-calory sweeteners because the body cannot break them down for absorption.
When we consume most artificial sweeteners, they only offer their sweetness to the taste buds and pass through the GI without any change. They do not affect blood sugar levels since they cannot be absorbed.
Artificial sweeteners include Saccharin, Aspartame, Xylitol, Erythritol, Sucrolase, etc.
What is the Best Sweetener For Diabetics?
Researches have proven the safety of stevia as the best sweetener for diabetics. Stevia has little to no impact on blood sugar levels due to its very low to zero calory content.
It is about 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. However, it cannot be absorbed into the blood due to high levels of diterpene glycoside that cannot be broken down.
A 2018 study has shown that stevia has the potential to reduce blood sugar shortly after meals.
The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association stated that sweeteners like stevia can be of benefit to diabetics when used properly.
Therefore, it is very important to ensure your brand of stevia does not have any questionable components. This could pose danger to your blood sugar control.
To find out the effect of any sweetener, take your blood sugar test before and after consumption of sweetened food. Compare the results with your test results for the same food without the sweetener. Click here to learn more about living right with diabetes.
Disclaimer: This article provides information for educational purposes. It is not intended to replace medical advice from professional health care providers.