What are the Best Sugar Substitutes
While there are many sugar substitutes out there today, they are not all good. Why are artificial sweeteners bad for diabetes?It’s important to know which ones are good for you and which ones are not. Some, but maybe not all artificial sweeteners label themselves as either “diabetic-friendly” or “sugar-free” and thorough research resulted in these “sugars” as having the opposite effect in reality.
There is a different reaction from your body with sugar than there is with sugar substitutes. These sugars can inhibit with the tastes that your body is already used to. So what does this do to you? Well this can mess up your brain and changes its thoughts which processes thoughts for you to eat more foods that are sweet and sugary.
You don’t want to be eating more sugary foods. You want to be eating less. None, in fact. Type 2 diabetes is all about controlling your blood sugar levels so you want to be staying away from the substitutes that are bad and cause these sugar cravings. I have never added sugar or salt for that matter to any food I’ve ever eaten. But then again, I’m not a coffee or a tea drinker which is where you would probably be adding sugar anyway.
There were studies done on products such as saccharin that are responsible for altering the bacterial composition in your stomach. This isn’t good because this in turn causes glucose intolerance and that is the beginning towards diabetes and metabolic syndrome in adults.
While not all adults will develop glucose intolerance, it is still possible that sugar substitutes can still aid in controlling type 2 diabetes and also with losing weight, but this may only be a possible solution if you follow it as a controlled intake and a long term management. It’s crucial that anything you are thinking of doing with regards to sugar substitutes should be discussed with your doctor. Remember that they are the professionals.
Artificial sweeteners themselves may lead to weight gain and that’s a prerequisite for type 2 diabetes. Just because they may be approved by the FDA, doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy for you. Let’s see more of what these are and aren’t.
- Decrease your intake of energy
- May lead you to overeat when you mix them with regular sugar
- Will not decrease your weight if used solo
- Can set off constant eating for the intake of energy to also be constant
- May still increase your BMI (body mass index)
- Are definitely less effective than exercising and decreasing your daily calories
If you are a diabetic and looking to watch and control your intake of sugar and managing weight, then these artificial sweeteners for the most part may not be suitable substitutes. But some may be and we’ll see which ones they are.
Berries and plants contain natural sugar alcohols. The food industry manufactures kinds that are synthetic. These specific foods are noted on their labels as either “no sugar added” or “sugar free.” You have to be careful because this can be deceptive to say the least as they are still carbohydrates. It is possible to see your blood sugar increase but not as high as regular sugar would raise it.
Some Sugar Alcohols Are:
These are all approved by the FDA but they have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to your blood sugar. The advantages of sugar alcohols are that they may be responsible for helping your blood sugars and also controlling your weight. Sugar alcohols that produce sweeteners that are low calorie can give you a sweet taste with no extra calories. The one that is used in sugar free gum xylitol, helps to prevent cavities, according to research.
The disadvantages are that they can cause discomfort and abdominal gas in some folks because they only get partially digested. It’s wise to keep an eye on y our body and its reactions when consuming sugar alcohols. If you find you begin having problems, then you should cut them out and avoid them.
The Worst Sugar Substitutes
* Splenda- This substitute is also known as sucralose and has effects that are harmful to the body that include changing insulin responses, decreasing bacteria that are good in your stomach, let compounds that are toxic to be released in the baking process, and your blood glucose levels. Studies showed that obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease were linked to the consumption of sucralose.
* Agave nectar- This sweetener is extremely high in fructose and that’s not good because that puts you at a higher risk for obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Agave can have an enormous impact on your insulin levels, which will make your hormones go haywire and resulting in your chances of metabolic disease increasing. This is also due to the fact that agave actually contains a higher level of fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Yuck! Not a good choice AT ALL!
* Equal- Aspartame is a substance that Equal is made from. It can be responsible for things that are not good such as an increased risk for heart attack, headaches, and stroke. While aspartame is found in many thousands of foods, it’s diet soda that red flags over 70% of the food reactions that are being reported to the Food and Drug Administration.
* Sweet N’ Low- This has the contents of saccharin which is more than 200x sweeter than sugar is. I remember saccharin from the 1970’s and they did tests with rats that consumed saccharin and the results were a higher risk for bladder cancer. Even though there has been no definitive result in humans, saccharin is still believed to be unsafe for humans and is a sweetener that should be avoided according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It is a sweetener that I would stay away from for sure.
The Best Sugar Substitutes
* Stevia- This happens to be an ingredient in Truvia which is a well known sweetener. It has no chemical additives and comes from a plant in Brazil and Peru. Stevia has no effect on your blood sugar and helps to improve insulin sensitivity, resulting in helping your body for using glucose for energy effectively. This is about the best sugar substitute you can have.
* Coconut sugar- This substitute has a variety of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals and regular sugars do not have these. Coconut oil has a taste that resembles the taste of brown sugar. This sweetener helps to keep your insulin and blood sugar levels steadier because it has a much lower glycemic index than that of refined sugar.
* Raw honey- This is an excellent sugar substitute because it is a natural product that contains antibacterial properties. The darker the variety of honey the more of these properties exist. People who stick with honey over sugar wind up with a better reduction in their body fat and body weight. Honey is also easier when it comes to digestion.
* Pure organic maple syrup- This is another awesome substitute and 100% maple syrup contains over 50 antioxidant compounds that can aid with improving your skin, help to combat cancer, and fight off bloating in your stomach. But you want pure organic maple syrup that is 100% and not with corn syrup as an ingredient.
Healthy Sugar Substitutes to Add to Anything
Facts About Sugar
So, in the video above it explains what the differences are between table sugar, natural sugar, and sugar substitutes. Can you try and comprehend that an average American person consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar a day? GEEZ! I remember hearing many years ago that a 16 ounce can of coca-cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar! That’s the last time I ever had regular soda with all that sugar in it!
Sugar is everywhere and present in so many foods that you wouldn’t think contain sugar but they do. It becomes an addiction and can lead to type 2 diabetes. By now we know that this leads to weight gain and this raises the risk of tooth decay, acne, heart disease, kidney problems, and a zillion other health issues you don’t want or don’t need.
Listen, we all still need sugar but where we get it from and what kind, is vital to avoiding type 2 diabetes and becoming unhealthy from excess sugar and getting the wrong kind. You want sugar that comes from foods such as fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and milk. These whole foods contain nutrients that are healthy for you including magnesium, fiber, potassium, and calcium. Natural sugars should come from these natural foods but even these sugars you shouldn’t go overboard with.
So what’s the limit on sugar each day? It’s 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men according to the American Heart Association. Again, a little sugar is fine, but know your limits and get them from the right sources! And remember when you’re shopping to read the labels! There weren’t nutrition labels years ago but there are now so take advantage of it.
Sugar substitutes for diabetes are not all the same. By now you might be deciding against them altogether, but know that there are a few good ones you can rely on. But in either case, it’s your health and diabetes to look out for.
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If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and pass this on to others who may need help. I would appreciate it! Thank you for reading and have a happy and a healthy one!