Sugar substitutes and natural sweeteners are the best options for people with diabetes who want to enjoy sweet treats with no raise in their glucose level. However, not all sweeteners are safe. There are a lot of sugar alternatives that are not good options and cause even more blood sugar spikes. Let’s look at the best natural sweeteners you can replace sugar with:
- Stevia. Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is derived from leaves of a plant. It is calorie-free so it won’t raise your glucose level. Also, it is 200 times sweeter than sugar so you can add less to your dishes;
- Erythritol. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that comes from the fermentation of cornstarch or wheat. It has very few calories and has no impact on your blood sugar. However, it can upset your stomach. So start adding small amounts and stop use if you feel any discomfort.
- Monk fruit. Natural sweetener made of monk fruit extract and contains zero calories. It is 100–250 times sweeter than sugar. It is also thought to have antioxidant properties.
Here is also the list of FDA approved artificial sweeteners you can replace sugar with:
- Aspartame – Equal & Nutrasweet;
- Saccharin – Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin & Sugar Twin;
- Sucralose – Splenda;
- Neotame – NA;
- Advantame – A Sweet Leaf, Sun Crystals, Steviva, Truvia & PureVia;
- Acesulfame potassium (also called acesulfame K) – Sunett & Sweet One.
You can also use dates, as well as dried fruits, such as cherries, raisins, apricots and figs to make your dish tastier. Fresh fruit, including grapes, bananas, and melon, impart sweet flavor with very little overtly tart or sour flavors. Fresh and dried fruits can be added to a variety of dishes, sauces, smoothies, cereals, and muffins in diced or pureed form.
Even if you use sweeteners, don't forget to check your blood sugar regularly and protect your sensor with an adhesive patch!