Diabetics must control their weight and blood sugar levels in order to live a normal, healthy life. For diabetics with a sweet tooth, this can be problematic as it can raise the blood sugar to dangerous levels. However, there are many sugar substitutes that can add sweeteners without raising the blood sugar or the calorie content, making them safe to consume in moderate levels.
However, finding the right type of sugar substitutes can be a little difficult because some artificial sweeteners will add to the calories or create conditions that might not comply with trying to lose weight or control their blood sugar in the correct manner.
Here are six approved sugar substitutes that can be consumed without the issues normally associated with standard sugar. Each of these are safe to consume by diabetics in moderation.
Saccharin: The first of the many sugar substitutes that would follow, saccharin was first developed way back in 1879 and today is marketed as “Sweet ‘n Low”. Saccharin is still one of the most widely used of the sugar substitutes in diet colas and for general cooking purposes as well.
Acesulfame K: This relatively obscure sugar substitute is also known under the brands of “Sweet One” and “Sunett”. It is mostly used for baking purposes and is about 200 times sweeter than normal sugars.
Aspartame: This is another popular sugar substitute that is sold under the brand names of NutraSweet and Equal. It is up to 200 times as sweet as sugar itself and is sold in packages and in its bulk form as well. However, because it does not hold up very well to heat, it is not generally used in cooking.
Neotame: This is an even more obscure sugar substitute than Acesulfame K and is not readily available in the US. It is close in composition to Aspartame and it about 8,000 times sweeter than sugar which is quite remarkable.
Stevia: Derived from the Stevia plant, this substitute is about 300 times sweeter than sugar and is marketed under the names of Truvia, SweetLeaf, PureVia and Stevia in the Raw.
Sucralose: Also known as “Splenda”, this substitute is a remarkable 600 times sweeter than sugar and is especially useful for baking thanks to its ability to hold up under the heat. There is very little aftertaste with this product which may be why it is growing in popularity.
In addition to these sugar substitutes are what is known as sugar alcohols which also have fewer calories than sugar and will not affect blood sugar levels to any great degree either when used in moderation. The ADA does approve of sugar alcohols in moderate levels and there are some being used to this day in this category. Natural sweeteners such as hone and agave nectar do contain plenty of sugars, but can be safe to use in moderation because they do not generally spike the blood sugar levels like the processed forms of sugar.
Diabetics may use any one of the six standard substitutes or even use natural sweeteners or alcohols that will help satisfy the sweet tooth while not putting at risk spiking blood sugar levels.