Sugar substitutes are often used by people suffering from diabetes. There are however many concerning questions about these sugar substitutes for diabetics. Are they safe? and how can they be used?
For people with diabetes, these substitutes are solutions to removing extra carbs and calories while still pleasing that sweet tooth.
Sweeteners are a food additive that adds sweetness similar to sugar without the food energy. Some sweeteners are synthetic and some are natural.
Artificial sweeteners – contain aspartame which isn’t metabolized in some people with a certain genetic condition. Saccharin is another artificial sweetener that was found centuries ago. These do have health drawbacks and despite being labeled safe, science dictates otherwise:
- Saccharin – studies show that it did the most damage, manifesting cytotoxic and genotoxic effects – toxic to cells and damaging genetic information in the cell, causing mutations.
- Aspartame – studies show that it causes DNA damage.
Natural Sweeteners – there is a myriad of natural sugars on the market today that is far better than artificial sweeteners.
- Stevia – this plant sugar doesn’t have added calories. There is some question about its weight loss properties and diet measure for diabetics. A study suggested that people who used Stevia didn’t overeat and their blood sugar was lower after a meal, resulting in lower insulin levels than with sucrose or aspartame.
- Fructose – is a “simple sugar” found in fruit, vegetables, honey, and some plant materials, has been scrutinized for more than two decades. Some researchers link a high intake of fructose to a wide variety of metabolic ills, including obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, raised uric acid levels and triglyceride levels – which may cause cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Other researchers are adamant at proving that fructose is a sugar like any other and has no effect on disease or weight gain – that changes in the health of the global population comes down to high kilocalorie and kilojoule consumption.