The Greatest Sweeteners for Folks with Diabetes

I’m usually requested about what the perfect sweeteners are for individuals with diabetes and what can be utilized as a alternative for sugar that received’t elevate blood sugar. That’s why I’ve created this in-depth information to pure and synthetic sweeteners for individuals with diabetes.

The Greatest Sweeteners for Folks with Diabetes

I get slightly pissed off when studying or listening to outright incorrect claims and advertising and marketing spin about how among the pure and synthetic sweeteners have an effect on your blood sugar.

As an individual with diabetes, I need to know precisely what is going to occur to my blood sugar after I eat or drink one thing, and I don’t take kindly to half-true advertising and marketing claims.

I’ve determined to deal with which pure and synthetic sweeteners are good for individuals with diabetes because it pertains to affect on blood sugar, reasonably than on whether or not they’re wholesome selections basically since I believe that’s considerably out of my area and since loads of others have already lined that.

What are pure & synthetic sweeteners?

The FDA defines sweeteners as: “…generally used as sugar substitutes or sugar options as a result of they’re many instances sweeter than sugar however contribute only some or no energy when added to meals”.

Which means common sugar, honey, and Agave nectar/syrup don’t fall into the sweetener class. Nevertheless, I do need to handle these shortly earlier than shifting on to the actual pure and synthetic sweeteners, since I’ve seen claims of how honey and agave received’t affect blood sugar in the identical approach as sugar.

Sugar substitutes which are NOT blood sugar pleasant


The Greatest Sweeteners for Folks with Diabetes

Let’s begin with honey as a result of, let’s face it, it’s sugar in liquid type (82% of honey is sugar, the remaining is water and small quantities of pollen, and so forth.).

It’s scrumptious, however a 2015 examine within the Journal of Diet discovered that when topics got honey, cane sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup, they noticed no notable distinction in blood sugar improve.

The one advantage of honey over common desk sugar from a blood sugar perspective is that honey is barely sweeter so you should use slightly bit much less of it and obtain the identical sweetness. However that also doesn’t make it an excellent choice for individuals with diabetes!

Agave Nectar

I believe that the company advertising and marketing machine has been very intelligent when declaring agave nectar is a well being meals, for as Dr. Jonny Bowden factors out“..It’s mainly high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as wholesome meals.”

Agave nectar might have a decrease glycemic index than sugar or honey, but it surely’s nonetheless as much as 90 % liquid fructose.

On the finish of the day, sugar is sugar. Honey or agave nectar could also be barely higher for you than pure white sugar from an total diet perspective, however don’t get tricked into pondering that they’re blood sugar-friendly options.

Pure & synthetic sweeteners that received’t have an effect on blood sugar

Not one of the pure and synthetic sweeteners I listing under will have an effect on your blood sugar of their uncooked type, however you must guarantee that the producer hasn’t added anything to the product similar to fillers or flavors.

Except for aspartame, not one of the sweeteners can really be damaged down by the physique, which is why they received’t have an effect on your blood sugar. As an alternative, they’ll move by your techniques with out being digested, so they supply no further energy.

Pure Sweeteners

New pure low-calorie and low-carb sweeteners have come to market lately, which is thrilling should you’re trying to cut back your carb consumption however nonetheless take pleasure in one thing candy.

Right here we’ll speak about 3 completely different pure sweeteners that may have little to no affect in your blood sugar


I’m usually requested if Stevia is nice for individuals with diabetes. And I like that I can reply YES! Stevia is nice for individuals with diabetes and won’t elevate blood sugar ranges. It’s really my sweetener of alternative.

So, what’s Stevia? Stevia is a totally pure sweetener because it’s merely an extract from the leaves of the plant species Stevia Rebaudiana. Most grocery shops carry it and you should buy it as a powder, extract, or flavored drops.

In its purest processed type, Stevia is about 300 instances sweeter than common desk sugar however the merchandise accessible in the marketplace have various levels of sweetness so it’s essential to know the sweetness of the product you utilize. 

Stevia powder: I used to purchase the usual grocery store model Stevia powder till I noticed that they combine it with fillers (primarily dextrose) to make it behave extra like sugar. This really has some calorie affect in addition to a minimal impact in your blood sugar should you use massive quantities.

The dietary label will declare that it’s a zero-calorie meals, however that’s solely as a result of the FDA permits all meals with lower than 0.5 g sugar per serving to be categorized as having zero energy.

All that being mentioned, I do nonetheless use powdered Stevia as a sugar alternative for baking because it reacts properly to warmth. For those who use a model like Stevia within the Uncooked, it substitutes one-for-one to sugar and I simply acknowledge that it may need a minimal/neglectable affect on blood sugars.

Stevia extract: Generally, I like to recommend shopping for Stevia extract as an alternative of powdered stevia as a result of it’s pure Stevia with nothing added.

The extract has a extra intense taste however you’ll get the sweetness with none energy or blood sugar affect by any means. To me, that’s a winner if you need a pure sweetener to sweeten up your morning espresso or oatmeal. I take advantage of the NOW model Stevia Extract.

Flavored Stevia drops: If in case you have a tough time consuming sufficient water (or simply assume plain water is boring), you must attempt Candy Leaf’s Liquid Stevia Drops. You merely squirt a couple of drops into your water and it tastes like lemonade, however with out the blood sugar affect.

Monk fruit

Monk fruit is one other sensible choice for individuals with diabetes because it’s a pure sweetener that received’t have an effect on your blood sugar.

I’ve tried it, but it surely’s not a product I actually use just because I want the style of Stevia (monk fruit has a barely fruity aftertaste). However that’s a private choice, many individuals actually like monk fruit.

It’s an excellent various if you’re in search of a pure sweetener however don’t just like the style of Stevia.

At all times fastidiously learn the diet label when shopping for monk fruit extract as some manufacturers mix the monk fruit with sweeteners like Erythritol and even sugar and molasses. I like to recommend the model Monk Fruit within the Uncooked. 


Allulose is an easy sugar (monosaccharide) and shouldn’t have an effect on blood sugars because it’s not metabolized by the physique.

It’s a naturally occurring sweetener and could be present in small portions in several meals similar to maple syrup, brown sugar, wheat, and fruits (e.g., raisins, dried figs). Nevertheless, whereas these meals will affect blood sugars and add energy to what you eat or drink, allulose received’t and is sort of calorie-free.

Allulose is 70% as candy as common sugar so you must use barely extra if you’re changing common sugar in a recipe or should you’re simply sweetening your tea or espresso.

The FDA has reviewed allulose and decided that it’s a really low-calorie sweetener (i.e., not more than 0.4 kcal/g). The carbs in allulose are included on the diet label of meals that include allulose (in distinction to many different low-carb sweeteners the place the carbs aren’t included) however that’s solely as a result of the FDA determines carb counts based mostly on chemical markup reasonably than blood sugar affect.

What’s thrilling about allulose, and what units it other than different pure sweeteners, is that scientific research have proven that it could possibly doubtlessly assist with blood sugar administration. The research have been very small, however they confirmed that when individuals not dwelling with diabetes in addition to individuals dwelling with pre-diabetes ate allulose along with carbohydrates, the blood sugar affect wasn’t as large as when allulose wasn’t included.

Synthetic Sweeteners (FDA accepted solely)

The listing under covers the FDA-approved synthetic sweeteners and their model names.

None of them ought to have an effect on your blood sugar however there’s a whole lot of controversy about whether or not or not they’ve long-term well being implications. I received’t go into that on this submit, however my private choice is to stay to the pure stuff. I imply, if it just about tastes the identical, why take the prospect?

  • Acesulfame potassium (additionally known as acesulfame Ok) – Sunett & Candy One
  • Aspartame – Equal & Nutrasweet
  • Saccharin – Candy ‘N Low, Candy Twin & Sugar Twin
  • Sucralose – Splenda
  • Neotame – NA
  • Advantame – A Candy Leaf, Solar Crystals, Steviva, Truvia & PureVia

Low-calorie options

Different sweeteners, which are sometimes utilized in eating regimen meals, meals labeled as “sugar-free”, and sugar-free gum, are sugar alcohols.

Per the American Society for Diet: “Sugar alcohols are barely decrease in energy than sugar and don’t promote tooth decay or trigger a sudden improve in blood glucose.”

The most typical sugar alcohols are Maltitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Erythritol, and Isomalt (that’s a whole lot of names to recollect, so I usually simply categorize them because the ‘ols’).

They do certainly have an effect on your blood sugar lower than common sugar, however their major downside is that additionally they work as laxatives. Which means they more than likely provides you with fuel or trigger bloating. I can eat a few of them in small quantities however my physique reacts badly to Xylitol.

Sugar alcohols provide you with about 2.5 energy/gram versus 4 energy/gram for normal sugar so should you can abdomen them (pun meant), you possibly can cut back the blood sugar affect by 50% by utilizing any of those sweeteners. To me, this isn’t actually definitely worth the potential well being points and unwanted effects.

So what are the perfect sweeteners for individuals with diabetes?

Generally, there isn’t a purpose not to decide on one of many pure sweeteners that don’t have an effect on blood sugar – Stevia, monk fruit, or allulose. They’re all nice for individuals with diabetes and you’ll select whichever one you assume tastes the perfect. For baking, Stevia within the Uncooked is my most well-liked sweetener because it retains its style and acts probably the most like sugar when heated.

Synthetic sweeteners and sugar alcohols usually are not horrible, however they do doubtlessly have unwanted effects, the commonest of which is digestive points. I, due to this fact, see no purpose to make use of them when pure and secure options can be found.

Sugar substitutes similar to honey and agave nectar are basically equivalent to regular sugar in terms of blood sugar affect. I do preserve each sugar and honey in the home for the uncommon events the place I need to bake one thing actually decadent (like a birthday cake), however I attempt to use it as little as doable.

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