Sugar substitutes bring back the sweetness in the lives of diabetic people, without the fear of increasing their blood sugar levels. Read on to know more..
Diabetics are often advised to steer clear of sugar, as it brings about considerable elevation in the blood sugar levels of a diabetic person. This means, that these people have to forgo many of their favorite sweet delicacies. However, by using sugar substitutes, you neither have to sacrifice your craving for sweet food nor fear rising sugar levels in blood. The best sugar substitutes are 100% sugar free and are often touted as ‘free foods’, which means they are also low on calories and carbohydrates.
Saccharin is by far the most commonly used sugar substitute all over the world. Earlier the use of saccharin was highly objected, as it was believed to produce cancerous cells among rats tested in laboratory. However, further research dismissed any link between saccharin and cancer and gave it a clean chit for human consumption. Saccharine is best used for cold recipes and drinks like cold tea etc. It can also be used for hot drinks, however, it leaves a slight bitter aftertaste when used in hot foods.
Aspartame is yet another popular choice for sugar substitutes. It tastes best when used in cold recipes and is hardly used in cooking. Its sweetening properties begin to diminish with rise in temperature. This is the reason why it is not used for cooking purpose.
This is the best artificial sugar substitute for diabetics as it is very low in calories. It can also be used for cooking due to its ability to resist heating.
Sucralose is the recent introduction in the market of artificial sweeteners for diabetics. It is extremely low on calories and can be used for cooking purpose. It can also be used in hot beverages without any alteration in taste and flavor.
Stevia is a natural sweetener which is manufactured from the extract of a plant called Stevia Rebaudiana. The leaves of this plant are first dried and then crushed to make a powder. This powder can then be used as a sweetener for a variety of dishes. Stevia can be used in almost the same manner as table sugar. Some blends can leave a bitter aftertaste, hence make sure to taste the flavor before using it in large amounts for a certain recipe. Stevia is very beneficial for diabetic people as it actually helps to lower the blood sugar levels.
Agave nectar is obtained from agave plant which is rich in pulp. The syrup made from agave is somewhat similar but less viscous than honey. The sweetness of agave nectar is due to the fructose in it. Agave syrup has low glycemic value which makes it safe for consumption by diabetic people without the risk of raising diabetes blood sugar levels.
Yacon is a plant which is very similar to sunflower. Although, it is mainly found in Andes mountains, it is cultivated as a food crop all across the world. The stalk of yacon is eaten raw or used for other cooking purposes. The roots of yacon are very sweet, owing to the large fructose content. The fructose found in yacon is not easily digested by the body as it does not break into sugar. This helps to control the levels of sugar in diabetic people.
Thus, there are a myriad sugar substitutes for diabetics which are safe to consume. However, diabetic people should avoid packaged foods with artificial sweeteners as these foods are often loaded with carbohydrates to enhance their flavor.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.