People with diabetes cannot eat sweets is the popular belief. Today, there are several alternatives for such people and they can still indulge in their cravings. There are several sugar substitutes that are low in glycemic index and can be used instead of sugar. People with diabetes should avoid sugars because they are very high in carbohydrates and glucose. Sugar substitutes have a lower amount of calories and glucose, and they suit the needs of a diabetic patient.
Initially, the American Diabetes Association suggested that sugar should be avoided and sugar substitutes can be used. They believed that the human body digested the sugar easily and caused the blood sugar to go up. However, today the same belief is considered inaccurate. Several studies have indicated that the blood glucose levels rise the same amount with refined starches, such as white flour and white rice. Based on this, the American Diabetes Association has changed the recommendations saying regular sugar can be used by diabetics.
Refined sugar is a carbohydrate and it has more calories. Sugary foods usually are high in calories and also contain a lot of fat. It is recommended to check your blood sugar level after you consume sugary foods.
There are two natural substitutes for sugar and are safe to use.
Stevia is a natural substitute and comes from a plant from South America. It has been approved by the FDA and is available in stores. However, it is very expensive as it has not been patented.
Xylitol is also natural and is derived from food that has sugars in them. It tastes like sugar exactly. However, if taken in large doses, it can cause diarrhea.
There are three artificial substitutes for sugar. However these sweeteners should not be used in large quantities. Since they are not naturally derived, they could cause unknown side effects.
Saccharin in significant amounts has known to cause cancer in rats. For people who are worried, there is scientific evidence to show that saccharin does not cause cancer in humans.
Aspartame is one of the most common artificial sweeteners. There are some side effects to using it and therefore, it should be used sparingly.
Sucralose found in Splenda can be used for baking and in large quantities. It is considered safe and has not shown any side effects. The sweetener has been developed further. However, long term usage and safety of the chemical is unknown and has not been tested. Splenda is approved by the United States FDA as a safe product.
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