Many consider diabetics should abstain from sugary drinks. Many sugar substitute ingredients do not trigger a rise in blood sugar levels. Why Stevia is: Best Sugar Substitute Diabetics, see why!
what is a natural sweetener for diabetics? can brown sugar be used as a substitute? in the chart alternative natural sweeteners are friendly, there are several types of artificial sweeteners listed. learn more about it.
Are there healthier sugar substitutes for diabetics?
One of the most frequently asked questions around diabetes mellitus is can I still eat sweet foods? Sugar is often considered as the cause of diabetes because this disease is also known as sugar disease or diabetes.
Many diabetics switch to using artificial sweeteners or even honey and palm sugar as a sugar substitute for diabetes. However, which is the safest and healthiest to replace granulated sugar?
What is granulated sugar?
The sugar you usually use every day in addition to food and beverages is cane sugar. This sugar is obtained from sugar cane plants that are processed and heated.
The result of this process is crystals, or more commonly known as granulated sugar. The limit of consumption of granulated sugar in a day according to the Ministry of Health is 4 tablespoons or the equivalent of 148 calories.
What is artificial sweetener?
Artificial sweeteners are a type of sweetener whose raw materials cannot be found in nature and produced through chemical processes. Examples of artificial sweeteners are aspartame, cycloalkane, sucralose, and saccharine.
This type of artificial sweetener is commonly used in processed foods such as syrups, sodas, jams, special foods intended for diabetics, or diet-specific foods.
If you see a product that has a sugar-free label, try checking the composition. There are usually additional artificial sweeteners in it.
Artificial sweeteners have been set limits on their use. For example aspartame, the limit of consumption per day is 40 mg /kg. This means that if you weigh 60 kg, then your aspartame consumption limit in a day is 2400 mg.
By comparison, one can of diet soda contains aspartame levels of about 180 mg. That way in a day you are allowed to consume approximately 13 cans of diet soda.
Can honey and palm sugar be sugar substitutes for diabetes?
Granulated sugar belongs to a simple type of carbohydrate. Unfortunately, natural sweeteners, such as brown sugar, palm sugar, and honey are also included in simple carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates have a high glycemic index (GI), so they are processed faster into glucose in the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels tend to rise faster (hyperglycemia) after consuming these various natural sweeteners.
In other words, brown sugar and palm sugar, as well as honey are no better to use as sugar substitutes for diabetics.
Indeed, honey has a lower glycemic index (61) than granulated sugar which has an IG value of 65. However, both have similar abilities to raise blood sugar quickly.
Daily sugar intake for diabetes
Limiting daily sugar intake needs to be done by everyone, not just for diabetics.
The sugar in question is any kind of sweetener that is a simple carbohydrate, such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. White sugar or granulated sugar belongs to the sucrose group.
According to research, the maximum intake of sugar per day for diabetics is less than 30 grams or about 7 tablespoons.
This sugar intake is not only derived from the sugar contained in sweeteners, but also from all foods containing simple carbohydrates. In comparison, 1 pack of chocolate biscuits contains at least 1 spoonful of sugar.
However, the WHO in 2015 also recommended reducing daily sugar consumption by a maximum of up to 6 tablespoons per day for both diabetics and healthy children and adults.
Why Stevia is: Best Sugar Substitute for Diabetics
Stevia is a plant native to South America that has been known for hundreds of years as a natural sweetener.
Before being widely used by the world as a substitute for sugar, Japan had first used it after saccharine (artificial sweetener) was then banned for use because it was considered dangerous.
Stevia is now available all over the world. This natural sweetener is usually sold in powdered or liquid form.
Stevia can be used to give a sweet taste to the drink, as well as a mixture to make cakes.
With a taste 250–300 times sweeter than sugar, stevia is used in small amounts to give it the desired sweetness.
Considering that 2008, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged the security of stevia to be used as a sugar substitute sweetener.
However, stevia consumption should still be limited, which is a maximum of 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. For example, if a person weighs 50 kg, then he should only consume a maximum of 200 milligrams of stevia a day.
As a substitute for sugar, stevia has several positive sides. However, stevia is also found to have some mild side effects that you need to know.
Advantages of using stevia
Yes, the very first benefit of stevia is the fact that it includes zero calories. This makes it very different from sugar, which can instantly make your calorie intake skyrocket. Therefore, stevia is suitable for those who want to maintain weight or gain ideal weight.
Blood sugar levels are stable
Stevia does not affect blood sugar levels. Besides, other studies have shown that stevia can even lower blood sugar levels 20–30 minutes after consumption.
Stevia is also able to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, stevia is relatively safe to consume can even provide benefits for people with diabetes.
Lower blood pressure
In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, stevia can also lower blood pressure. This is certainly beneficial for people with high blood pressure disease.
Derived from the leaves of the plant, stevia is a natural sweetener. In other words, this sweetener is natural.
Does not change nutritional levels
The addition of stevia to food and beverages does not change the nutritional content contained in these foods and beverages. Thus, the content of vitamins and minerals in foods or beverages mixed with stevia will be kept safe.
The negative side of stevia
Although rare and mild in effects, over-consumed stevia can cause bloating, bloating, and nausea complaints. This is because stevia is digested by bacteria in the colon, where it produces gas.
People who take medications that lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure should be careful if they are going to take stevia. Because if consumed together in too large quantities, the natural sweetener is feared to cause simultaneous effects that make blood sugar levels and blood pressure too low.
Stevia is 250–300 times sweeter than sugar. However, stevia can also leave a bitter taste on the tongue after consumption. This is feared to make some people uncomfortable.
Stevia prices are usually more expensive than conventional sugars, aspartame, or sucralose. So, you have to spend a little money if you want to enjoy stevia.
Risk of allergies
Since stevia is a plant, there is still a risk of allergies to it. This is especially so for those with allergies to plants, such as sunflowers, daisies, and chrysanthemums.
Not recommended for pregnant and lactating mothers
Because researchers still have not obtained clear data, stevia is still not recommended for use by pregnant and nursing mothers.
As we know together, sugar derived from sugar cane if consumed excessively will harm the body. Stevia, a favorite sugar substitute derived from the plant of the exact same title, is also broadly employed. However, have you heard of Monk Fruit Sweetener Warnings: Why So Dangerous!!
Other artificial sweeteners as a substitute for diabetes sugar
Here are some artificial sweeteners that are commonly circulated on the market to be a sugar substitute for diabetics:
Sucralose is a type of artificial sweetener that can taste 600 times sweeter than regular sugar.
Saccharine is a pioneer of artificial sweeteners which have been promoted since a century past. This artificial sweetener tastes 300-500 times sweeter than natural sugars.
Aspartame artificial sweeteners contain very low calories with a taste that is 200 times sweeter than regular sugars.
You should still maintain a limited consumption of artificial sweeteners, which is 50 milligrams per kilogram of your body weight.
One type of artificial sweetener substitute for sugar for diabetes that is often added in packaged food and beverage products is potassium acesulfame or acesulfame-k.
That’s some zero-calorie sweetener. Are you interested in trying it out? Keep in mind to pay attention to the restrictions that have been conveyed, and avoid consuming them excessively.