Diabetes can defiantly limit a patient’s food options.
Sugar is one of the most addictive substances known to man, and once diagnosed to have diabetes, there is a strong need to avoid sugary foods to maintain their blood sugar level.
There are Low-calorie sweeteners or sugar substitutes which are commonly used in foods to reduce calorie and carbohydrate intake; these sugar substitutes also help to reduce curb cravings.
Artificial sweeteners can be found in:
- Diet drinks
- Baked goods
- Frozen desserts
- Chewing gum
- Health drinks
- Syrups and Some medicating.
Stand-alone sweeteners are very commonly used to add to coffee or tea. The sweetening power of these substitutes is 100 times stronger than regular sugar; hence it is essential to remember that only a small amount is needed.
Currently, many artificial sweeteners have been tested and approved by various health governing bodies. Numerous scientific studies have been performed on each of them to confirm they are safe for consumption.
- Saccharin and Sucralose are few from the list.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has established an ‘acceptable daily intake’ (ADI) for each of the products. This represents the amount of a food ingredient that can be used safely daily over a lifetime without risk.
Although the FDA generally consider these sugar substitutes to be safe, it is still best to consume them in moderation.
- While visiting the supermarket, all products with labels like diabetes-friendly, sugar-free, no added sugar, are all products that have sugar substitutes containing carb or hidden carbs which have the potential to raise blood sugar levels.
- It is advised to check for nutrition facts to see how many grams of carbohydrates are in each serving. Look for foods containing less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates.
- Some of the drawbacks of these products are seen where people can end up consuming more of them because of the misperception that it is healthy, which can often lead to nutrition deficiencies over time.
- People may end up having inadequate calorie intake and risk of low sugars if the meal with these substitutes are overused.
Remember, moderation is always the key. Sugar-Free should be used only as an aid to meet the cravings and once can tide over the need for sugar in your diet. It is best to be Free from Sugar and sugar-free.
- Low-calorie sweetener: American Diabetes Association http://archives.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/artificial-sweeteners/
- Navigating nutrition claims: ADA https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/understanding-food-labels/nutrient-content
- Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323469#stevia