Food is one our greatest pleasures, and if you are like a lot of people, foods that are sweet is what can really make your taste buds go off. But if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes (or just want to maintain a steady blood sugar level), you could have a hard time finding sweets that will not send your glucose levels for a wild ride.
A lot of people who have blood sugar issues usually turn to other sweeteners to help keep their blood sugar levels on a more steady course. These products will sweeten just about everything from your morning cup of coffee to your after-supper cake without having the blood sugar increase and drop of normal sweeteners.
Wondering how the “healthier” sweeteners stack up? We have made a list of three of the best ones for your blood sugar levels. Here they are, in great to not-so-great order.
1 — Stevia
What has got zero carbs, zero calories and a glycemic index rating of zero? Stevia! Due to its low glycemic index, stevia does not increase blood sugar levels at all. In fact, there is one small study that discovered it can actually lower your insulin and your blood glucose level. There are not many sweeteners out there that have that claim to fame.
If you don’t know much about the glycemic index, it’s a ranking system that assigns foods a score that shows how much they increase blood sugar levels. Zero is the best score!
2 — Splenda
Splenda came to the United States market in 1998, and ever since then it has become the go-to sweetener for commercially-made and home pastries, ice creams, beverages and more. Splenda performs the almost-magical feat of adding flavor to foods with around 600 times the sweetness that sugar has—and with none of the calories sugar has.
Splenda has zero calories and it also does not appear to have an affect blood glucose levels. In the twenty years since its introduction, many studies have shown that Splenda does not raise your blood sugar levels at all.
Plus, contrary to what many people believe, there is not conclusive evidence to indicate that Splenda causes cancer, and the National Toxicology Program hasn’t listed it as a known carcinogen.
3 — Erythritol
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is made by fermenting the foods that naturally have sugar in them, such as wheat or corn. Unlike many other sweeteners that are a lot sweeter than table sugar is, this one is actually less sweet than sugar. Most estimates have placed its sweetness at about 70% of sugar’s.
Erythritol might be hard to pronounce, but it is easy on your blood sugar levels. Like several other options on the list, erythritol’s glycemic index is zero and it has zero calories. And although it does get absorbed in your small intestine, it isn’t metabolized—meaning it leaves the body intact in your urine. Some individuals have reported digestive issues after consuming a large amount of erythritol, but most people can tolerate it well.