Are you struggling to control your sweet tooth?
When you have diabetes, including sweets in your diet requires careful planning. However, it can be hard to just save sweets for special occasions.
Curb Your Cravings
Foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners are another option that may help curb your cravings for something sweet.
Sometimes artificial sweeteners are also called low-calorie sweeteners, sugar substitutes or non-nutritive sweeteners. They can be used to sweeten food and drinks for less calories and carbohydrate when they replace sugar.
The sweetening power of most artificial sweeteners is at least 100 times more intense than regular sugar, so only a small amount is needed when you use these sugar substitutes.
Also, with the exception of aspartame, all of the sweeteners listed below cannot be broken down by the body. They pass through our systems without being digested so they provide no extra calories.
Still, many foods containing artificial sweeteners will provide calories and carbohydrates from other ingredients. That means foods that carry claims like "sugar-free," "reduced sugar" or "no sugar added" are not necessarily carbohdyrate-free or lower in carbohydrates than the original version of the food. Always check the nutrition facts panel, even for foods that carry these claims.
There are five artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- acesulfame potassium (also called acesulfame K)
These sweeteners are used by food companies to make diet drinks, baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, light yogurt, and chewing gum. You can buy them to use as table top sweeteners. Add them to coffee, tea, or sprinkle them on top of fruit. Some are also available in "granular" versions which can be used in cooking and baking.
What's The Deal With Stevia?
Stevia is also referred to as Rebaudioside A, Reb-A, or rebiana. Technically, Reb-A is a highly purified product that comes from the stevia plant and is several hundred times sweeter than sugar. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Reb-A is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as a food additive and table top sweetener. When something is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, it means that experts have agreed that it is safe for use by the public in appropriate amounts.
For more information, visit the Food and Drug Administration website at www.fda.gov.
Sugar Substitutes in the Store
The chart below lists the brand names seen in stores for each sweetener:
|Sweetener Name||Brand Names Found in Stores|
|Saccharin||Sweet 'N Low|
|Stevia/Rebaudioside A||A Sweet Leaf|
For more information about any of the above products, use your preferred search engine to search for and visit the manufacturer's website.
Cutting Calories and Carbohydrate—Artificial sweeteners have no carbohydrates and do not increase blood glucose levels.
Last Reviewed: August 1, 2013
Last Edited: September 24, 2013
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