​What Sweetener Should I Use If I Have Diabetes

Foods can be sweetened in a number of ways. This includes adding real sweeteners like sugar or honey, adding artificial sweeteners, adding sugar alcohols, or by adding fruit and fruit juice. So what is the best option for diabetes health? Both artificial sweetener and sugar alcohols are used frequently by those with diabetes, however may not be the best choice. Artificial sweeteners come with a plethora of artificial and possible harmful ingredients. Additionally, some research points to the fact that consuming artificial sweeteners may still cause rises in blood sugar levels. Sugar alcohols are not readily digested and can cause gastrointestinal problems should you consume too much. 

Many people with diabetes believe that they cannot consume any real sugar or honey, but the reality is that when on a diabetic diet, there are no foods necessarily off limits, but rather there are many foods that should be limited in portion. Sugars and sweets are some of these foods. When it comes to honey versus sugar, both raise blood sugar levels identically, so while honey is a more natural sweetener, it will have the same affects as white sugar. It is safe to use, but moderation must be practiced. 

The best way to control sweets cravings on a diabetic diet is through portion control. Limiting the amount of real sweetener used is the best way to control spikes in blood sugar levels. Consuming fruit rather than sweets themselves is another great way to satisfy a sweet tooth while not overconsuming sugars or carbohydrates. In fact, a diabetic diet is very similar to the general diet recommendations given to the general public. This includes consuming a variety of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds while minimizing consumption of high fat and high sugar foods. 

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