It is important for every person to keep the levels of blood sugar as stable as possible. It doesn’t matter whether we have diabetes or not; a balanced diet is key to healthy living.
Most people can’t imagine their days without eating anything sweet, after all, it is very hard to avoid the cravings we all tend to get.
However, if we want to balance and stabilize our glucose, it would be helpful if we knew what kind of sweeteners we can get. There is a huge variety at our disposal. This is what we need to know about sweeteners.
- All we need to know about sweeteners;
- How to use sweeteners in cooking;
- The different kinds of sweeteners;
- How to safely consume sweeteners.
All We Need to Know About Sweeteners
Sweeteners are additives that give a sweet taste, but they are very different from the typical sugar. These additives have less food energy. At first, some of the sweeteners are produced naturally, but they lose their health benefits after production. The synthetically produced sweeteners are called artificial sweeteners.
How to Use Sweeteners in Cooking
We can easily purchase any kind of sweeteners; they even come in different forms like tablets, granules or liquid form. The following are the best for cooking:
- Sucralose and acesulfame-K;
Firstly, sucralose is used in Splenda, whereas acesulfame-K is a part of the Hermesatas Gold sweetener. These products are excellent for baking and cooking. The sucralose is obtained from natural substances, and yet it is marked as an artificial product because it is refined and processed. This kind of product comes from the stevia plant.
Secondly, the stevia plant is a herb that is very sweet and is a great substitute for sugar. As such, this plant is ideal for the health, the control of blood sugar and even cholesterol. Therefore, this type of sweeteners belongs to the ‘’ natural ‘’ category.
Moreover, the sweeteners made from this plant like the Stevia and Truvia contain no calories, yet they are 200-300 times sweeter than the typical sugar. So, this is why they are ideal for baking and cooking.
Aspartame, on the other hand, can be a bit troublesome, because it loses some of its sweetness if we expose it to high temperature. We can find this sweetener in Canderel.
Finally, it is important to know what kind of sweeteners we need, and if they contain any calories or carbohydrates. After all, every individual has different goals for eating healthy.
Different Kinds of Sweeteners
There are two types of sweeteners, the nutritive and non-nutritive. The nutritive provide the body with calories and enhance the flavor and texture of the food, whereas the non-nutritive sweeteners are low in calories.
These kinds of sweeteners are also known as ‘sugars.’ This is how we can recognize them on the labels if we are looking for calorie-free labels:
- Syrup, etc.
Furthermore, there is a group of sweeteners that are also known as sugar alcohols (polyols). They are either naturally or artificially created.
Even though they contain calories and carbohydrates, they do not affect the blood sugar levels more than sugar does. These types of sweeteners are:
Is Polyos Suitable for Diabetics?
According to the European Commission Regulations and Diabetes UK, consuming a lot of polyols can have a completely opposite effect. It causes diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. Yet, the product says ‘ suitable for diabetics.’
On the contrary, though, these products contain a lot of calories and fat. So that is why the European Commission Regulations and Diabetes UK believe it is best to avoid them.
People can know how much calories they consume by eating this type of sweetener if they determine the type of polyol and how much they digest carbohydrates in their system. So, it is best to ask for advice from a nutritionist or a health care team.
Moreover, this information is important for people who need to control the insulin dose, and it all depends on how many carbohydrates they consume.
These types of sweeteners are consumed to lower the total intake of calories and carbohydrates and are a great substitute for sugar. These sweeteners are known as ‘ artificial sweeteners .’ We can find them is:
- Fruit juices;
- Fizzy drinks;
- ‘Sugar-free’ foods and drinks;
- Chewing gum;
- ‘Diet’ foods, etc.
In the UK there are different kinds of artificial sweeteners like:
- Sucralose, used in Splenda;
- Aspartame, used in Canderel, Hermesetas granulated;
- Cyclamate, used in Hermesetas Liquid;
- Saccharin, used in Hermesetas mini sweeteners;
- Acesulfame potassium (acesulfame-K), used in Hermesetas Gold sweetener;
There are even products that are created by combining two artificial sweeteners together to form a completely different product.
How to Safely Consume Sweeteners
The European Commission makes sure that all the products in the EU, especially the non-nutritive sweeteners are safe to consume. They prepare strict testing to make sure they are suitable for consumers.
Moreover, manufacturers make sure to support their products when they provide valid evidence from safety researchers. It is crucial for every manufacturing company to complete the testing phase.
The most important thing for every consumer is to know that they are buying a product that is safe for them and their family. That is where this research comes in. It has to approve that the product:
- Doesn’t cause allergies;
- Doesn’t affect reproduction;
- Is easily digested;
- Doesn’t cause any adverse effects, for example, cancer.
How Much is Enough?
The Acceptable Daily Intake ( ADI ) depends on the amounts of body weight per kilogram, to make sure that the person doesn’t consume too much. So, it is important to lower the risk of diabetes or any other condition.
For some people, it is hard to reach the ADI level because it is 100 times less than the smallest amount. The ADI measures how much an individual consumes a food additive on a daily basis or during the entire life, without harming their body. They measure the ADI level in milligrams of the substance.
Do We Need Sugar?
The answer is yes, our body needs sugar to create energy and survive. Thus, it is not a good idea to avoid sugar altogether. A balanced diet is key to eating healthy. The body needs sugar, salt, fat to keep our body strong and energetic.
Moreover, we need to keep our blood pressure, blood glucose, weight and cholesterol in check at all times. Also, by eating less sugar than we normally do, it will help our body control the blood glucose level because sugar is a type of carbohydrate that affects the glucose levels.
So whether we decide to eat sweeteners and we have diabetes, it is best to ask a nutritionist or a health care team for advice. It all depends on our personal liking. So, maybe now it will be easier for us to check the labels on the packaging we purchase.