Sweeteners and Diabetes

The Best Choice and How to Find It

Just about everyone has a sweet tooth, including your clients with type 2 diabetes. As an RDN, it’s in your power to present your clients with information about how they can indulge healthfully. With so many sweeteners marketed toward those with diabetes, it can be challenging for clients to determine the best choices – a vital question, as poorly managed type 2 diabetes increases the risk of CVD, hypertension, and certain cancers.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, an estimated 30.2 million adults – almost 1 in 8 – in the United States have diabetes. This doesn’t include the 84.1 million adults with prediabetes, 15% to 30% of whom will develop type 2 diabetes within five years without lifestyle interventions that include moderate physical activity and weight loss.

‘Natural’ Sweeteners

Your clients probably understand that white cane sugar should be incorporated sparingly in their diet, but they may be confused about the many “natural” sweeteners on the market, such as the following, that claim to be safer for those with diabetes:

  • Honey often is touted as safer than sugar for those with diabetes, but it still comprises 82% sugar. In one study, subjects given honey, cane sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup saw no notable difference in blood glucose increases between the substances.
  • Agave nectar, another popular sugar alternative, can contain as much as 90% liquid fructose, which is even more fructose than is found in plain sugar.
  • Maple syrup is 66% sugar.
  • One Medjool date contains 16 g sugar, which is 89% of its carbohydrate content.

The bottom line is that no matter how “natural” it is, all sugar increases blood glucose levels, which can impact diabetes management.

Artificial Sweeteners

While artificial sweeteners – such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (aka Ace K), saccharin, and neotame – technically have low or no glycemic index and are recognized as safe for people with diabetes, their effects on our gut during digestion are still unknown.

What’s more, recent studies show that sucralose creates two previously unidentified metabolites in the body that can be detected for up to 11 days after ingesting sucralose and six days after sucralose has completely left the body.

Best of Both Worlds

Fortunately for your clients with diabetes, there is a sweetener that’s both natural and safe: stevia. Stevia is a zero-glycemic, zero-calorie sweetener that’s 300 times sweeter than sugar.

However, not all stevia is created equal. Due to its high intensity (one serving is 1/80 of a teaspoon), stevia must be mixed with another substance to cut its sweetness, which can create other problems for people with diabetes. Most brands of stevia are mixed with the following:

  • Dextrose is derived from corn and is chemically identical to glucose, which means it increases blood glucose levels.
  • Maltodextrin, a derivative of cornstarch, is rapidly dissolved by the body as glucose and has a high glycemic index, raising blood glucose levels.

So, how can you guide your clients with diabetes to the safest stevia that will meet their needs and taste great?

The Sweet Answer

Pyure is a USDA Certified Organic, plant-based, Non-GMO Project Verified sugar alternative that contains no calories, no sugar, and nothing artificial. Its great-tasting flagship line of tabletop sweeteners mixes stevia with organic erythritol. Erythritol is less sweet than sugar, while stevia sweeter than sugar, making these two a perfect match. Erythritol’s crystalline shape mimics the appearance of sugar, making your clients’ sugar swap even easier. And, unlike dextrose and maltodextrin, erythritol doesn’t compromise stevia’s safety and healthfulness for those with diabetes.

In addition to standing out as a non-GMO, organic option for people with diabetes, Pyure is convenient and has widespread availability. Clients nationwide can find Pyure at their local Walmart or order it from Amazon with a click or tap. With a large range of products – from liquid extracts and portable packets to honey and maple syrup alternatives – Pyure Stevia meets the needs of every client with diabetes. Whether clients are avid bakers or simply like to add a little sweetness to their morning coffee or tea without the blood glucose spike, there’s a Pyure product for them.

Visit PyureOrganic.com/recipes for delicious recipes, including Pumpkin Spice Latte, Overnight Oats, Avocado Ranch Dressing, and No-Sugar-Added Pumpkin Pie for a more healthful holiday season.

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