Diabetes has many effects on the body, but one thing it doesn’t change is your sweet tooth. The challenge for many people with diabetes is satisfying that love for sugary goodness from time to time when they need to keep such a watchful eye on their blood sugar levels.
But grocery shelves are full of artificial sweeteners and products containing them that can take care of those cravings without affecting blood sugar levels. But not all artificial sweeteners are the same, and as you shop for packets of sweetener or treats made with them, here are some facts and differences to know.
Difference Between Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners
Sugars, including brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners’ sugar, fructose, honey, and molasses, are naturally occurring carbohydrates. They all contain calories and raise blood glucose levels.
Some reduced-calorie sweeteners are made of sugar alcohols. With names like isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, you may find them on the labels of sugar-free candy and gum. They have about half the calories of natural sugars, and while they can raise your blood glucose levels, they won’t do so as much as other carbs.
But lab-designed artificial sweeteners are considered “free foods” that contain no calories and will not raise blood sugar levels.
Types of Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners include:
- Sold under such familiar names as Sweet’N Low or Sugar Twin, you can use saccharin in hot and cold foods, but pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid this sweetener.
- Sweeteners such as NutraSweet and Equal are made of aspartame and can be used in cold and warm foods, but people who have a condition called phenylketonuria should avoid aspartame.
- Acesulfame potassium or ace-K (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet, Sunett). You can use it in cold and hot foods, including baking and cooking.
- Sucralose (Splenda). You can use it in hot and cold foods, including baking and cooking. Processed foods often contain it.
- Advantame is an artificial sweetener that can be used in baked goods, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages, candies, chewing gum, frozen desserts, frostings, gelatins and puddings, jams and jellies, processed fruits and fruit juices, toppings, and syrups.
Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check With CGM
Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, keeping blood glucose levels as close to your target level as possible is a critical element of diabetes management. One way to ensure that you keep your blood levels in check is through Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). It is a tested, approved, accurate, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes monitor keep abreast of their blood sugar levels 24/7 without any need to stop what their doing to take a blood sample.
Speak with your doctor and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.