“Safe” Sweeteners for Type 2 Diabetics
Many of our patients are working diligently to decrease their sugars and reverse their diabetes. Some are simply trying to maintain good health by avoiding sugars as a general rule. This leaves only a few options for sweetening foods and drinks without causing issues with sugars.
Stevia is what we generally recommend, and many are fine with it. But, there are many who simply don’t like the strange metallic aftertaste that comes with adding stevia to foods.
We have found a brand of stevia that has been formulated to not have the metallic aftertaste. The other great thing about this brand is that the ingredients are very simple. The powdered stevia (which also comes in packets) is just that – powdered stevia. No other mysterious ingredients added. The liquid is in a glycerin base.
We’ve been able to find it for sale on amazon (www.amazon.com). The product is coming from Canada and we are looking to try to find a source of it in the U.S.
Other sweeteners that (so far) appear safe and beneficial for diabetics:
- Lo Han Fruit extract is from the Monk Fruit and can purchased at health food stores or at www.amazon.com
- Erythritol is a a sugar alcohol. Less bloating and gas than other sugar alcohols
- Xylitol is another sugar alcohol. Large amounts may cause bloating and gas
I get asked about agave nectar quite often. If you are working to prevent or reverse diabetes, Do NOT use this sweetener. It is almost no different that high fructose corn syrup, which, although it doesn’t directly raise blood Glucose, it raises blood Fructose and leads to fatty liver and insulin resistance.
Precaution regarding any sweeteners, even the ‘safe’ ones listed above: Any sweetener used too liberally will lead to and worsen sugar/sweet cravings, so even with the safe stuff, use only when necessary, and in limited amounts. Lightly sweeten your drink/food without going overboard, and remember that most of the natural safe sweeteners are hundreds of times sweeter than regular sugar so you won’t need to use them in equal measure.