People across the globe consume a lot of sugar. Sugars are the building blocks of carbohydrates. The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body in the form of glucose (blood sugar). In every 5 days, on an average 765 grams of sugar is consumed by each individual. That translates to about 130 pounds of added sugar every year, and about 3,550 pounds of sugar over the course of a lifetime.
You might be looking at these numbers in utter shock if you do not chew fistfuls of candy or drink 2-liter bottles of soda at one sitting. Much of the sugar consumption comes from hidden sources of the sweet stuff. Sometimes the so-called “healthy food” like granola or health bars, smoothies and yogurt have rich content of sugar. Below is the comprehensive list of sweeteners that diabetics should completely avoid, the ones that are not great but okay in moderation and which are the best natural sweetener for diabetics.
THE WORST – Artificial Sweetener – The artificial sweeteners are considered to be the worst of the worst culprits on the colorful display of the products. Few examples are sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, neotame and acesulfame. The chemical sweeteners can actually change the bacterial makeup of your microbiome, thus leading to weight gain, along with an increased change in autoimmune problems, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.
THE NOT SO BAD – This list includes agave nectar, turbinado, and brown rice syrup – Considered to be the “healthy” alternative for sugar, agave is low on the glycemic index but it is extremely high in fructose. Fructose may cause mineral depletion, hardening of the arteries and insulin resistance, thus leading to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and more health problems. Also known as raw cane sugar, turbinado, is not so “raw” and unrefined form of sugar. As it is highly processed, it not only removes natural impurities but also nutrients. Made of the perfect blend of brown rice and enzymes, brown rice syrup is not considered so good because sometimes barley enzymes are used which again contain gluten. Also, note that arsenic can build up due to large consumption of rice.
The BEST – Organic Coconut Palm Nectar, Heritage Palm Sugars, natural honey, and dates to name a few are considered to be the best. Organic Coconut Sweeteners are unrefined and are made from 100% pure coconut flower blossom nectar. They are naturally low on the Glycemic Index (GI 35), which has benefits for weight control and improving glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). Coconut Palm Sugar is the world’s first certified organic coconut sugar is naturally high in nutrients and low on the glycemic index. They do not contain any added cane sugar and maltodextrin, and are gluten-free and vegan.
These natural sweeteners for diabetics contain inulin fiber to help improve diabetic health because it helps to slow the absorption of glucose and keep blood-sugar levels balanced.
To be healthy, you cannot consume sugar in large quantity no matter how natural the form is. You should limit your sweetener consumption to less than five percent of your daily calorie intake. It is recommended those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes to avoid refined sugar and processed foods, and include natural sweeteners such as organic coconut palm nectar and heritage palm sugar in their diet.