Be Sweetener SAAVY!
If you have diabetes or are looking to lose weight, artificial sweeteners/sugar
substitutes are a way you can enjoy sweetened foods and beverages but still manage your
blood sugar and weight. Which artificial sweetener should you use and how should you use it?
Use this handout as a guide to choosing which artificial sweetener is right for you.
Sweeteners What is it? Examples
Sugar A naturally occurring carbohydrate. It Brown sugar, Cane
contains calories and raises your blood sugar, Confectioners
sugar level. sugar, Fructose, Honey,
Reduced- calorie Have about half the calories of sugar. Isomalt, Maltitol,
sweetener They can raise your blood sugar level, but Mannitol, Sorbitol, and
not as much as other carbohydrates. Xylitol.
(Sugar Alcohols) Caution: too much may cause diarrhea! (Found in sugar free
candy and gum)
Artificial sweeteners Created in a lab rather than found Splenda, Equal, Sweet
naturally. Contain no calories and are ‘N Low
considered “free foods.”
What about Packaged Foods?
What does it mean when food products say NO SUGAR, NO ADDED SUGAR,
SUGAR FREE, or ALL NATURAL?
No Sugar The product does not contain “real” sugars at all. It may contain sugar
alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
No Added Sugar During processing, no extra “real” sugar was added. However, the
original source might naturally contain sugar such as fructose in fruit
juice. Additional sweeteners such as sugar alcohols or artificial
sweeteners may be added.
Sugar free The product contains no “real” sugars. It may contain sugar alcohols or
All Natural The product does not contain artificial ingredients. It may contain
natural sweeteners, such as sugars or sugar alcohols.
Artificial Sweeteners for People with Diabetes: Listed below are Food Drug Administration (FDA) approved and American
Diabetes Association recommended sugar substitutes for use by individuals with diabetes.
Type Brands Sweetness Daily Limits How to cook with it Comments
Saccharin Sweet’N Low 200-700x Equivalent to 9-12 packets Replace 1cup of sugar with 24 packets, 2
FDA & Sweet sweeter per day tablespoons of saccharin liquid, or 1c of brown
Approved Twin than sugar sugar saccharin
Aspartame Equal, 160-220x Equivalent to 97 packets per High temperatures can diminish aspartame’s Contains
1981 FDA NutraSweet, sweeter day (About 18 – 19 cans of sweetness. Avoid using with baking. phenylalanine, which
Approved Natra Taste than sugar diet soda) can be harmful to
Should be avoided by
Sucralose Splenda 600x Equivalent to 29 packets a Granular version measures cup for cup of
1998 FDA sweeter day (About 6 cans of diet sugar. If you use the half sugar or brown sugar
Approved than sugar soda) blend, replace 1cup of sugar w/ a ½cup of the
Stevia Truvia, 250-300x Daily allowance not Each brand recommends its own sugar-to- Derived from the
2008 FDA PureVia, sweeter established for U.S. adults at stevia ratio. Start by replacing a cup of sugar whole leaf of the
Approved SweetLeaf, than sugar this time. with 24 teaspons or 8 tablespoons of stevia. stevia plant.
Stevia in the
Agave Wholesome somewhat Replace each cup of sugar with two-thirds to Has the same
Nectar Sweeteners, sweeter three-quarters cup of agave nectar, and then amount of calories
Madhava, than sugar reduce all other liquids in the recipe by a and carbs as sugar. It
and Volcanic quarter. Lower your oven temperature by 25 has a low glycemic
Nectar degrees to prevent burning, and shorten the index so will not raise
cooking time on cookies by 3-5 minutes and your blood sugar as
cakes by 7 – 10 minutes. much.