Diet PlansMetabolic and Endocrine

Diabetic Food Alternatives & Foods to be Avoided

There are various artificial food alternatives for diabetics which can be used along with the natural food alternatives and modified life style in diabetes mellitus. Thought there many alternatives , it is advised to better avoid these alternatives and prefer the natural way of controlling the diabetes.

These are few foods to be avoided in the diabetic conditions and few foods to be taken as an diabetic food alternatives apart from the natural diabetic diet.

Use Artificial sweeteners instead of sugar:

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved about five different sweeteners after extensive testing. These include:

  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Aspartame
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose

Switching out some or all sugar with artificial sweeteners may help minimize the chances of experiencing a blood sugar spike.

Click here to know more about the natural diabetic foods

1. Stevia

Stevia is a very popular alternative to sugar.
Stevia is a natural plant extract sweetener that comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant.

The manufacturers extract chemical compounds called steviol glycosides from the leaves of this plant.

The extract that Is produced is highly-processed and purified product is around 300 times sweeter than sucrose, or table sugar.

Disadvantages of this stevia:

  • This sweetener is calorie-free and does not raise blood sugar levels. However, it is often more expensive than other sugar substitutes on the market.
  • Stevia also has a little bitter after taste that many people may find unpleasant and not enjoyable. For this reason, few manufacturers also add other sugars and ingredients to balance the taste.
  • Some people report nausea, bloating, and stomach upset after consuming stevia.

According to the FDA, the acceptable daily intake of stevia is 4 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of a person’s body weight.

Accordingly, a person who weighs 60 kg, or 132 pounds, can safely consume 9 packets of the tabletop sweetener version of stevia.

2. Tagatose

Tagatose is a form of fructose sweetener and is around 90 percent sweeter than sucrose.
The  Manufacturers use tagatose in foods as a low-calorie sweetener, texturizer, and stabilizer.
Scientists are interested in its potential to help manage type 2 diabetes.

Some research studies says that tagatose has a low glycemic index (GI) and may support the treatment of obesity.

GI is a ranking system that helps to measure the speed at which a type of food increases a person’s blood sugar levels.Tagatose may be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes who are following a low-GI diet.

Click here to know more about the glycemic index (GI) influence over diabetes mellites

3. Sucralose

Sucralose,(the brand name Splenda), is an artificial sweetener made from sucrose.
This sweetener is about 600 times sweeter than table sugar and contains very few calories.

This alternative sweetener is heat-stable, where as many other artificial sweeteners lose their flavor at high temperatures. This makes sucralose a popular choice for sugar-free baking and sweetening hot drinks.
The FDA have approved sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener and set an ADI of 5 mg/kg of body weight.

A person weighing 60 kg, or 132 lb, can safely consume 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of sucralose in a day.

A Recent studies have raised some health concerns.

A 2016 study found that male mice that consumed sucralose were more likely to develop malignant tumors. The researchers note that more studies are necessary to confirm the safety of sucralose.

4. Aspartame

Aspartame (brand names Nutrasweet and Equal) is a very common artificial sweetener.
It is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, and manufacturers add it to a wide variety of food products, including diet soda.

Aspartame is not a good sugar substitute for baking. Aspartame breaks down at high temperatures, so people generally only use it as a tabletop sweetener.
Aspartame is also not safe for people with a rare genetic disorder known as phenylketonuria.

The FDA consider aspartame to be safe at an ADI of 50 mg/kg of body weight. Therefore, a person who weighs 60 kg, or 132 lb, could consume 75 packets of aspartame in the form of a tabletop sweetener.

5. Acesulfame potassium

Acesulfame potassium, also known as acesulfame K and Ace-K (the brand names Sunett and Sweet One.)

This is an artificial sweetener that is around 200 times sweeter than sugar.

They have set an ADI for acesulfame potassium of 15 mg/kg of body weight. This is equivalent to a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person consuming 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of acesulfame potassium.
A 2017 study in mice has suggested a possible association between acesulfame potassium and weight gain, but further research in humans is necessary to confirm this link.

6. Saccharin

Saccharin is another widely available artificial sweetener (brands of saccharin, including Sweet Twin, Sweet’N Low, and Necta Sweet)
this is available as a zero-calorie sweetener that is 200–700 times sweeter than table sugar.

According to the FDA, there were safety concerns in the 1970s after research found a link between saccharin and bladder cancer in laboratory rats.

However, more than 30 human studies now support the safety of saccharin, and the National Institutes of Health no longer consider this sweetener to have the potential to cause cancer.

The FDA have determined the ADI of saccharin to be 15 mg/kg of body weight, which means that a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person can consume 45 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of it.

7. Neotame

Neotame (the brand name Newtame)is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that is about 7,000–13,000 times sweeter than table sugar.

This sweetener can tolerate high temperatures, making it suitable for baking.
The FDA approved neotame in 2002 as a general-purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer for all foods except for meat and poultry.

They state that more than 113 animal and human studies support the safety of neotame and have set an ADI for neotame of 0.3 mg/kg of body weight.
This is equivalent to a 60-kg, or 132-lb, person consuming 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener(source)

Artificial sweeteners and diabetes

  • Sugar, sucrose, glucose, sucrose, dextrose
    Alternative sweeteners which are made with aspartame , saccharin, or acesulfame
  • Sweeteners with some sugars added are hermitages sprinkle,boots sugar-lit, sucron
    Alternative tablets or liquid or powder or granulated eg: cadenerel, flix, sweetex hermesetas, natrena.
  • Ordinary fizzy drinks or squashes and cordials eg: cola, barley water,lemonade, lucozade, sweetened fruit juice
    Alternative like slimline and one calorie fizzy drinks, sugar free or no added sugar squash. only a small glass of pure fruity juice with a meal can need helpful

Click here to know more about the life style modifications of diabetes mellitus

Are artificial sweeteners bad for you?

Metabolic dysregulation

Researchers who presented new data at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society,1 in Chicago, say artificial sweeteners can promote ”metabolic dysregulation.” If it sounds awful that because it is.

Translations: just as sugar creates problems, so it seems do artificial sweeteners by messing up your body’s normal response to glucose and insulin, complicate rather than help weight loss efforts, and make you more prone to prediabetes and diabetes, especially if you are currently overweight.

Fat Cells Treat Sucralose Just Like Sugar

In the research study, led by Sabyasachi Sen, MD, associate professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, DC, the researchers first looked at human fat-derived stem cells in the lab, adding the sugar subsitute, sucralose, to some cell samples but not to others.

“We wanted to see if adding sucralose contributed to the process of making fat,” Dr. Sen tells EndocrineWeb.
Stem cells can change into mature fat, muscle, cartilage, or bone cells. After about 12 days, ”we could actually see the sucralose-added dish had more fat accumulation compared to the ones that did not get it,” Dr. Sen says.

Why did the cells accumulate fat?

In the lab samples, Dr. Sen explains that the sucralose seemed to change the expression of a gene known as the glucose transporter gene. The glucose transporter gene helps sugar or in this case, sugar substitutes enter cells better. However, he says, when too much gets into the cells, it gets stored as fat.

No Better for Those with Thyroid Disease

The artificial sweeteners have been linked with the kind of hypothyroidism known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition.

In a research study presented at the International Thyroid Congress in 2015, researchers reported a link between artificial sweetener use and Hashimoto’s disease.

The research team looked at 100 patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and another 125 people with a healthy thyroid, and they found a strong link between use of sugar substitutes and a link to this thyroid condition. They note that sugar substitutes also have been linked with autoimmune problems in animals.

Increased Heart Disease

In a study of 18,000 people across the United States who participated in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, those who consumed the most beverages containing sugar—including soda (soft drinks), punch, fruit-flavored drinks, and fruit juices—had the greatest risk of dying from heart disease and other causes.

These individuals were followed for nearly seven years and the findings held after the authors controlled for smoking, age, body weight, alcohol use, income, region of the country, and level of physical activity. The rate of death was highest, nearly double, that of people who consumed the least amount of sugar-laden drinks.(source)

Click here to know more about guidelines about diabetes mellitus

8 Ways to Enjoy Sweets Without Added Sugar or Sugar Alternatives: 

  • Add a splash of unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk to your coffee
  • Prepare your pancake batter with some unsweetened applesauce or grated apple.
  • Add a splash of fresh orange juice to your homemade salad dressing, or your French toast batter.
  • Grate some carrots into your tomato sauce or bake some moist carrot muffins
  • Stir some pineapple chunks into your stir-fry or top your chicken or fish with sliced pineapple or orange before baking.
  • Slice some roasted beets into your salad or bake into a chocolaty “red velvet” cake.
  • Dates, not terribly appealing to most of us on their own, have great qualities for replacing cane sugar in your favorite baked recipes; try brownies, peanut butter pie, or no-bake cheesecake.
  • Defrost frozen berries and add, still warm, to a bowl of oatmeal or mix into plain yogurt, and sprinkle with diced walnuts.
  • Top your burger—beef, turkey, salmon, veggie—with caramelized onions.
  • As a last resort, Stevia, plant-based alternative sweetener, offers a very concentrated sugar like flavor when none of the options above work for you; just go sparingly and use only occasionally. The more you rely on intense added sweeteners, the more you may crave them and nothing else.(source)

Part Sugar, Part Sweetener

Some brands offer pre-made blends of sugar and low-calorie sweeteners. These blends are meant to be used in baking. They are half sugar and half low-calorie sweetener, so they have half the calories and carbohydrate as sugar.
As with all low-calorie sweeteners, you will want to read the instructions for substituting these blends for sugar.

For example, when replacing regular sugar with Splenda’s Sugar Blend (half-granular Splenda, half-sugar), they suggest using half as much:
1/2 cup Splenda Sugar Blend = 387 calories + 97 grams of carbohydrate
Instead of…
1 cup sugar = 774 calories + 200 grams of carbohydrate
Remember that baking blends still have a significant amount of calories and carbohydrate that need to be considered when meal planning because they are half sugar.
(source)


CONCLUSION:

There are various artificial food alternatives for diabetics which can be used along with the natural food alternatives and modified life style in diabetes mellitus.
Thought there many alternatives , it is advised to better avoid these alternatives and prefer the natural way of controlling the diabetes.

For more related articles regarding diabetes:
The prevention and control of diabetes mellitus: lifestyle and dietary
Diabetes & Diet: Few best foods to control diabetes
How to reduce weight in a healthy way?
The role of glycemic index in control of diabetes mellitus

Self life hacks

Doctor by profession and blogger by passion

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