Artificial Sweeteners – Caution For Diabetes Patients

By | June 25, 2009

Artificial Sweeteners Effects And Dangers Of Artificial Sweeteners

After being diagnosed with diabetes you will have to start making immediate changes in your lifestyle. To keep your blood sugar levels in check, you have to start following your doctor’s instructions, controlling your diet, and incorporating exercise into your daily life. In fact, with these measures, there’s little you have to sacrifice in your life. One thing you may have to get used to, is eating foods without sugar! Some of us can get used to drinking tea and coffee without sugar, but some people find it too difficult. If you have diabetes, though, you can use most artificial sweeteners in your food. However, it’s important that you consult your doctor before choosing your brand. Also, carefully research the sweetener you are using, as some have been known to have side effects.

Artificial sweeteners aren’t made from sugar, but from different sweet substances like:

  • Saccharin
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Sucralose

These artificial sweeteners are available in different brand names, and are also called sugar substitutes. They can sweeten your foods and drinks just like sugar, but do not contain the calories that come along with sugar. Artificial sweeteners are also much sweeter than sugar, so it takes very little to achieve the same taste that sugar does. So while you may need two spoons of sugar in your coffee, you will only need a pill or two, or half a teaspoon of an artificial sweetener. That’s the reason that foods that are made with artificial sweeteners have fewer calories than foods made with sugar.

Artificial Sweeteners – How Can They Help You Fight Diabetes?

Another reason that artificial sweeteners help you to fight diabetes is that they don’t affect your blood sugar levels. Most artificial sweeteners can be considered as “free foods”, since they can’t be counted in any of the major food groups like carbs, fats, proteins or any other diabetes exchange.

If you are using artificial sweeteners, keep in mind that other ingredients in the foods may still raise your blood sugar levels. You also need to be careful with sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol. These can raise your sugar levels, and are also known to cause diarrhoea in some people.

A word of caution if you’re thinking about using artificial sweeteners: there are many experts that advocate against the use of artificial sweeteners. Some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners affect the body’s ability to naturally count calories, and thus lead to obesity. Keep in mind that there’s nothing like leading a healthy life which includes daily exercise to control diabetes.