Nutrition and DietNatural sweeteners for diabetics

Natural sweeteners for diabetics

The diabetes has become a disease that each year affects more people in virtually everyone, especially in more developed or industrialized countries.

It is characterized by being a metabolism syndrome in which there is an increase in blood glucose, that is, hyperglycemia, produced in turn by a lack or partial or total decrease in the secretion or action of a hormone, Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas.

Since people with diabetes must take care of their nutrition, maintaining an adequate diet that prevents the sudden rise in blood glucose peaks (learn more about high glucose), it is essential that they avoid all those foods or products with a glycemic index high.

The glycemic index is characterized by being the relationship that exists between the area of ​​the absorption curve of the intake of 50 gr. of pure glucose over time (especially in hours), with that obtained by ingesting the same amount of that food.

As we can imagine, this is an extremely important index for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, since – as we indicated above – they must avoid rapid rises in blood glucose.

Regarding the diet or nutrition that diabetic people must follow every day, we find a common problem that many of them face, especially in the first months after diagnosis: what sweetener to choose for foods?

Natural sweeteners for people with diabetes:

Most of the sweeteners consumed each day by many people are characterized by containing a tremendously high glycemic index, which constitutes a real danger to their health. White sugar is a good example of this (in addition to being characterized as a product rich in empty calories).

Therefore, these people should avoid the consumption of sweeteners such as white or brown sugar (although healthier, it is also caloric), natural products such as honey or cane molasses.

A good option, when it comes to the consumption of sweeteners recommended for diabetics, we find:

  • Saccharin (E-954): It is one of the most popular sweeteners, mainly due to its tremendous sweetening power.
  • Aspartame: It is another of the most consumed sweeteners among diabetics, but less than saccharin.

Natural sweeteners for diabetics:

However, if what the person wants is to always opt for 100% natural sweeteners recommended for diabetics, the best options are agave syrup or sweet grass.

The agave syrup is obtained from the nectar of the cactus by fermentation, it is extremely rich in fructose (about 85%) and has a very low glycemic index. As a curiosity, indicate that it has a sweetening power greater than sugar.

The sweet herb (or stevia rebaudiana) is a plant with certainly interesting sweetening power, as well as a good number of properties and benefits: it is antacid, helps to eliminate fats and reduce high blood pressure levels, facilitates digestion and helps against fatigue.  In addition, we must not forget that it is capable of regulating blood glucose levels.

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