The Drawbacks Of Almonds
One of the biggest drawbacks of eating almonds is that these nuts are not sustainably farmed. According to The Atlantic, it’s stated that each almond requires 1.1 gallons of water to grow.
For some people, almonds and almond flour or overconsuming about any form of nuts can work can be constipating.
The healthy omega-6 fatty acids that almonds contain should be taken in moderation. Overconsuming these fatty acids are not beneficial to our overall health.
Artificial Sweeteners Can Still Raise Your Glucose Levels
One 2016 study saw normal-weight individuals who ate more artificial sweeteners were more likely to have diabetes than people who were overweight or obese.
Another 2014 study found that these sugars, such as saccharin, can change your gut bacteria composition. This change can cause glucose intolerance, which is the first step towards metabolic syndrome and diabetes in adults.
For people who dont develop a glucose intolerance, artificial sweeteners may help with weight-loss or diabetes control. But switching to this sugar replacement still requires long-term management and controlled intake.
if youre thinking of replacing sugar regularly, talk to your doctor and dietitian about your concerns.
Saccharin The Oldest Artificial Sweetener
Saccharin, the sweetener sold in pink packets under the brand name Sweet ‘N Low, is calorie-free and is about 300 to 500 times sweeter than sugar, per the Sweet N Low website. It was the first artificial sweetener, with chemists discovering it as a derivative of coal tar by mistake in 1879, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
If youve been using artificial sweeteners since the 1970s, you may remember a previous warning label that warned of saccharin increasing the risk for cancer. But rest assured it’s safe. The research that prompted the label was done on animals, and further studies by the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health concluded that saccharin shouldnt be on the list of potential carcinogens. Saccharin is currently FDA-approved.
A 132-lb individual would need to consume 45 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach the ADI of 15 mg of saccharin per kg of body weight per day, according to the FDA.
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What About Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are naturally found in plants and berries. The types most often used in the food industry are synthetically created. You can find them in food products that are labeled as sugar-free or no sugar added.
Labels such as this are misleading because sugar alcohols are still carbohydrates. They can still raise your blood sugar, but not as much as regular sugar.
Common FDA-approved sugar alcohols are:
Tips For Making Diabetic Brownies
Cooking with Coconut Flour
The following diabetic brownie recipe uses coconut flour. When cooking with coconut flour it is important to note that it absorbs much more liquid than all purpose flour.
So, be sure to add the eggs called for as they provide some liquid.
Using Monk Fruit Sweetener
Monk fruit sweeteners are 150-200 times sweeter than sugar and contribute sweetness to foods and beverages without adding calories.
Feel free to start with less and add more to taste.
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Can Monk Fruit Sweeteners Make Me Hungrier
Highly palatable foods activate brain regions of reward and pleasure. This positive association has been hypothesized to enhance appetite, and if left unchecked, the resulting increase in food intake may contribute to overweight and obesity.57 Low-calorie sweeteners can also lead to a stimulation of reward pathways by activating sweet taste receptors, but they are not a source of calories.
Some have expressed concern that activating reward pathways without delivering calories to the body may have unintended consequences but more research is needed to support this hypothesis. Some animal studies have demonstrated changes in food intake and appetite-related hormones after consuming low-calorie sweeteners.35,54 However, other animal studies show that pathways involved in sugar digestion and preference for sugar are not activated by low-calorie sweeteners.58,59
What Are Natural & Artificial Sweeteners
The FDA defines sweeteners as: commonly used as sugar substitutes or sugar alternatives because they are many times sweeter than sugar but contribute only a few or no calories when added to foods.
This means that regular sugar, honey, and Agave nectar/syrup dont fall into the sweetener category. However, I do want to address these quickly before moving on to the real natural and artificial sweeteners, since Ive seen claims of how honey and agave wont impact blood sugar in the same way as sugar.
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Understanding The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index tells us which carbohydrate-containing foods raise our blood glucose levels and which are lower on the scale. If you have diabetes, you likely know how important it is to eat low-glycemic foods, as too much glucose can be dangerous. If someone you love has diabetes, knowing about the index can be helpful when preparing food or assisting a family member who needs dietary support.
The goal is to plan meals that are rated low to medium on the GI scale. These might include beans, corn, rice, whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, many fruits, and all non-starchy veggies. Higher GI foods include instant oatmeals , pineapples, boxed mac and cheese, and cereals such as corn flakes. Generally, the more fat or fiber in a food, the lower on the GI scale. The more processed a food, the higher.
When it comes to sweeteners, there are plenty on the market and mixed into our favorite foods. Look out for sweeteners such as maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose, sucrose, and even caramel, as they all rank highest on the GI. Honey, maple syrup, and agave sit squarely in the middle, and monk fruit sits on the lower end, earning a zero on GI scale, right next to stevia.
No Effect On Blood Sugar
If you’re monitoring your blood sugar levels, consider choosing monk fruit as an alternative sweetener. Since monk fruit sweetener contains no calories or carbs, it will not raise blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that monk fruit extract may even reduce blood sugar levels in those with diabetes, but more research is needed.
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Monk Fruit For Baking
Monk fruit is ideal for baking. You can use it anywhere youd use sugar without sacrificing taste or texture.
Monk fruit is especially well suited to cookies, cakes, and bread. It has a subtle natural brown sugar-like flavor that works well in banana, pumpkin bread, and muffin recipes.
Here are some monk fruit recipes to get you started:
Pro tip: Use Splenda Monk Fruit Sweetener for a 1:1 swap with sugar in all your baking adventures. Its just monk fruit plus another keto-friendly sweetener: erythritol.
Effect On Weight Management
Monk fruit sweetener has been claimed to aid weight loss.
Since it contains zero calories, many people suggest that it can reduce your total calorie intake. Nevertheless, its relatively new to the market, and no studies have assessed its effects on weight.
However, studies on other low-calorie sweeteners indicate that it may lead to modest reductions in body weight .
Studies report that replacing regular-calorie sweeteners with low-calorie versions can result in modest weight loss of less than 2 pounds .
One review found that people who consumed low-calorie sweeteners and drinks also tended to consume less added fat, sugar, alcohol, and other sources of empty calories .
In another study, people who used stevia or aspartame rather than sucrose ate fewer calories without reporting any differences in hunger levels .
Currently, no research has examined how monk fruit sweetener specifically affects weight. However, evidence suggests that low-calorie sweeteners may aid weight loss.
A specific type of mogroside called mogroside V is the main component of monk fruit sweetener.
It comprises more than 30% of the product and is responsible for its sweetness.
Studies show that the mogrosides have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
For these reasons, they may offer health benefits.
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How Sweet Is Monk Fruit
Monk fruit-based sweeteners are 150-200 times sweeter than sugar and add sweetness to foods and beverages without adding calories. They are generally used in beverages and foods such as soft drinks, juices, dairy products, desserts, candy, and condiments. Another advantage that monk fruit has over other sweeteners is that it is stable at high temperatures, which means it can be used for baking without changing the taste or making the final product bitter. Also, like all zero-calorie and low-calorie sweeteners, only very small amounts are needed to achieve the same sweetness as sugar.
Regarding safety, monk fruit sweeteners have been approved and generally recognized as safe by the FDA since 2010.
Monk Fruit For Dietary Needs
Monk fruit sugar has been given the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration , and given the title of Generally Recognized as Safe .
âBecause monk fruit sugar doesnât change your blood sugar levels, that makes it a safe option for people with diabetes. Itâs also often used as a sugar substitute in keto diets.
Monk fruit sugar has been approved for general use in the U.S., so children and pregnant people can enjoy it as well. However, thereâs a lack of research in these specific areas. Use it sparingly, as you would with other sweeteners. Make sure to talk to your doctor before using this sugar substitute or any others if you have a medical condition.
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Sweeteners Diabetics Should Avoid
Not all natural sweeteners are safe alternatives for people with diabetes. For example, while agave has a low glycemic index , it has more calories than granulated sugar and higher fructose content. Fructose can cause the body to produce less insulin and put more strain on the liver as it breaks down the sugars.
In short, the side effects or effects of an alternative sweetener on insulin resistance may outweigh the benefits. Be careful when consuming artificial sweeteners and even more natural ones such as maple syrup, corn syrup and xylitol.
What Is The Bottom Line
All types of foods and beverages, including those made with monk fruit sweeteners, can have a place in a variety of healthy eating patterns. Monk fruit sweeteners are relatively new to the food supply. As such, their impact on, and association with, chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes have not been well studied as it has been for other low-calorie sweeteners. However, monk fruit sweeteners have been safely used for centuries in Asian cultures and no adverse effects have been documented. Monk fruit sweeteners have been considered GRAS in the United States since 2010 and their safety has been acknowledged by many international health agencies.
Adopting a healthful, active lifestyle that is tailored to personal goals and priorities is vital to supporting ones well-being. Choosing foods and beverages sweetened with low- and no-calorie sweeteners such as monk fruit sweeteners is one way to reduce consumption of added sugars and manage calorie intake, which are important components in maintaining health and reducing risk for lifestyle-related disease.
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What Is Monk Fruit And What Makes It Such An Ideal Substitute For Sugar
Monk fruitalso known as luo han guo, lo han kuo, or Siraitia grosvenoriiis a gourd native to parts of China and Thailand. The fruit dates back to the Tang Dynasty, when it was named after a group of Buddhist practitioners, the luohan. It wouldnt become a popular fruit for some time aftermostly due to it being quite hard to growbut it is thought that the monks used it at the time as a medicinal food.
Its seeing widespread popularity now, however. According to Trista Best, RD, It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, but has only been used as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved sweetener since 2010. In fact, the FDA actually gave monk fruit the designation GRAS , which includes for children and pregnant and breast-feeding women.
And while it might sound unbelievable, monk fruit is 300 times sweeter than sugar, despite it being a low-calorie, zero glycemic index sweetener like stevia.
According to the Institute for Traditional Medicine, you can thank the mogrosides in its fleshy center for its super sweet taste. In fact, its the concentration of these mogrosides that makes it so very sweet. It is made by removing the skin and seeds from the fruit and crushing it until enough juice is present to be obtained, Best explains. This juice is then dried and made into a highly concentrated powder.
Sugar Substitutes That Are Not Blood Sugar Friendly
Lets start with honey because, lets face it, its sugar in liquid form .
Its delicious, but a 2015 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that when subjects were given honey, cane sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup, they saw no notable difference in blood sugar increase.
The only benefit of honey over regular table sugar from a blood sugar perspective is that honey is slightly sweeter so you can use a little bit less of it and achieve the same sweetness. But that still doesnt make it a good option for people with diabetes!
I think that the corporate marketing machine has been very clever when declaring agave nectar is a health food, for as Dr. Jonny Bowden points out..Its basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as healthy food.
Agave nectar may have a lower glycemic index than sugar or honey, but its still up to 90 percent liquid fructose.
At the end of the day, sugar is sugar. Honey or agave nectar may be slightly better for you than pure white sugar from an overall nutrition perspective, but dont get tricked into thinking that they are blood sugar-friendly alternatives.
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Safety & Side Effects Of Monk Fruit
Theres no evidence monk fruit has any dangers or side effects, even when consumed in large amounts.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that monk fruit extract is GRAS when used as a sugar substitute.
In rare cases, some people may have an allergic reaction to monk fruit. This can cause rashes, hives, or swollen tongue.
There may be a few disadvantages to using monk fruit as a sugar substitute:
- Some monk fruit sweeteners are combined with dextrose.
- Monk fruit is expensive.
- Monk fruit may be hard to find in a grocery store.
- Some individuals report a bitter aftertaste.
- Monk fruit has only been studied in the United States for a relatively short time.
Are Monk Fruit Sweeteners Safe To Consume
YES. Extracts from monk fruit are Generally Recognized As Safe ,7 a regulatory review process category used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . The FDA also lists erythritol as GRAS for use in a variety of foods and beverages.8 GRAS requires expert consensus that a food ingredient is safe for its intended use. In 2010, the FDA responded with no objections to the first GRAS notice submitted on extracts from monk fruit whose scientific name is Siraitia grosvenorii. For more on the GRAS process, see the What is GRAS? sidebar.
The scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority published in 2019 stated that data was insufficient at that time for EFSA to make a conclusion on the safety of using monk fruit extracts in foods.9 The safety of monk fruit extract has been confirmed by health agencies in countries around the world, including: China, Japans Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Food Standards Australia New Zealand and Health Canada, which permit it in tabletop sweetener packets only. In its approval of the use of monk fruit extracts as a sweetener, FSANZ cites a history of safe use in China, Canada, Japan and the U.S., and no evidence of adverse effects in human studies from consuming up to 60 milligrams of monk fruit extract per kilogram of body weight per day.10 In animal studies, feeding extremely high levels of monk fruit extract , adverse effects have not been clearly demonstrated.11-13
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Is Almond Flour Safe For Diabetics
Almond flour is not the best flour but it’s also not bad. Extensive research pointed out that almond flour is a good substitute for people with diabetes. Even almond flour’s high-fat content can be accounted for by the low glycemic index of almonds, which should help regulate blood sugar levels.
Almond flour also has omega-6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats that are beneficial to diabetics because they can improve insulin resistance and reduce inflammation in cells this helps keep your heart healthy while you manage your diabetes risk factors even more effectively!
So almond flour isn’t all bad – it just needs some moderation when used as an alternative to other flour since almond flour does not have very many nutrients or vitamins like wheat bread does.
There are more safe and healthy flours for diabetics like whole wheat flour, oat flour, rice flour, spelt flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour that are low in carbs, high in protein, provide dietary fiber and protein.
The Best Sweeteners For People With Diabetes
I am often asked about what the best sweeteners are for people with diabetes and what can be used as a replacement for sugar that wont raise blood sugar. Thats why I have created this in-depth guide to natural and artificial sweeteners for people with diabetes.
I get a little frustrated when reading or hearing outright incorrect claims and marketing spin about how some of the natural and artificial sweeteners affect your blood sugar.
As a person with diabetes, I want to know exactly what will happen to my blood sugar when I eat or drink something, and I dont take kindly to half-true marketing claims.
Ive decided to focus on which natural and artificial sweeteners are good for people with diabetes as it relates to impact on blood sugar, rather than on whether they are healthy choices in general since I think that is somewhat out of my domain and because plenty of others have already covered that.
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