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Top 6 Natural Plant-Based Sugar Alternatives for Diabetics

Dr.Ayushi Bansal 7847 Views
Updated: 19 Jan 2024
Published: 08 Nov 2022
Plant-Based Sugar Alternatives for Diabetics

You would hardly find people who would rather say a 'nay' to sweets and desserts. Most people love having sweet tooth delicacies, especially after lunch and dinner. However, besides giving a feeling of contentment and relishing your taste buds, sugar comes with loads of disadvantages that can adversely affect your health. From raising your blood sugar level to causing tooth decay and even weight gain, there are plenty of health issues that sugar brings along with its consumption. Also, it proves to be really harmful to people who have diabetes. But does that mean- you should not consume sugar at all?

Well, there is some good news for people who are restricted from consuming sugar. Though you might need to stay at bay from table sugar, there are various other natural and healthy sugar alternatives that you can eat without risking your health. These natural sweeteners taste similar to regular sugar and are a healthy alternative that can help you enjoy your sweets and desserts at a safe pace. 

Benefits of switching to natural sweeteners

Here are a few sugar alternatives that people with diabetes can add to their diet:

Best & Safe Sugar Alternatives for Diabetics

  • Stevia: Stevia is a plant-based extract that is extracted from a Brazilian plant species known as Stevia rebaudiana and is one of the most popular sugar alternatives across the world. Not only does Stevia acts as a sugar substitute, but it also cuts down on the extra calories that you gain when you consume sugar. Stevia stands to be a zero-calorie substitute for sugar and proves effective in cutting calories from your plate without raising any concern about your blood sugar and insulin levels.

  • Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar, also known as coconut palm sugar, is a natural sweetener that is made from the sap of the coconut plant. Besides being a sugar alternative, coconut sugar also serves to be a great source of antioxidants, zinc, potassium, iron, and calcium. Coconut nectar consists of insulin that helps slow down the absorption of glucose and thus proves to be a healthy alternative to sugar. Thus, for people who are diabetic, coconut sugar can be a saviour as it has a lower glycaemic index and helps in keeping control over your sugar level.

  • Yacon Syrup: Yacon syrup is harvested from the roots of a native plant in South America known as the yacon plant. It is a natural sweetener that is fibre rich and is majorly used in sauces, desserts, and bakery products. Talking about the taste, you can find the taste of yacon syrup to be quite similar to molasses with caramel-like sweetness. The glycaemic index of yacon syrup is 1; thus, it also stands effective for weight loss, besides having the ability to balance the glucose levels in your body.

  • Monk Fruit Extract: Monk fruit extract is a diabetic-safe sweetener extracted from a melon-type dried fruit. The extract serves to be a natural substitution for sugar and has been used by the Chinese people as a sweetener for ages. It is about 250 times sweeter than regular sugar.

    People also use this extract in desserts because not only does it taste awesome, but it also helps in dealing with chronic issues. It has zero carbs and zero calories and does not raise blood sugar levels, making it a useful and wise choice for diabetic people. Monk fruit extract is also a safe alternative, as recognized by FDA, and causes no side effects.

  • Dates: Dates are another sugar alternative that does not cause a blood sugar hike. Dates are also used as a sugar substitute in numerous desserts and sweets so that even diabetic patients can enjoy sweets without any guilt or fear. In fact, dates are also considered to be a healthy snack for diabetic patients. Dates are unprocessed sweeteners that can be soaked, blended, and added directly to desserts and sweets for sweetness.

    Dates are rich in nutrients and fibres, and thus even diabetic patients can also enjoy sweets made of dates without feeling left out when others gulp their share of sweets and dessert. Dates are a natural sugar alternative and low-calorie sweeteners that can be enjoyed to put an end to your sugar cravings to an end without putting your health at risk.

  • Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar-based alcohol compound. The main source of xylitol is birch trees and a plant fibre known by the name xylan, though it is also found in different fruits and vegetables. It is a natural sweetening agent that has fewer calories in comparison to sugar and does not cause the blood sugar level to spike.

    Xylitol is profoundly used in sugar-free toothpaste and chewing gums and also prevents tooth decay that is caused due to sugar. Hence, xylitol not only serves as an excellent sugar alternative but also serves good for your teeth and health.

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