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Sugar Replacements for Diabetics

Zero and Low-Carbohydrate Sugar Replacements

By

Updated August 30, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Type 2 diabetics need to limit the use of real sugar.  Luckily, there are a number of sugar replacements for diabetics in the form of zero and low-carbohydrate sweetners. 

Many sugar replacements have received negative press.  Over time, though, no credible research has shown that using artificial sweeteners leads to illness; some people have reported mild stomach or head pain. 

The five FDA-approved “non-nutritive sweeteners” are saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and neotame.  You may find other sugar replacements, but they are marketed as dietary supplements -- which are not regulated for safety by the FDA.

1. Agave Nectar

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While not an artificial sweetener, this is another option you may want to consider:

  • This is a low-carbohydrate sugar alternative.
  • 1 tsp of agave nectar contains 5 grams of carbohydrate.
  • While not FDA approved, this product has been used for many centuries as a natural sweetener.

2. Sweet 'N Low Sugar Substitute

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This is a low-carbohydrate sugar alternative.

1 packet of Sweet 'N Low (saccharin) contains 3 grams of carbohydrate, making it a low-carbohydrate sugar substitute.

3. Superose Liquid Sweetener

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  • Saccharin (FDA approved) sweetens this product, which contains 0.25 grams of carbohydrate per packet. Consider it a zero-carbohydrate alternative sweetener option.
  • It is sold in granulated (packets and larger containers) and liquid form.
  • It can be used in baking.

 

4. Sugar Twin

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  • Contains saccharin (FDA approved) and zero carbohydrate.
  • It comes in liquid and powder form and can be used in baking.

5. Stevia

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  • Made from stevia leaves, this product contains zero carbohydrate.
  • It is being investigated for FDA approval and has been used in other countries for centuries as a sweetener.
  • It comes manufactured in liquid and powdered forms and can be used in baking. (Available under several brand names.)

Stevia is also the sweetening agent in:

  • PureVia Zero Calorie Sweetener
  • Sweet Leaf Dietary Supplement Plus Fiber
  • Truvia Nature's Calorie-Free (1 packet contains 3 grams of carbohydrate, so this one is a low-carbohydrate sugar substitute -- not a zero-carb choice).

6. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

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  • Contains sucralose (FDA approved) and zero carbohydrate.
  • Splenda comes granulated in a variety of packaging, including both white and brown sugar baking forms.

Splenda is also the brand of sucralose used to make 2 other alternative sweeteners:

  • Liquid Sucralose by Anabolic Innovations
  • Liquid Sucralose by Healthy Cheat Foods

7. Smoky Mountain Sweetener

  • Made from saccharin (FDA approved) and contains zero carbohydrate.
  • This comes in liquid form and can be used in baking.

8. Our Family Sweetener Saccharin

  • 1 packet contains 0.25g carbohydrate, so this can be considered a zero-carbohydrate alternative sweetener option. (FDA approved)

9. Equal

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  • Contains aspartame (FDA approved) and zero carbohydrate.
  • Comes in individual packets or larger containers; not good for baking.

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