Many people are fond of sweets and enjoy a piece of chocolate or mithai after lunch and dinner. However, the refined sugar in these foods comes with many disadvantages including weight gain, tooth decay, and raising blood sugar levels. Sugar is harmful for diabetics, because they have to keep their insulin levels under control and watch their weight to prevent other health issues.
Many diabetics however have a sweet tooth and either deprive themselves of the sweets they like, or eat the sweets and risk getting sick. Luckily, there is a safer option that diabetics can choose which includes sugar substitutes that don’t raise blood sugar levels. These sweeteners have a similar taste to sugar and give diabetics the chance to safely enjoy their desserts.
Safe Natural Sweetners For Diabetics
Stevia is extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, is safe for diabetics and is 300 times sweeter than sugar! The plant extract is made into a powder that can be used just like sugar. Alternatively, the leaves can be used directly from the plant to sweeten a cup of tea or coffee.
Made from coconut tree sap, coconut sugar has a low glycaemic index score, which means it does not suddenly increase blood sugar. Also called coconut palm sugar, it is a safe, natural sweetener for diabetics. The sugar crystals are a golden-brown colour and look a lot like raw sugar. Coconut sugar contains iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc as well as antioxidants and fibre. With coconut sugar, diabetics can enjoy their sweets and get an added boost of minerals.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be found in many fruits. It has 40% fewer calories than sugar and doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike. Xylitol is most commonly used as a sweetener in sugar-free chewing gums and toothpastes. Apart from not causing a rise in insulin levels, it also does not cause tooth decay like sugar does which makes xylitol good for health and for strong teeth.
Monk Fruit Extract:
Monk fruit is a type of melon. The extract from the dried fruit is a diabetic-safe sweetener. Monk fruit extract is 100-250 times sweeter than sugar and is a good all-natural substitute for sweets, desserts, and beverages. The Chinese have been using monk fruit as a sweetener for centuries. Desserts like kheer or halwa can use monk fruit extract and taste great without the harmful effects.
Dates don’t cause insulin and blood sugar spikes and can be used in a variety of sweets and desserts as a substitute for sugar. Dried dates can be used directly to sweeten desserts by soaking and blending. In this way, diabetics can have an unprocessed sweetener that is high in fibre and nutrients.
Diabetics don’t have to feel left out when sweets and desserts are served. These natural sugar alternatives make it safe to satisfy any sweet cravings, and family and friends can also enjoy the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners.