Did you know that an estimated 40% of Americans will develop diabetes at some point in their lives? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that 29.1 million people in the U.S. currently have diabetes and another 86 million American adults have pre-diabetes. The scariest part is that nine out of 10 people with pre-diabetes aren’t even aware that they have it.
The good news is that managing diabetes is very much possible with a healthy eating pattern, regular exercise and often medication.
Even better news, according to a review published in US Endocrinology, is that people with diabetes or are at risk for developing it can use low calorie sweeteners to help reduce added sugars and carbs. In that same review, researchers at Baylor University School of Medicine confirmed that low calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose (aka Splenda®), can be a safe and effective tool to help people with diabetes manage their calorie and carbohydrate intake and can help with weight management.
The authors state that low calorie sweeteners “can serve an important role in diabetes prevention and management” and that they provide patients with diabetes “considerable flexibility in their health goals and personal dietary preferences.” The authors also state that reducing excessive sugar intake, by using low calorie sweeteners, “can be a preventative measure to combat excessive weight gain in at-risk individuals.”
Sucralose tastes sweet and works well in most recipes, but the body doesn’t break it down for energy. It can be a tool for people with diabetes because clinical studies have shown that it has no effect on blood glucose levels, insulin secretion or blood levels, glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c), or blood glucose control.