What Types Of Sweeteners Can I Use With Diabetes?

sugarWhen you change out some of the sugar in your recipe and use a non-nutritive sweetener like NutraSweet, stevia, or equal, you can reduce the amount of carbohydrate in the recipe and keep the sweetness.  Sounds like a fair trade, right?

Some caveats exist.  That does not mean suddenly you can eat more of the yummy snack.  It would defeat the purpose of the change if you just ate enough to now have all those calories.

Also, the replacement sweetener might not act quite like sugar in the recipe.

What Does Sugar Do In A Recipe?

Sugar helps baked goods rise, mainly by providing a quick and easy food for yeast to consume.  If you don’t have any sugar, it may take longer for the food to rise.

Sugar also creates the brown, baked look on the outside of foods by caramelizing in the heat of the oven.  So you might have paler looking cookies and desserts.

Sugar can act as a preservative and actually provide moisture to the baked good, so foods baked without sugar will need to be frozen after 24 hours if they are not eaten.  Otherwise, you can count on the baked good being a little more stale on day 2.

How To Cook With Non Nutritive Sweeteners?

Amongst the options you have for this, you will find some “sugar blends”.  That means they used part of the non-nutritive sweetener and blended it with sugar.  This does not reduce the calories overall, but you are able to use less of it.  So instead of the full 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar in your oatmeal in the morning, you can use 1 Tablespoon – and you just cut your calories from that in half.

The sugar blends tend to do a lot of the things that sugar does, but the baked goods can still taste a little different than those cooked the “normal” way.

Other Types Of Sweeteners

You can find liquid sweeteners, such as honey and agave nectar, to use in recipes instead of pure sugar.  While they have the same amount of calories as an equal amount of sugar, you can use less of them as well – making it easier to change.

If you choose to bake with these liquid sweeteners, make sure you adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe, usually by 1/4th.

Start Trying Out Some Of The Options

You can use a myriad of sweeteners in baked goods to reduce the amount of carbohydrate in them, but you have to be aware that not all of them are created equal.  Splenda, honey, nectars, and sugar blends are the best ones to use to replace sugar in recipes.  And just learn to change your taste buds a little, and you will be fine.
You can find diabetic meal plans and patterns on our website at http://www.healthydietmenusforyou.com

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at http://www.renaldiethq.com/go/author

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