Cutting back on sugar in your diet usually means giving up all of the delicious sweets you still crave. But is it really your birthday (or any other day that calls for a delectable pick-me-up) without a slice of cake?
For those looking for natural alternative sweeteners, it can be hard to find options that are within their budget, actually close to the same flavor of real sugar, and don’t include fillers like maltodextrin (a preservative frequently used for shelf-life and texture, but can add hidden carbs). Popular products like monkfruit tend to be on the expensive side, while stevia has been known to have a bitter taste and include additives.
Don’t worry, we aren’t here to squash your sweet treat dreams. There is a new hope on the horizon: Allulose. This fruit-based sweetener has been on the rise recently for a number of convincing reasons. “Chemically, it’s similar to fructose, the type of natural sugar found in fruit,” dietician Keri Gans explained in a recent article for US News & World Report. “However, your body doesn’t process it the same way. And this is where it gets interesting: It’s virtually calorie free. And it has absolutely no effect on your blood sugar due to the way our body metabolizes it, which may be good news for people with diabetes.”
A study from 2015 backs up Gans’ statement about people with blood sugar issues. The researchers found that allulose helped individuals with type 2 diabetes to manage both their glucose levels and improve insulin resistance. Plus, a study from 2018 that observed the effects of participants who consumed allulose-sweetened beverages versus those who drank ones sweetened with sucralose, an artificial (AKA not natural) sweetener, found those who drank allulose dropped significantly more weight than those given the artificial option.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved allulose for use in baked goods, sweets, drinks, sauces, and other common treats. They do warn you might experience stomach pain if you eat too much of it, but that it isn’t toxic or dangerous. Hey, isn’t that the case when we overindulge in most things, anyway?
Allulose is slightly less sweet than ordinary sugar, at only about 70 percent as strong. Using a bit more of it shouldn’t make you go overboard like the FDA warns, though.
You can find plenty of options online, like Anthony’s Allulose Sweetener ($11.99, Amazon), which reviewers claim is especially great for baking and even caramelizing.
If you’re still looking for the perfect sugar substitute to stock your cupboards with, allulose definitely seems worth trying out. Here’s to having your cake and staying healthy, too!
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, WomansWorld.com.