Sugar-Free Sweetener: Allulose

I was recently in a small store that specialized in selling Keto, low carb, paleo, and low/no-sugar-added items. The store had everything from baked goods to beverages, and many of the products were diabetes-friendly.  As I read the ingredients on some of the items on the shelves, I noticed one I had never heard of before, called "allulose".

Allulose was listed as an ingredient on a package of coconut macaroons and Keto-friendly frosting. This particular ingredient was being used as a sugar-free sweetener in these products. But what exactly was it? I decide to do some research on it, and this is what I found.

What is allulose?

Allulose is a unique type of sugar that is found naturally in small amounts in wheat and several different fruits, like raisins and figs. Additionally, it can be found naturally occurring in other popular sweeteners in maple syrup and brown sugar. It is considered a simple sugar, a monosaccharide, and tastes sweet like regular sugar. However, it is very low calorie because it is absorbed but not actually metabolized by the body. Because of this, allulose does not affect blood glucose levels.1

How to use allulose

Allulose is not as popular as other sugar-free sweeteners, such as stevia or monk fruit sweeteners. It is not typically stocked on grocery store shelves, however, it can be easily ordered online. From what I have seen online, a pound of it can be purchased for around $10-$15. Certain Keto, low carb, or no sugar added products use allulose to ensure there is no spike in blood sugar. I have now seen products like bars, cookies, macaroons, cereals, and frosting use allulose as a sugar-free sweetener.

Allulose can be used for baking, and in smoothies, tea, ice cream, oatmeal, coffee, and pretty much in any instance where you would use regular sugar. It comes in a powder form and is easily dissolved in liquid. However, it is important to note that allulose is 70% as sweet as regular sugar, so when substituting you will have to use more of it.

Is allulose safe for people with type 2 diabetes?

Because allulose will not raise or spike blood sugar levels, it is safe to consume for those who have type 2 diabetes. It is also suitable for those who are following a low-carb diet, since allulose typically contains 0-2 grams of carbohydrates, depending on the amount used. On a nutrition label, it is typically not listed under total sugar or added sugars, but under carbohydrates.1

The sweetener takeaway

Allulose is a sugar-free sweetener that is safe to use for those who live with type 2 diabetes. This sweetener will not have an effect on blood glucose levels, and it is naturally low in calories and carbohydrates. It is a versatile sweetener that can be used to substitute regular sugar in baking, ice cream, coffee, smoothies, and many other uses. Although it is not as common as other sugar-free sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit, allulose can be easily purchased online.

Have you used allulose before? What is your favorite diabetic-friendly sweetener?

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