Did You Know

Meet the New Reduced Calorie Sweetener – Allulose

Did You Know

There is a new reduced calorie sweetener in town and its name is Allulose.  The company that makes it reports it looks and tastes the same as sugar, without the calories or odd after taste that many reduced calorie sweeteners seem to have.  Its claim to fame is that it is made from fermented corn (alluose is also found in small amounts naturally in figs, raisins, and maple syrup).  Because it is not metabolized by the body as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract, an estimated 90% less calories are absorbed than from regular sugar.  One level teaspoon of sugar has about 16 calories, so 1 teaspoon of Allulose has an estimated 2 calories.  It is also reported to have no effect on blood sugar levels.

The USDA & FDA have deemed it safe for use, although the European Union has not yet approved it.  And when used in small amounts it appears to have no side effects.  However, if it is eaten in large amounts individuals can experience severe bloating, pain and gas.  Although it is not available for consumers to buy yet, some food manufacturers are beginning to use it in their low calorie foods.  So it is important, as always, to read food labels.

More time is needed to really learn the effects and safety of Allulose in our foods.  And eating low calorie reduced calorie sweeteners is controversial since recent evidence indicates that they may actually trick the brain into craving more sweet foods and more calories, leading to weight gain and an increased risk for diabetes.  The following article by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health provides more information about this:   https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/artificial-sweeteners/

One of the healthiest food habits you can make  is to reduce added sugars in your diet as much as possible.  If you have a sweet tooth, the following article on the  Eat This, Not That! website provides some helpful guidelines to cut down on the amount of sugar you eat.  http://www.eatthis.com/stop-eating-sugar