A young asian woman enjoying her dessert

Healthy Sugar Substitutes for Diabetes 

Sweetness comes in many forms other than small white cubes of sugar. Natural sugar is also found in fruit and vegetables. What you should be particularly watching out for is sugar added during food and drink preparation.

While sugar may not directly contribute to type 2 diabetes, these added sugars give you additional calories with little nutritional value. As many people consume more sugar than they are aware of, these added sugars and extra calories are likely to lead to weight gain — a risk factor for diabetes.

But this does not mean you have to take all the sweetness out of life. If you a      re diabetic or trying to maintain a healthy weight, try these sweet substitutes to help you keep off sugar without compromising on flavour.

Related: Sugar Rush

List of Sugar Substitutes

1. Fruit

A wide selection of different tropical fruits on display

It’s both naturally sweet and fills you up with fibre so you won’t snack on tempting but calorie-dense titbits. Try pureeing or blending berries or a banana with milk to make a nutritious cold shake that can beat the heat in eternally sunny Singapore.

But remember that even fruit containing naturally occurring sugars should still be consumed in moderation and limited to two servings a day.

If you often take sweetened beverages and you are not a fan of water, try infusing your water with fruit. Add your favourite fruit to water and leave it to sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking.

Related: Smart Ways to Fill Up on Fruit and Vegetables

2. Xylitol - Sugar Alternative

Xylitol sugar in it's raw form beside the processed sugar crystals 

A natural sugar alcohol produced from plant material, xylitol has 40 percent less calories than sugar. Useful for those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low, xylitol does not cause glucose levels to spike the way sugar does. Replace sugar with xylitol in recipes that do not require sugar to be broken down into liquid, as xylitol does not caramelise.

Related: Sweet Talk: Sugars and Sweeteners

3. Stevia - Sugar Alternative

Stevia leafe and a bowl of stevia sweetner made from the plant 

Known as sweet leaf or sugar leaf, stevia is a natural sweetener made from leaves of the stevia plant. Stevia brings an intense dose of sweetness to your food without any calories, making it ideal for those looking to manage or lose weight.

This sugar substitute works well with drinks like coffee and tea and breakfast foods such as cereal and yoghurt but does not give a similar texture or bulk to baked goods in the same way as sugar.

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