Low calorie sweeteners do not affect insulin secretion nor blood glucose control and lead to a lower rise in blood sugar levels after meals if consumed instead of sugars. This benefit of low calorie sweeteners on post-prandial glucose for people with diabetes has also been recognized as a health claim by EFSA: “Consumption of foods containing low calorie sweeteners instead of sugar induces a lower blood glucose rise after their consumption compared to sugar-containing foods”.
Low calorie sweeteners offer people with diabetes broader food choices by providing the pleasure of the sweet taste without raising blood glucose. As low calorie sweeteners have no impact on insulin and blood sugar levels and do not provide calories, they can also have a role in weight loss and weight control for people with type II diabetes.
Low calorie sweeteners may aid in glucose control
In 2012 the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) issued a joint scientific statement on low calorie sweeteners and their potential usefulness and concluded that they may help people with diabetes to better control their glucose levels and maintain a healthy body weight, when used in place of sugars. The statement highlights that:
- Substituting low calorie sweeteners for sugars added to foods and beverages may help people reach and maintain a healthy body weight – as long as the substitution doesn’t lead to eating additional calories later as “compensation.”
- For people with diabetes, low calorie sweeteners used alone or in foods and beverages remain an option and when used appropriately can aid in glucose control.