By Rosanne Rust MS, RDN, LDN —
A bit of sugar in the diet is fine, but for those with diabetes, high triglycerides, or those who are working on weight maintenance – there are lots of ways to cut back on sugar and still enjoy your favorite treats.
In addition to reducing sugar itself, you can also substitute low-calorie sweeteners to replace sugar in your diet. In the nutrition world, we call calorie-free or low-calorie sweeteners “non-nutritive sweeteners,” or NNS for short. One of the newer sweeteners on the block is allulose. Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that exists in nature and in certain fruits (including figs, raisins, maple syrup). Since allulose is less sweet than table sugar, it’s often used in combination with other sweeteners, substituting for part of the sugar content. You may be seeing more products with allulose on your grocery shelves soon, including reduced calorie baked goods, salad dressings, juices, jams, syrups, puddings and coffee mixes.
If you’re concerned about how NNS may impact your weight, you can rest easy. A meta-analysis of 15 randomized clinical trials and 9 cohort studies that evaluated research about the relationship of NNS and body weight showed no association between the consumption of NNS and increased weight or fat mass. In fact, results of the analysis indicated that substituting NNS for sugar may actually induce a modest amount of weight loss. Of course using NNS also helps control carbohydrate intake, which is important for blood sugar management in diabetes. All these health benefits are especially good news as we face the time of year known for social gatherings with indulgent foods.
During the holidays, I give you permission to treat yourself, but I don’t want you to go overboard. Try using some of my simple tips to reducing the sugar in your favorite holiday meals.
6 Simple Ways to Reduce Sugar during the Holidays
Rosanne Rust MS, RDN, LDN is a registered, licensed dietitian-nutritionist with over 25 years experience. Rosanne is a paid contributor to Allulose.org. As a Nutrition Communications Consultant she delivers clear messages helping you understand the science of nutrition so you can enjoy eating for better health. Rosanne is the co-author of several books, including DASH Diet For Dummies® and the The Glycemic Index Cookbook For Dummies®. A wife, and mother of 3 boys, she practices what she preaches, enjoying regular exercise, good food and festive entertaining. Follow her on Twitter @RustNutrition.