Even if you have diabetes low-calorie artificial sweeteners can help people with diabetes to enjoy sweet food or drinking without affecting their blood glucose levels.

Once get diagnosed with diabetes, your whole dietary pattern will turn upside down. You won’t be able to eat some of your favourite food. And you will have to cut down your sugar consumption. And once you give up sweet food and drinks things can get frustrating really quickly.

What are artificial sweeteners?

There are wide range of artificial sweeteners, they have the similar taste to your usual table sugar. However they are low in calories and won’t cause your blood glucose to shoot up.

The way these artificial sweeteners act is different from one sweetener to another. And they are also bio chemically different.

Some widely available artificial sweeteners

Stevia plant, used to make the sweetener stevia
  • Sucralose
  • Stevia
  • Aspartame
  • Tagatose


Sucralose is a widely available artificial sweetener in popular supermarkets. It is considered to be nearly 400-600 items sweeter than your usual table sugar.


Stevia is extracted from a plant called Stevia rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay.

It is not as sweet as Sucralose and it is 30-200 times sweeter than your table sugar.

“Like sugar, sweeteners provide a sweet taste, but what sets them apart is that, after consumption, they do not increase blood sugar levels,”


How to use artificial sweeteners?

You can use artificial sweeteners instead of table sugar for your food recipes and drinks.

However, before using the artificial sweetener check whether it can be used for your recipe. Because some sweeteners lose their taste in higher temperatures.

And because these sweeteners are several times sweeter than table sugar you should be using a lesser quantity for your recipes.

Are artificial sweeteners good for you?

For the time being these artificial sweeteners have not been found unhealthy for human consumption.

However, research is still ongoing for some sweeteners like sucralose and some newer research has found out that sucralose can hamper the growth of gut bacteria, that plays an essential part in our digestive system.

However, sucralose is one out of five sweeteners approved by the FDA in the USA. So it is still considered safe to use sucralose.

And because they are sweeter than table sugar using artificial sweeteners won’t help you to cut down your craving for sweets and instead it can increase your craving. Therefore it is always better to use them in moderate use.

Its not just for people with diabetes

The sweeteners are made not just for people with diabetes. If you are someone who is having a pre-diabetic state or someone who wants to cut down the calories and reduce your weight, you still can use them without any issues.

Pro Tip – Always carry a sachet of artificial sweetener with you when you are travelling. It will help you to taste a food or a drink that you might come across along the way.


Dr Rukshan Ranatunge is a graduate from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya (MBBS). He is currently studying for his masters in health informatics.

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