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How Can a Sugar Substitute Help Diabetics?

Sweetness in Practice Contributor - Apr 27, 2015
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More than 29 million Americans (9.3 percent of the population) have diabetes and 86 million American adults (37 percent) are considered to have pre-diabetes, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 The vast majority of these cases, 95 percent, are type 2 diabetes. People who have diabetes are at higher risk of serious health complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and amputation of toes, feet or legs.2

While a variety of healthy eating patterns, such as the DASH, vegetarian and Mediterranean diets can help manage the effects of diabetes, there is no one specific “diabetic diet” that works for everyone. However, key strategies like monitoring the quality and quantity of carbohydrates can help maintain healthier blood glucose levels. And since three out of four individuals with type 2 diabetes are overweight and half are obese, helping patients lose or maintain weight can be an important way to help manage the effects of the condition.3

National nutrition surveillance shows that American adults get about 13% of their total calories from added sugars—or about 285 calories per day.4 Because there are many different added sugars that can be used in foods, it may be difficult for carbohydrate- and sugar-conscious consumers to identify the added sugars in the foods they eat. For individuals with diabetes who need to diligently monitor total carbohydrate intake, reducing these added sugars can be challenging. Using a zero-calorie sugar substitute like Truvía® Natural Sweetener or a reduced-calorie sugar substitute like Truvía® Cane Sugar Blend and Truvía® Brown Sugar Blend can help people with diabetes manage carbohydrate intake.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the use of zero-calorie sugar substitutes may help reduce overall calorie and carbohydrate intake if used properly—the sugar substitutes can only help if substituted for caloric sweeteners without compensation by eating additional food.5 Stevia-based sugar substitutes like Truvía® sweetener products are among the many sugar replacement options available to help reduce sugar intake.

Sugar substitutes may offer individuals with diabetes a way to enjoy some sweetness while helping to manage blood glucose. In particular, studies have shown that Truvía® Natural Sweetener has no effect on the glycemic index and is well tolerated by those with type 2 diabetes. In fact in one study, individuals with type 2 diabetes consumed doses of purified stevia leaf extract as high as 1000mg, the amount contained in 35 packets of Truvía® Natural Sweetener. There was no difference in blood glucose or insulin levels among subjects consuming Truvía® stevia leaf extract compared to those consuming the placebo.6

Healthcare professionals can also recommend that their patients with diabetes try Truvía® Cane Sugar Blend or Truvía® Brown Sugar Blend in their recipes to help manage their sugar intake. Truvía® Brown Sugar Blend offers 75% fewer calories per serving than regular brown sugar and contains 1 gram of sugar per ½ teaspoon, while Truvía® Cane Sugar Blend offers 75% fewer calories per serving than regular sugar and contains less than 1 gram of sugar per ½ teaspoon of Cane Sugar


All in all, sugar substitutes can help people with diabetes manage their sugar intake and can play a role in helping them live a more balanced lifestyle.

To learn more about how Truvía® sweetener can play a useful role in a healthy balanced diet, click here. »


  1. 3 Alison Evert, Jackie Boucher, et al, “Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for the Management of Adults With Diabetes,” Diabetes Care 37 (January 2014 Supplement 1): S120-S143.

  2. 4 R. Bethene Ervin, Cynthia Ogden, “Consumption of Added Sugars Among U.S. Adults, 2005–2010,” NCHS data brief, No 122 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2013)

  3. 5 Alison Evert, Jackie Boucher, et al, “Position Statement: Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for the Management of Adults with Diabetes,” Diabetes Care, 36 (November 2013): 3821-3842.

  4. 6 13 April 2015, www.Truvia.com.