Allulose, the New Low-Calorie Sweetener, Is NOT an Artificial Sugar
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It's technically a "rare" sugar. But more importantly, is it healthy?
Allulose is a new lower-calorie sugar that came out in 2015, and just received FDA approval. It’s found naturally in small amounts of some foods (like wheat, and raisins), but is 70% as sweet as sugar and has about ten percent of the calories. It piqued our curiosity after we heard low-carb dieters and people with diabetes touting that allulose had “no effect on blood sugar,” is “100% natural,” and “performs the same way as sugar in recipes.”
Call us skeptical, but it sounds a little too good to be true—so what’s the deal with allulose? Is it an artificial sugar that should be avoided, or is allulose a healthy sugar sub we should all be buying? I turned to nutritionist and dietitian Lisa Valente, MS, RD, to find out.
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Is Allulose an Artificial Sweetener?
No. allulose is classified as a “rare sugar,” because it’s naturally found in small amounts in a few foods—including figs, raisins, molasses, and maple syrup. Like glucose and fructose—the two components that make up sucrose, or table sugar,—it’s a "monosaccharide," or simple sugar.
Artificial sweeteners are different. For example sucralose, which is sold under the name Splenda, is made by chemically altering sucrose so that it doesn't break down when ingested—so it doesn't have any nutrition and doesn't contribute any calories. The process also makes it hundreds of times sweeter.
Aspartame (sold as Equal or NurtraSweet) and saccharine (sold as Sweet n’ Low) are similarly non-nutritive, meaning that they're not actually foods, as they provide no actual nutrition. But allulose, which is also known as psicose, is a different type of sugar, so it can actually be digested and does provide calories—just not many.
Interestingly enough, a common brand of allulose called Dolcia Prima is made by Tate & Lyle, the same manufacturers who developed Splenda.
According to the Tate & Lyle’s website, allulose “offers the uncompromised taste and mouthfeel of sugar, without all the calories or glycemic impact." Allulose is 70 percent as sweet as regular sugar, and reportedly non-glycemic (meaning it won’t affect your blood sugar in the same way.)
Is Allulose Healthy or Safe?
Though artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories, we don't recommend them. This is because, even though they're approved by the FDA, they have troubling links to poor gut health, chronic diseases, and even weight gain. And because artificial sweeteners are typically hundreds of times sweeter, they can dramatically alter your taste buds so that when you do consume real sugar, you need a lot more to actually taste it.
But allulose is both less sweet, and is an actual, digestible sugar. So it may not have those problems. But at the moment, unfortunately, we're not sure.
Because allulose is new to the sweetener scene, there’s very little long-term research that’s been done (and what has been done is mostly short term animal studies or studies on very small groups of people.) However, the research that’s been conducted seems promising—especially in regards to weight loss and blood sugar management.
One study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2017, found rats who drank allulose syrup for 10 weeks gained less weight, had less body fat, and had lower blood glucose and insulin levels than rats who were given the same amount of high-fructose corn syrup.
Another 20-person study also found that consuming allulose lowered subjects’ blood sugar and insulin levels, meaning that this could be a suitable sugar alternative for people with diabetes.
Lisa Valente, MS, RD, says, “For people with diabetes, this sounds like a promising alternative to sugar, especially compared to other options on the market. However, it's still a sweetener. That means you would likely be using it to bake cookies or cake or add a sweet taste to coffee or yogurt. I would still advise moderation and choosing whole foods—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins and fats—more often.”
The Bottom Line
We’re cautiously optimistic about allulose. Though we wouldn’t recommend using it as a weight loss or diabetes management tool since it’s still a sweetener, using it in moderation seems safe. Since it’s a little less sweet than granulated sugar, and has way fewer calories, you’d actually be making a healthier choice by using 1:1 it in recipes that call for sugar. As more research comes out, we’ll be sure to keep you posted with the latest information.
Meet Allulose, the New Low-Calorie Sweetener That's Sweeping the Market
Few things rival the length of your to-do list except for the list of "better-for-you" sweeteners and low-calorie sugar alternatives that seem to keep growing. and growing. and growing.
The latest sweet stuff to score a spot on this lineup? Allulose, which—get this—is technically a sugar. Unlike the villainized white stuff, however, allulose is touted for its naturally lower calorie content and for having fewer associated health concerns than regular sugar. (BTW, this is how your body physically responds to sugar.)
But, is allulose really that sweet? And is it truly healthy? Here, dietitians share everything you need to know about allulose.
The New Low-Calorie Sweetener
Have you heard of allulose? If not, you will soon enough and the name will soon be everywhere. It’s a new, super-low-calorie natural sweetener that’s being produced by the makers of Splenda under the name “Dolcia Prima” (and supposedly it tastes “amazing”).
What is it made from?
Allulose is derived from fermented corn and claimed to be non-GMO but this article clearly states otherwise and the producer of allulose even admits to it’s syrup being GMO! This low-cal sweetener is almost identical to sucrose (table sugar) and fructose, contains 90% fewer calories than sugar, and is indigestible by our bodies.
The reason allulose isn’t digested is because our bodies lack the necessary enzymes to break the stuff down once it reaches the gut. Which means that if you down more than a few tablespoons, you’ll probably be in for some major stomach issues!
It’s “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) but considering that the FDA makes those designations based on studies done by the manufacturer, that in itself isn’t very reassuring.
What About Side Effects?
The manufacturers state that allulose is “well-tolerated.” (eye roll)
A study showed that one of eight people consuming allulose over a 12-week period experienced ADVERSE DIGESTIVE SYMPTOMS. Another study showed that large doses of allulose can DAMAGE THE INTESTINAL TRACT and cause diarrhea.
Artificial sweeteners are being exposed for disrupting gut flora balance, which effects our microbiome (the environment where our bodies breaks down food to release energy and produces vitamins).
THIS STUDY noted the below in a human trial.
The notable responses included nausea, bloating, borborygmi, colic, flatulence, headache, satiety, appetite diminution, and diarrhea
Larger, independent trials need to be done, addressing safety concerns such as liver toxicity or microbial dysbiosis, but if we need to test a product to see if it’s toxic, that to me in and of itself is a red flag! I’ve already seen it in some ingredient lists on packaged goods and I’m sure you will start to see it too! In my opinion, it’s just another artificial sweetener like aspartame, Splenda, erythritol, and stevia. Why do we have to keep eating processed crap? It’s only going to make up feel crappy!
BETTER SWEETENER ALTERNATIVES ARE…..
• Raw honey
• Yacon Syrup and
• Blackstrap Molasses ….Not only are these better, but they’re actually HEALTHY FOR YOU and I talk about the benefits of each in their posts.
Allulose, the New Low-Calorie Sweetener, Is NOT an Artificial Sugar
It's technically a "rare" sugar. But more importantly, is it healthy?
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FDA In Brief: FDA allows the low-calorie sweetener allulose to be excluded from total and added sugars counts on Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels when used as an ingredient
“Ensuring that consumers have current, science-based information is one of the key goals of our Nutrition Innovation Strategy. We want Americans to be able to easily determine the most relevant and useful information available when looking at Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels. One of the several approaches we’ve taken to achieve this important goal is issuing new labeling guidances when we identify an area where further clarity is needed. Today, we’re taking such a step by issuing a draft guidance on the labeling of allulose, a sweetener that may be used as a substitute for certain sugars in foods, so that the information presented on Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels appropriately represents its unique properties,” said Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “The latest data suggests that allulose is different from other sugars in that it is not metabolized by the human body in the same way as table sugar. It has fewer calories, produces only negligible increases in blood glucose or insulin levels, and does not promote dental decay. As such, we’ve issued guidance today stating that we intend to exercise enforcement discretion to allow allulose to be excluded from the total and added sugars declarations on the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels when allulose is used as an ingredient. Allulose will still count towards the caloric value of the food on the label – but the guidance document issued today states our intent to exercise enforcement discretion to allow the use of a revised, lower calorie count. As with other ingredients, allulose must still be declared in the ingredient list. This is the first time the FDA has stated its intent to allow a sugar to not be included as part of the total or added sugars declarations on labels, a reflection of our flexible and science-based approach to food product labeling. This guidance is one of several that the FDA has already released or will soon be releasing to assist manufacturers in complying with new labeling requirements.”
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a draft guidance “ The Declaration of Allulose and Calories from Allulose on Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels ” to provide the current view on the declaration of calories, total carbohydrates, total sugars and added sugars for products that contain allulose on Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels. Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that is naturally occurring in small amounts in wheat, some fruits, and a variety of other foods and can also be manufactured.
Under the FDA’s 2016 Nutrition Facts label rule , the amount of allulose needs to be counted towards the amount of total carbohydrates, total sugars and added sugars declared on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels. Additionally, under the 2016 Nutrition Facts label rule, allulose must be counted as four calories per gram of sweetener on Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels. This draft guidance states that the FDA intends to exercise enforcement discretion to allow manufacturers to exclude allulose from the amount declared in the total and added sugars declarations. Additionally, the guidance states that the FDA intends to exercise enforcement discretion to allow manufacturers to use 0.4 calories per gram of allulose when calculating the calories from allulose in a serving of a product. However, manufacturers must continue to include allulose in the total carbohydrates declaration.
The FDA plans to soon release additional guidance to help manufacturers in complying with new labeling requirements, including a guidance to address the declaration of added sugars on packages and containers of honey, maple syrup and certain cranberry products. In the meantime, the agency has addressed the unique properties of allulose in the draft guidance issued today.
What you need to know about allulose, the healthy sugar substitute everyone is talking about
Has the pandemic put you on a low-carb diet, making you miss your sweet treats? If you said yes, then read on—because we have good news for you. We understand that artificial sweeteners don’t have the same magic as sugar and leave behind a synthetic after taste. And that is why we think allulose could just be the right thing for you to strike that balance between taste and calories.
Allulose is a natural sweetener that can be used in place of your usual table sugar and has been taking the Internet by a storm of late. And here is everything you need to know about it:
What is allulose?
Allulose, also known as D-Psicose, is a rare natural sweetener. It can be used as an alternative for sugar, especially for those who are trying to lose weight or are diabetic.
Where does allulose come from?
Small quantities of this rare sugar can be found in wheat, figs, jackfruit, and raisins. Allulose and fructose have the same chemical structure, since both of them are types of simple sugars.
Replace your sugar with allulose. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
However, allulose is actually absorbed by the body into the blood and fructose is not. This makes allulose a healthier option A relatively new manufacturing process enables mass production of allulose by converting fructose from corn and some other plants.
How does allulose tase?
It is safe to say that allulose is 70% as sweet as table sugar. What is even better is that it does not have an aftertaste that most of the other artificial or low calorie sweeteners have, then be it sugar free or stevia.
Is allulose really a heathy option?
About three teaspoons of refined sugar account for around 50 calories whereas same amount of allulose counts for only 5 calories. While the energy it provides is very similar to that of cane or even beet sugar, allulose is not metabolized by the body and that makes its effective calorie value is so low.
How does it affect blood sugar levels?
Allulose does not raise blood glucose levels. In fact, it does quite the opposite by naturally lowering blood sugar and the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. It safeguards some of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. So, if you are at a risk of type-2 diabetes or are at a pre-diabetic stage, you should definitely make the shift to allulose.
Yes you can bake with allulose. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Can you use allulose for baking?
Since allulose tastes and acts like table sugar, it’s a really great sweetener for low-carb baking. It caramelises, thickens, and even gets sticky. Most importantly, it doesn’t crystalize upon getting cold like most of the other sugar substitutes.
/> Chetna Pattnaik
Understanding fitness the hard way, Chetna has finally learnt to strike a balance between her protein shake and her beer and making room for her writing desk and her gym at the same time.
Meet the New Natural Sweetener That Changes EVERYTHING
Introducing Wholesome Allulose, a delicious calorie free sweetener that tastes like sugar with a mild clean sweetness, no bitterness, and no aftertaste. Allulose is a rare sugar naturally found in figs, raisins, and kiwi. Wholesome Allulose is free from fillers and flavors making it the perfect zero calorie sweetener. Wholesome Allulose is Non GMO Project Verified, Keto Certified, Gluten Free, Vegan, and Kosher.
Click one of the Allulose products below to buy now in our Wholesome online store:
Allulose is perfect for low carb diets as Allulose has no glycemic impact on blood sugar. Granulated Allulose is great for baking fluffier, softer recipes like cakes, muffins and quick breads.
It dissolves easily, so we love it in coffee, tea, smoothies and mousse too. 1 1/3 cups of allulose sweetens like 1 cup of sugar.
Wholesome has created amazing Allulose recipes that you can view in our recipe library. Here are a few examples:
Allulose is currently available in many fine grocery retail locations including: Sprouts, Albertson’s, Giant Eagle, Earth Fare, HEB, Hy-Vee, Food Town, Woodmans, New Seasons, New Leaf, and more.
Save now by printing this online Wholesome Allulose coupon and using it in stores:
How is allulose made and is it non-GMO?
Our supplier produces allulose using non-gmo corn which is broken down into starch and fructose. The fructose is then converted to allulose via enzymatic conversion using enzymes from a genetically engineered microbe (GEM). The GEM used serves only as a processing aid and is not present in the final product [allulose]. Recent law makes clear that ingredients produced with enzymes or other processing aids from GEMs do not trigger disclosure as ‘bioengineered’ foods if those microbes or enzymes do not function as ingredients in the final product.”
Baking with Stevia
Stevia, made from the stevia plant, contains no calories or carbohydrates so it’s a keto-friendly sugar substitute. It can be found in powdered or liquid form.
The exact flavor of stevia depends on the type of extract. Splenda Stevia Sweetener is made with an extract, called Reb D (Rebaudioside D), which comes from the sweetest part of the stevia leaf and doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste of stevia products made with Reb A extract.
The taste of stevia is also slightly different from sugar, so it’s great to use in recipes that contain fruit, which provides flavor and acts as a sweetener and bulking ingredient. Try replacing sugar with Splenda Stevia Sweetener in fruity pie fillings, banana bread, and fruit crisps.
Stevia is good for baking moist and delicious cookies and cakes. Just note that it won’t quite brown the same way sugar does. For baked goods like cookies and muffins where browning and caramelization are desired, you may want to try allulose as it browns and caramelizes like sugar.
Stevia dissolves in liquid, so you can add it to your wet ingredients just like you would sugar.
It retains its sweetness when exposed to heat, whether in baking a pie in the oven, microwaving a custard, or preparing a jam filling on the stovetop.
The most important thing to remember about baking with stevia is that it is not always an equal 1-to-1 replacement for sugar. The recommended conversion for stevia depends on which stevia product you’re using.
Splenda Stevia Sweetener Jar is a blend of stevia extract and the also sweet-tasting sugar alcohol erythritol. The recommended conversion for this product is ½ to 1. That means use it in half the amount that a recipe calls for sugar. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use a ½ cup of Splenda Stevia Sweetener Jar.
Splenda Stevia Granulated Sweetener is a blend of stevia extract and tapioca maltodextrin. This sweetener bakes and measures cup-for-cup like sugar. This product can be swapped in equal amounts for sugar.
Looking for delicious recipes with our Splenda Stevia? Try these Salted Double Chocolate Cookies or this Keto Chocolate Mug Cake.
The Bottom Line
A llulose has some major advantages over traditional sources of sugar and even other sugar substitutes. But, Jackson is still a fan of getting sugar from whole fruits and small amounts of honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar, especially for people with gut issues like bloating, IBS, or constipation. “W e just just don’t know what effects it might have on the gut microbiome.”
As with most things, introduce allulose slowly and in small amounts. And, one final thing to look out is falling into the “healthy” junk food trap. “Oftentimes, people start adding these sweeteners to junk food that has no nutritional value,” says Dr. Jackson. In other words, the healthy benefits of allulose aren’t an excuse to start eating cookies all the time, while neglecting fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber, and healthy fats.