Sweeteners and sugar substitutes
St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Men's Center

Sweeteners and sugar substitutes

Recent studies have shown that simple sugars like table sugar (sucrose) do not raise your blood sugar higher or faster than other types of carbohydrates. According to the American Diabetes Association:

It is important, however, to follow how your own blood sugar responds to sugar-containing foods. Here are some important facts about sugar:

  • Sugar is a carbohydrate.
  • Foods that are high in sugar tend to be less nutritious.
  • Sugar is listed on a food label under the total carbohydrates.

Artificial sweeteners, also called low-calorie sweeteners, contain no sucrose (sugar). They are usually low in calories and most DO NOT affect your blood sugar level. The Food and Drug Administration has approved their use and the American Diabetes Association considers them to be safe. The effect of fructose (a form of sugar) in diabetes is unclear, and you may want to discuss with your nutritionist whether fructose is a good choice for you.

Here are some examples of artificial sweeteners:

  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Acesulfame K (Sweet One)
  • Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal)
  • Saccharin (Sugar-Twin, Sweet n' Low, Sucaryl, Featherweight)
  • Sugar alcohols (sorbitol, lactitol, xylitol, erythriol, and others)
  • Neotame
  • Stevia based sugar substitutes: Truvia, PureVia, Stevia, Extract in the Raw, Rebiana (or rebaudioside A)

Other calorie-containing sweeteners are sugar alcohols, like sorbitol and mannitol. These may have a smaller effect on your blood sugar levels than table sugar. These are included on the nutrition label as carbohydrates. Count them as part of your total carbohydrate intake and remember that they contain calories.

"Dietetic or Sugar-Free" labels can be very deceptive. These foods are not calorie or carbohydrate-free and some have more calories than the non-dietetic variety. Often there are other carbohydrates in the ingredients, which may raise your blood sugar levels. Don't be fooled by sugar-free pies or cookies. Read nutrition labels carefully.

The bottom line is don't pay too much attention to the advertised message on the front of the food package. Checking nutrition labels for calories and carbohydrates gives you the information you need.


Review Date: 7/8/2012
Reviewed By: Nancy J. Rennert, MD, Chief of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Norwalk Hospital, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Previoulsy reviewed by Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. (5/13/2010)
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs

Brain & Spine
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile