What is allulose?
Allulose is a rare sugar naturally found in fruits such as figs and raisins. “It’s 70 percent as sweet as sugar,” says Anthony DiMarino, MD, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic. “So it’s less sweet than regular sugar.”
Basic sugar (called sucrose) is the most well-known form of sweetener. But there are many other types of sugar found in or added to foods. There are simple sugars called monosaccharides that contain one sugar molecule. These include glucose, fructose, galactose, ribose and xylose. Then there are disaccharides, which are two sugar molecules held together, such as sucrose, lactose, and maltose.
Allulose monosaccharide. It contains 90% fewer calories than sucrose, making it virtually calorie-free. Researchers have recently discovered ways to produce allulose on a larger scale, which may allow it to become a popular sweetener in the future.
Is allulose healthy?
The FDA states that allulose is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS).
“They basically know that small amounts won’t do any harm to people if they consume them,” Dimarino says. “What I recommend to my patients is that whatever you use, whether it’s natural sugar…or any artificial sweetener, is that you use your best judgment and use it in small amounts in moderation. Because we don’t want to rely on them too much.”
If you follow these suggestions, allulose can be a great alternative to regular sugar.
“What’s interesting is that it’s not metabolized by the body. It’s absorbed by the small intestine, but then actually excreted. So none of the calories are absorbed or stored in your body,” says Dimarino. “With the limited research that has been done, this has been found [allulose] It has no effects on blood sugar or insulin response.”
Does allulose cause any side effects?
Most people who take allulose in moderation will not notice any major problems. But it’s important to note that everyone has a different tolerance for artificial sweeteners. “One of the side effects that people tend to see is some gastrointestinal discomfort, such as some bloating, or some problems while going to the bathroom,” DiMarino says.
For this reason, it is a good idea to add small amounts of allulose to your food at first.
“It’s more than just trial and error figuring out how much to limit,” DiMarino says. “But if you take it in small amounts throughout the day, or in moderation during the week, you won’t end up with any kind of side effect.”
Who Should Use Allulose?
Allulose can be a great alternative if you want to reduce your sugar or total calorie intake. You can use it to make baked goods, frozen desserts, or your favorite beverage.
Because the sweetener is so low in sugar, people on a keto or “keto” diet have started using allulose more. People who follow a keto diet eat very few carbohydrates. Allulose doesn’t contain much, so it’s a good choice for keto-friendly desserts.
Allulose also does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. So it is a good alternative for people with certain conditions such as diabetes.
“The two groups of people I feel this would be most beneficial for are people with diabetes, especially those who are trying to lower their blood sugar. And people who are overweight or obese and trying to reduce calories,” DiMarino says.
Who should not eat allulose?
If you are allergic to any artificial sweetener or alternative, you should stay away from allulose. But allergies to these sweeteners are not very common.
Experts are still studying how continued use of artificial or alternative sweeteners affects humans.
“The controversy is, [experts] Say, sometimes they can cause cancer. Sure, the studies that came out and concluded that most of them were animal studies,” says Dimarino. “But if you have a family history of cancer, or you’re undergoing treatment, you may want to try and be careful. [alternative sweetener] you are using. Because we don’t want to contribute to the risk of further cancer.”
Most importantly, DiMarino suggests eating a balanced diet.
“Try and eat high-quality whole foods that are minimally processed and contain less sugar. Use these alternatives and these sugar alcohols in moderation and in moderation,” DiMarino says.