What is Allulose?: Your Questions Answered
There’s a new sweetener in town. It looks and tastes just like sugar, without the carbs. And it might just be the new best friend for many people with diabetes. It’s called allulose and here’s everything you need to know about.
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What is allulose?
What if I told you there was a natural sweetener without carbs that looks and tastes just like sugar without any unpleasant side effects? Sounds amazing, right? Let’s take a closer look…
Allulose (aka psicose) is a natural sugar that is naturally present in tiny amounts in foods including raisins, figs, and maple syrup. These amounts are so small that allulose is considered to be a rare sugar.
For this reason, technically, allulose is not an artificial sweetener. It has a very similar chemical composition to fructose, the sugar found in fruits. In order to produce allulose, companies use enzymes to convert fructose into allulose.
On food labels, allulose is classified as a carbohydrate, but not as a sugar, as our bodies treat it differently than other sugars. It also has just 1/10th of the calories and fewer carbs than table sugar. Allulose has a texture and flavor very similar to sugar and also behaves like sugar when used in recipes.
Unlike other sweeteners, allulose resists fermentation by the gut microbiome. This means it is unlikely to cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms like bloating or gas in most people.
Most of the allulose you consume is absorbed into the bloodstream, however, it is simply excreted through your urine and is not metabolized or used as fuel for the body. In addition, allulose doesn’t impact blood sugar or insulin levels.
Some more good news: there also may be some health benefits of allulose! All of this combined with it having 70% the sweetness of table sugar, allulose may just become your new favorite sugar substitute.
Is allulose a good sweetener for diabetics?
The short answer is… yes!
This low calorie sweetener has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels. This suggests that allulose may be a great sugar substitute choice for people who want to control their blood sugar levels or have diabetes.
On top of that, allulose actually helps to increase insulin sensitivity and improve pancreatic beta cell function (helps the cells that make insulin). This means that allulose may actually help prevent the development of diabetes.
Is allulose safe?
Allulose has been tested for safety and the science says that allulose is safe. The US Food and Drug Administration has accepted allulose to the list of foods generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
Even studies on rats that have used massive, unrealistic doses of allulose over extended periods of time have found no adverse health effects from the consumption the sweetener.
Many people can tolerate allulose without digestive distress. However, it is important to keep in mind that some people may be more sensitive to allulose, just like with any food. If you consume allulose and have resulting abdominal pain, bloating, or diarrhea, you can stop eating allulose and return to normal as it is just a temporary reaction.
The verdict is that allulose is safe to consume and shouldn’t produce any negative health effects, especially when consumed in moderation.
Health benefits of allulose
We’ve already revealed that allulose has some great benefits on blood sugar regulation, but are there any other potential health benefits? Let’s take a look at what the science says…
Allulose contains very few calories and has an antidiabetic effect. Replacing sugar with allulose may help people who are trying to lose weight by severely cutting the calorie content.
Studies have suggested that consuming allulose while also consuming a high-carb or high-sugar diet leads to less weight gain and less fat gain.
Allulose may have a protective effect on the progression of obesity by preventing fat gain, especially belly fat and visceral fat.
Many more studies are being conducted with allulose to find out whether or not there are even more potential health benefits.
How to use allulose?
Since allulose behaves like regular sugar when used in baking and freezing recipes, you can simply substitute sugar for allulose in your favorite recipes when you want to nix the added sugar or calorie content.
The one thing to keep in mind is that allulose is only about 70% as sweet as sugar is. This means you may have to play around with recipes to determine the measurement that will give you your desired level of sweetness.
Another major benefit is that, unlike stevia, there is no bitter aftertaste to allulose. So feel free to add some to your morning coffee or on top of fruit and yogurt.
Here are some delicious recipes that allulose would work well in:
- Blueberry Walnut Muffins
- Keto Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Keto Milkshake
- Banana Carrot Muffins
- S’mores Baked Oats
- Keto Sugar Cookies with Avocado
Where to buy allulose?
Allulose is still an up-and-coming sweetener, so it isn’t as widely available as other sugar substitutes (like stevia) are quite yet. There is still a chance that you may see it in your grocery store.
You can easily purchase granulated allulose and allulose syrup online, with a decent chunk of brands to choose from. Here are a few brands you can find that contain allulose only:
Wholesome Sweeteners Allulose Syrup
You’ll also see that many food products marketing themselves as low in in sugar are now using allulose as a sweetener in their products.
The bottom line on allulose as a sugar substitute
So, what is allulose?
Allulose is the newest sweetener on the block that is safe to consume and well tolerated by most people.
Allulose also has anti-diabetic characteristics and can even help people with diabetes better manage their blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity. It may even help people lose body fat and assist with weight loss.
With a flavor and texture that is similar to sugar with 90% less calories, allulose can be used in many recipes when you want to cut back on your sugar intake. What recipes will you try using allulose in?