SolveYourProblem Article Series: Low Carb Diet
What Are The Benefits Of The Low Carb Diet?


Is There Low Carb Sugar?

Want to know where you can find low carb sugar? Unfortunately, there is no actual sugar that is low carb. Sugar is about the highest carbohydrate food that you can get.

White granulated sugar is pure carbohydrate with 100g of carbohydrate and zero fiber in 100g of sugar. Brown sugar is very slightly less at 98g carbohydrate. Maple sugar is still high with over 90g carb per 100g product.

When you get into other sweet foods the proportions are a little less but these are still high carb products. Honey has 82g net carb per 100g product. Maple syrup comes in at 67g.

Fructose, which some people think of as a sugar substitute, is simply sugar refined from fruits and some grains. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is sometimes used in diabetic foods because it does not require insulin, but it is not low carb. It has 76g carbohydrate per 100g and no fiber. Dextrose, maltose, glucose and lactose are all high carb sugars too.

So if you are on a low carb diet you will need to avoid all of these. Since there is no low carb sugar, you will want to look for a sugar substitute. Fortunately, there are plenty of these.

Some are natural plant extracts. The most popular one for low carb diets is stevia (brand names Truvia, PureVia, or available in powdered leaf form at health food stores). Stevia is a zero carb product so long as nothing has been added to it.

Sugar alcohols, which are also used as natural sweeteners, do have some carbs and calories. It is not known exactly to what extent these are absorbed but they usually count as half the carbohydrate content of sugar. Maybe they could be called low carb sugar but that is still too high for most low carbohydrate diets.

Others are inventions of the chemists' laboratories. These artificial sweeteners include aspartame (brand names include Nutrasweet), which is often found in diet sodas, and sucralose (Splenda) which is becoming more and more popular because it does not break down under heat, so it can be used in baking. Splenda is probably the most popular low carb sugar substitute.

There have been some health concerns regarding the use of artificial sweeteners. The research on all of the different products is too varied to cover in any detail here, but often research has been done by feeding huge amounts of the products to animals such as rats. Sometimes they would get cancer or another serious disease and die. However, rats that were fed huge amounts of sugar would probably die pretty soon too.

Most people accept that artificial sweeteners that have been approved by the FDA are safe for humans to eat in normal amounts. They can be very useful in low carbohydrate diets, used sparingly in drinks and desserts as a kind of low carb sugar.

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