Don't delay your care at Mayo Clinic
Brain tumor, breast cancer, colon cancer, congenital heart disease, heart arrhythmia. See more conditions.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
You can use most sugar substitutes if you have diabetes, including:
Artificial sweeteners are also called sugar substitutes, low-calorie sweeteners or nonnutritive sweeteners. They offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar. Because of this, it takes only a small amount of artificial sweeteners to sweeten foods. This is why foods made with artificial sweeteners may have fewer calories than those made with sugar.
Sugar substitutes don't affect your blood sugar level. In fact, most artificial sweeteners are considered "free foods." Free foods contain less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates, and they don't count as calories or carbohydrates on a diabetes exchange. But remember that other ingredients in foods that have artificial sweeteners can still affect your blood sugar level.
Some studies have found that substituting sugar-sweetened food and beverages with those that have been artificially sweetened may not be as beneficial as once thought. This may be especially true when artificial sweeteners are consumed in large amounts. But more research is needed.
Also, be cautious with sugar alcohols — including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level. And for some people, sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea.
M. Regina Castro, M.D.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.