Welcome to DIY (Do It Yourself) Diabetes with Marci Page Sloane

Overview of natural and artificial sweetener options for people with diabetes

Sugar with other names – HAVE an effect on blood sugar levels

Name Form/Found In
Sucrose Table sugar
Dextrose (glucose, corn sugar) Bread, cookies, soft drinks
Fructose (fruit sugar) Health foods and drinks
Lactose (milk sugar) Milk, yogurt, breakfast pastries, whipped topping mixes
Corn Syrup Beverages, cake, candy, cereal, cookies, syrup, some yogurt
High-fructose corn syrup Soft drinks, prepared foods
Invert sugar Candy, soft drinks
Maltodextrin Thickening agent, sweetener in canned fruit, salad dressing, instant pudding, prepared foods
Oligofructose Sweetener bulking agent, emulsifier, cookies, energy bars
Polydextrose Bulking agent in salad dressings, baked foods, candy pudding, prepared foods

Natural Sweeteners with nearly ZERO calories – HAVE NO EFFECT on blood sugar levels **
May all be used in cooking and baking

Brand Ingredient What It Is/Considerations
Only Sweet
Stevia A dietary supplement
Sweet Fiber
Inulin (not insulin) is a naturally occurring soluble fiber that does not raise blood sugar levels. A vegetable fiber that encourages "good" bacteria in the intestines
Sweet Simplicity
** may have slight effect
75% erythritol (sugar alcohol)
25% fructose
Excessive use may cause a laxative effect
(sugar alcohol)
Excessive use may have a laxative effect

Artificial Sweeteners – HAVE NO EFFECT on blood sugar levels

Ingredient/Brand Name What It Is/Found In
Aspartame (Nutrasweet) – "Equal" Sugar-free, No sugar-added foods, frozen desserts, diet soda
Acesulfame Potassium – "Ace K" or "Sunett" Chewing gum, diet soda, sugar-free foods, No sugar-added baked goods and desserts
Saccharin – "Sweet n' Low" Sugar-free, No sugar-added foods
Sucralose – "Splenda" Sugar-free, No sugar-added baked goods, frozen desserts, ice cream, soft drinks
Stevia is currently not known as an artificial sweetener ("Natural sweetener/dietary supplement") Natural sweetener
Neotame Diet soda, other diet foods

Marci Sloane, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University. Marci is the author of The Diet Game: Playing for Life! More about Marci Sloane

The goal of Destination Diabetes is to be a useful and credible resource for the more than 20 million children and adults who have diabetes in the U.S. and their families. Destination Diabetes provides information on a wide range of diabetes health and wellness topics. Articles are written or reviewed by diabetes advisors who have experience in diabetes education.