Allulose – What To Know About This Sugar Substitute

A simple sugar with a low-calorie count and almost no effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, Allulose may be the sugar substitute of the future.
by Corina Tan

Allulose is a sweetener that has been on the market since 2015. Since then, it has gained popularity mainly because of its low-calorie count with reports indicating it is 70 per cent as sweet as sugar. The taste and texture have been described as almost identical to table sugar, and similar to erythritol, another popular sugar substitute. On top of that, early research suggests that it could have some health benefits that include anti-inflammatory properties and reduction in the risk of chronic disease.

This rare form of simply sugar naturally occurs in small amounts found in wheat, jackfruit, figs, raisins, brown sugar, maple sugar and caramel sauce. In recent years, manufacturers have found a way to use enzymes to convert fructose from corn and other plants into allulose. Since then, it is also showing up in many more packaged goods including beverages, pastries, yogurts, ice creams, salad dressings, chewing gum, and more. It is also a very versatile ingredient that can be used in baked, frozen or liquid food items.

Although the body absorbs allulose, it does not metabolise it and that is what makes it extremely low in calories. With its low-calorie count, this sugar substitute is a great alternative for people who are trying to lose weight. It also does not cause dental decay, which can be a real problem with heavy table sugar consumption in both children and adults. It’s effect on blood sugar is very minimal so people who are diabetic will not have an issue with raised blood sugar level or insulin. Allulose is not fermented by gut bacteria, making it very friendly to people with digestive issues where bloating and gas is significantly minimised.

Allulose is generally recognised as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, but it’s not yet allowed in Europe. Experts say that this means the ingredient is safe under the conditions of its intended use, and studies thus far have shown no toxicity or other health-related problems when consumed in moderation. Although animal studies of Allulose are promising, human studies remain limited without much long-term data yet. With more research conducted, perhaps we would be able to see if there is an upper tolerable level in daily consumption without any negative gastrointestinal or kidney related side effects. With all food and nutrition, it is always best to approach it with moderation and seek medical advice before making any diet or lifestyle changes.

(Read now: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight Fast)

Photos: Getty Images

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