Sugar substitutes and sweeteners include naturally occurring sugars, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols.
Just because a sugar is naturally occurring doesn’t make it a better choice in diabetes. Sucrose, which is mostly derived from sugar cane, is naturally occurring but can spike blood glucose dramatically.
Artificial sweeteners have been around for a long time and do get negative publicity even though they have consistently been deemed safe in moderation.
Although sugar alcohols have carbohydrates, they are not absorbed by the body. Since they do contain carbohydrates, they will contribute to the total carbohydrate on a food label but should not be considered in determining glycaemic tolerance. For most people, sugar alcohols in small amounts don’t affect blood glucose at all. This is why it’s essential to look at the nutrient table as well as the ingredients list on a food label.
Often people will ask if it’s better to have honey than table sugar and the short answer is no since both are medium GI. This is the same for brown sugar.
Low or zero GI sugars are the best choices.