Allulose

 
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Food manufacturers have many different sweetener choices: sweeteners that contain calories like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and honey, and sweeteners that are very low in calories like sucralose (Splenda), aspartame( Equal, NutraSweet), and stevia. Allulose is one of the newer low-calorie sweeteners.

Allulose, also known as psicose or D-psicose, is found in very small amounts in figs, raisins, and jack fruit and is also naturally in maple syrup and brown sugar. Because it’s present in tiny amounts in only a few foods, it’s known as a rare sugar. To create a larger supply, food manufacturers use enzymes to produce Allulose from corn and other plants.

Alluose is absorbed by the body but not metabolized, so it provides almost no calories. In fact, it has 90% fewer calories than table sugar. Allulose contains 0.4 calories per gram while table sugar contains 4 calories per gram. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated Alluse as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) to be used in a variety of foods, including...

  • Carbonated and non-carbonated beverages
  • Rolls, cake, pie, pastries, biscuits and frostings
  • Both regular and frozen yogurt
  • Frozen dairy desserts, including regular ice cream, soft serve, sorbet; salad dressings
  • Jams and jellies
  • Chewing gum
  • Hard and soft candies
  • Sweet sauces and syrups
  • Gelatins, puddings and fillings
  • Fat-based cream used in modified fat/calorie cookies, cakes and pastries
  • Medical foods
  • Coffee mix

Currently, Allulose isn’t widely available, but it’s found in certain Quest snack bars. Although you won’t find granular Allulose designed to be used at home in your local grocery store, it can be purchased in a variety of online locations for about $26 per pound. It replaces sugar cup for cup, so this is a hefty price tag.

Right now, Allulose is so new that its primary use is by food manufacturers to reduce the sugar and calories in foods. Allulose gives consumers another safe, good-tasting, very low calorie sweetener alternative. Remember, it’s always best to use the least amount of any sweetener that you can, even low calorie sweeteners, so that you train your tastebuds to enjoy the natural taste of foods.

Benefits of Allulose:

  • Since Allulose isn’t metabolized, it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels or cause the body to release insulin, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes. 
  • Allulose has a similar taste and texture to sugar, with no aftertaste.
  • Research shows that Allulose is well-tolerated with no adverse side effects. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research study with 17 people who consumed 5 grams of D-psicose with three meals per day for 12 weeks showed no abnormal effects or clinical problems.

By Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, CPT, CHWC

References:

  1. Allulose: Low Calorie Sugar. http://allulose.org/allulose-info/about-allulose Accessed 3-28-18
  2. Calorie Control Council. Allulose. https://caloriecontrol.org/allulose/ Accessed 3-28-18
  3. Chung MY, Oh DK, Lee KW. Hypoglycemic health benefits of D-psicose. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 1;60(4):863-9. doi: 10.1021/jf204050w. Epub 2012 Jan 19.
  4. Iida T, Kishimoto Y, Yoshikawa Y, Hayashi N, Okuma K, Tohi M, Yagi K, Matsuo T, Izumori K. Acute D-Psicose Administration Decreases the Glycemic Responses to an Oral Maltodextrin Tolerance Test in Normal Adults. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. Volume 54 (2008) Issue 6 Pages 511-514
    Hayashi N, Iida T, Yamada T, Okuma K, Takehara I, Yamamoto T, Yamada K, Tokuda M. Study on the Postprandial Blood Glucose Suppression Effect of D-Psicose in Borderline Diabetes and the Safety of Long-Term Ingestion by Normal Human Subjects. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry. Volume 74, 2010. Issue 3.
    Authority Nutrition. Is Allulose a Healthy Sweetener? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/allulose#section1 Accessed 3-28-18

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