Did you know? Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of regular sugar consumed in one week! Crazy! 😱This is why obesity is a major pandemic in our country.
There are a million reasons why you too much sugar is bad for you but we'll save that for another conversation. A few years ago, Jonathan and I started looking for ways to cut sugar out of our diet. We were also perfecting our delicious keto cheesecake recipe. We spent hours baking with other healthy sugar alternatives then stumbled upon allulose — it was love at first sight.
Allulose is pure magic and especially delicious in our cheesecakes.
Most people are not yet familiar with allulose but you can find it in soft drinks and salad dressings, ice cream, yogurt, and bakery products. Amongst the keto and low carb community, allulose is extremely popular because it is low carb, low calorie, and has zero impact on blood sugar.
But what is allulose exactly? Are there any side effects? What are the benefits? Keep reading to find out more.
What is allulose?
Allulose is a low calorie sweetener with the same sweet taste and texture as table sugar. Allulose is often referred to as a "rare sugar" due to its discovery in small quantities in nature. Allulose is also unique in its nutrient profile - it shares the typical chemical structure of carbohydrate, but only contributes a fraction of calories and does not raise blood sugar levels.
Allulose (the fancy scientific name is D-psicose) is a “rare sugar” because it is naturally present in only a few foods. In nature, you can find allulose in small amounts in figs, coconuts, and raisins.
Here are the top three things you need to know about allulose.
1. Allulose is a low calorie sugar with the same clean, sweet taste you expect from sugar. A monosaccharide, or simple sugar, allulose is absorbed by the body, but not metabolized through your intestine so it is nearly calorie-free.
2. Allulose is natural sugar — it is one of many different sugars that exists in nature in very small quantities. It was initially identified from wheat and has since been found in certain fruits including jackfruit, figs and raisins.
3. Allulose is a natural (not artificial) sweetener. You can find allulose in small quantities in a variety of sweet foods like caramel sauce, maple syrup and brown sugar.
Unlike sugar alcohols like aspartame, monkfruit,, allulose is a type of sugar that has
Is allulose low-calorie? What is the nutrition value?
Unlike regular sugar, allulose has 90-percent fewer calories and has zero calories (exactly 0.4 calories per gram) compared to regular sugar, which is four calories per gram, according to the FDA. Additionally, it is low glycemic meaning it's perfect for people watching their carbohydrate intake (like a keto diet) and looking to reduce and minimize their blood sugar types. According to Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., C.D.N., CEO of the private nutrition practice NY Nutrition Group in New York City metro area, "it also adds sweetness without spiking blood sugar."
There are new studies being published suggesting that allulose has major health benefits for diabetes prevention. In the largest recent study assessing the effects of allulose (aka d-psicose), allulose was found to assist with reducing blood sugar and insulin levels as well as decreased post-meal blood sugar and insulin levels in subjects without diabetes. These studies are early so we look forward to more research on this topic. We are optimistic to learn more!
Is allulose an artificial sweetener?
No! This is why we love allulose! Allulose is a natural sweetener. It can be found naturally in small amounts of some foods (like wheat, and raisins), but is 70% as sweet as sugar and has about ten percent of the calories. From a molecular structure standpoint, just like glucose and fructose—the two components that make up sucrose, or table sugar,—it’s a "monosaccharide," or simple sugar. This is why it bakes and tastes just like real sugar!
Typically, in commercial uses, allulose is extracted and manufactured from a plant — typically high quality non-gmo fermented corn. Manufacturers start with corn and use a series of processes involving enzymes to produce our favorite low-calorie sweetener, allulose.
Is allulose approved by the FDA?
Yes! In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies allulose as “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, and recently ruled that allulose would be excluded from total and added sugar counts on nutrition labels.
Is allulose healthy or safe?
If you're wondering if it's too good to be true, we totally get it. Our personal opinion (not medical advice) is that it's perfectly safe. However, given that it is relatively new, we are cautiously optimistic. And, while there aren’t any known side effects, there also haven’t been any long-term studies on humans.
Here’s what we do know: Research has shown that about 70 percent of d-allulose is absorbed in the GI tract (the rest is eliminated without being digested). Unlike other artificial sugars, it is not fermented in the gut, which means that issues like gas and bloating are not as much as a concern with d-allulose.
In 2017, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found rats who drank allulose syrup for 10 weeks gained less weight, had less body fat, and had lower blood glucose and insulin levels than rats who were given the same amount of high-fructose corn syrup. There was another 20-person study that also found that consuming allulose lowered subjects’ blood sugar and insulin levels, meaning that this could be a suitable sugar alternative for people with diabetes. Overall, we believe that allulose is a great sugar alternative if you are pre-diabetic/diabetic, ketogenic, low-carb, reducing calories, or simply looking to cut back on your sugar intake.
What does allulose taste like compared to other sugar substitutes?
Depending on what kind of allulose you have on hand, granulated allulose looks and tastes just like white table sugar. No after taste and a natural mouthfeel! Amazing, right? Unlike other sugar substitutes like stevia, monk fruit,or erythritol, allulose does not have a distinct after taste. For example, stevia has a pretty distinct taste that most folks do not not like unless it's in small doses. Monk fruit has a fruity aftertaste. Erythritol is known for the cooling effect on the tongue.
How do you use allulose?
Allulose can be used in a variety of different ways! We specifically love allulose because if you're on a weight loss journey or looking to cut out sugar, you can use allulose in everything! One of other favorite ways to allulose is in your coffee instead of your typical white sugar! Allulose is the perfect substitute for sugar. For example, allulose is perfect (just like regular sugar) in all baked goods from brownies, cookies, bars, to cheesecakes! If you're too lazy to bake and are looking for a delicious, keto-friendly cheesecake made out of allulose, check our Wonder Monday. 🍰 Get them delivered to your door!
Who should eat allulose?
Allulose is a great sugar substitute for anyone who is watching their weight, living a ketogenic diet, has prediabetes/diabetes, or looking to reduce their overall sugar intake.
Can you eat allulose in a keto or paleo diet?
Absolutely! Allulose is perfect for keto or paleo because it has a low glycemic index. In net carbohydrate calculations, allulose can be subtracted out. For example, let's use our Classic New York cheesecake, to see how the net carbohydrate count is calculated.
To calculate net carbohydrates, you subtract total carbohydates, fibers, allulose, and sugar alcohols. So, in the case of Wonder Monday Classic New York cheesecake: there are 10g of total carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, and 8g of allulose. This means each cake is 1g net carbs!
What are the possible side effects of allulose?
Unlike other sugar alcohols like xylitol or erythritol that are quite harsh on the stomach and intestines, allulose has almost no side effects when eaten in small quantities (under 0.4g per kilo of body weight, there were no significant adverse abdominal concerns.)
Personally, we have no issues when eating allulose in our snacks and desserts. We love allulose for this exact reason!
What health benefits can allulose provide?
Allulose may help with controlling blood sugar, boost fat lass, and protect against a fatty liver. There are more and more evidence-based research which studies the long term impact of allulose. However, given that it's a relatively new sugar substitute, the research is still evolving.
Allulose is a great sugar alternative for someone who is keto, low carb, or diabetic. Even if you don't fall under these lifestyles, you can still enjoy allulose! Why? Because it tastes just like real sugar.