Allulose : A New Healthy Sugar Alternative?

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

You may have noticed allulose showing up on the grocery store shelf or on an ingredient list of a packaged food.  It came to my attention about a year ago, and I’ve been watching and waiting to hear more about it from nutritionists, doctors, and scientist in the functional medicine realm.

As I’ve mentioned before, maintaining balanced blood sugar and avoiding toxic chemical substances are both foundational to good health.  These are two factors we use to determine the healthfulness of a sweetener.  As you may know, we are generally supportive of monk fruit, stevia, erythritol, and xylitol. Each of these are derived from natural sources such as fruit, herbs, and bark with minimal processing in most cases.  They also move through the upper digestive tract without being converted to energy (i.e. not metabolized, having little caloric value, and therefore not elevating blood sugar levels). For the same reasons, allulose is another promising option on the scene now[1].

Allulose is found naturally in fruit and, at the molecular level, it is similar to fructose (a less favorable sugar). Allulose has 95% fewer calories than sugar and has about 70% of sugar’s sweetness. The most interesting potential found in animal studies for allulose suggest that it may actually lower blood glucose, reduce abdominal fat, decrease insulin resistance, and decrease fat accumulation in the liver. In one meta-analysis of human trials, when allulose was given with carbohydrate containing meals, it was found to decrease post-meal glucose levels by 10%.  Dr. Peter Attia, author of the referenced article, has personally put allulose in his morning coffee and observed a drop in his blood glucose level. It appears that allulose, rather than raising glucose levels, drags glucose with it to excretion through the kidneys.

Allulose feels like and tastes like sugar. Animal studies have shown no toxicity at high doses.  Literature suggests very few side effects. Digestive issues related to using allulose appear to be temporary and mild, especially compared to the sugar alcohols such as xylitol. It can be substituted 1:1 in recipes, and most people note no strange aftertaste or mouth sensation. One characteristic worth noting is, when allulose is used in baking, it does turn brown, so it can make baked goods darker than expected.

You will find Allulose in some HEB grocery stores and online.

[1] Peter Attia, MD, https://peterattiamd.com/replacing-sugar-with-allulose/, Dec 6, 2020.

 

By |2021-02-09T06:21:02-06:00February 10th, 2021|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|
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