There's a new, natural sweetener available, and it even comes with health benefits. Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that tastes like sugar and actually boosts fat loss, but it's not artificial. The main benefits of allulose are that it doesn't cause a glycemic response and has much fewer calories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently decided that companies could exclude allulose from total and added sugar counts on food labels. If you're craving sugar but don't want to ruin your ketogenic (keto) diet, then consider allulose.
What is Allulose?
The most important thing you need to know about allulose is that it's a naturally occurring sugar and not an artificial sugar. Also known as D-psicose, allulose is a natural sugar that comes from fruits such as figs, raisins, dates and jackfruit. You’ll also find small amounts in wheat. Allulose is considered low-calorie because it has only 0.2 to 0.4 calories per gram. For comparison, white table sugar is 4 calories per gram, so allulose has 90% fewer calories.
Although the texture and taste of allulose are comparable to sugar, it has just 70% of its sweetness. At the molecular level, allulose is similar to fructose, which is the sugar found in fruit and honey. But its atoms are arranged differently. More importantly, because of its molecular structure your body doesn't recognize allulose as a carb, so you don't digest it like normal sugar. When you eat allulose, your body doesn't turn it into energy, and it’s excreted in your urine. Allulose doesn't cause a glycemic response in the body. This makes it a powerful alternative to sugar and a helpful aid for going keto.
The FDA considers allulose to be GRAS, Generally Recognized as Safe. In addition, the FDA’s draft guidance report found that allulose can be left out of the total and added sugar counts on nutrition labels. This means that food manufacturers don't have to count allulose in the sugar totals because it's low-calorie and doesn't act like regular sugar in the human body. But they still have to include it in the ingredient list. It’s the first time that the FDA has allowed this.
Health and Keto Benefits
One of the benefits of allulose is that it doesn't raise your blood sugar levels or insulin when you eat it. It also doesn't cause cavities or tooth decay. Moreover, unlike some artificial sugars, allulose doesn't get fermented in your gut, so you don't have to worry about gas or bloating.
On the keto diet, it can be hard to fight sugar cravings. Allulose offers a sweet alternative that won't wreck your diet, because it’s low-calorie and not metabolized like a normal carb. Furthermore, initial studies on rats show that allulose can actually help boost fat loss and prevent obesity.
Innovative brands, such as Quest Nutrition, HEKA Good Foods and Magic Spoon Cereal, are already using allulose to sweeten their products.
Consider Trying Allulose
Whether you've just started on the keto diet or been on it for many months, you may want to try adding allulose to take advantage of its fat loss-boosting powers and other health benefits. From no risk of tooth decay to no bloating, allulose has many advantages over other sugars. Plus, the sweet taste of this natural sugar can fool you into thinking that you’re having regular sugar but without any of the risks.
Lana Bandoim is a freelance writer and editor. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry and more than a decade of writing experience. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Yahoo News, Business Insider, Lifescript, Healthline and many other publications.