Is Allulose Safe to Consume? Potential Benefits & Risks of This Sweetener
Allulose is a popular new sweetener that has been garnering a good amount of buzz lately. In fact, many raving allulose reviews have popped up recently, claiming that it mimics the taste and texture of regular sugar with only a fraction of the calories and carbs.
What’s more, this popular sweetener has also been linked to multiple health benefits. Not only can it bump up both weight loss and fat loss, but it may also help stabilize blood sugar levels, support liver health and decrease inflammation throughout the body.
Ready to learn more? This article will take an in-depth, evidence-based look at the benefits, uses and potential side effects of this new sugar substitute.
What Is Allulose?
Allulose, also known as D-psicose, is a simple sugar found naturally in several food sources, including figs, raisins, maple syrup and brown sugar. It can also be produced commercially from corn and is found in a variety of processed foods.
It’s estimated that around 70 percent of D-psicose is absorbed in the digestive tract and then eliminated through the urine rather than used as energy or fuel for the body. Unlike many artificial sugars, it’s not fermented in the gut, meaning that it doesn’t usually cause stomach issues like gas or bloating.
Allulose sweetener products have soared in popularity among dieters looking to decrease their consumption of calories and added sugar. Allulose keto sweeteners, for example, have become increasingly common because this sweetener is low in carbs and has minimal impact on blood sugar levels.
Many food manufacturers have also started swapping sugar for allulose, including in products such as granola bars, sweetened yogurts and snack foods.
Potential Health Benefits
Several studies have found that this popular sweetener could be associated with an assortment of health benefits, ranging from increased fat burning to reduced inflammation. Here are a few of the potential health benefits of this sugar substitute.
1. Promotes Weight Loss
One of the biggest differences between allulose vs. sugar is in terms of calorie content. In fact, allulose contains just 0.4 calories per gram, which is about 90 percent less calories than sugar.
Decreasing calorie consumption is an easy way to ramp up weight loss. When paired with regular exercise and a healthy, well-rounded diet, swapping it in for table sugar can help you cut back on calories, which may boost weight loss.
2. Enhances Fat Loss
In addition to promoting weight loss, promising research suggests that allulose could also increase fat loss. A 2013 animal model out of Japan, for example, showed that administering allulose to rats on a high-sugar diet was able to inhibit both weight gain and fat accumulation.
Another animal study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition had similar findings, reporting that feeding allulose to mice increased energy expenditure and decreased body fat. According to the study, allulose also altered the activity of certain enzymes involved in the digestion of fats and carbohydrates, which may also positively impact weight loss.
3. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
Some studies show that allulose can be a powerful tool to help promote better blood sugar control. Not only is the allulose glycemic index low, meaning that it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels, but it may also protect the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for the production of insulin.
One 2010 study found that consuming allulose alongside a meal led to significant reductions in blood sugar levels after 30–60 minutes. Other research shows that it could also decrease levels of insulin, which may improve the body’s ability to transport sugar from the bloodstream to the cells more efficiently.
4. Supports Liver Health
Although current research is limited to mostly animal models, some studies have found that allulose can reduce the storage of fat in the liver. This could potentially help protect against fatty liver disease, a serious disorder that can eventually lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.
One animal study published in Journal of Food Science showed that supplementing with allulose decreased fat buildup in the liver while also reducing body weight and fat mass. Another animal model out of Seoul demonstrated that allulose could reduce hepatic concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides, which may also help enhance liver health.
5. May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal immune response that our bodies use to help defend against infection. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can worsen symptoms of autoimmune disorders and may contribute to serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Some research suggests that allulose could possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Although it’s unclear exactly how it works, a recent 2020 study noted that allulose may interact with the beneficial bacteria in the gut to help alleviate inflammation and reduce weight gain.
How to Use It
Allulose has a similar taste and texture to sugar but with a fraction of the calories and carbs, making it an easy substitute for regular sugar in many different products.
Cereals, snack bars, salad dressings, candies, puddings, sauces and syrups are some of the most common foods with allulose that are currently on the market. You can also find this sweetener in other processed foods, including flavored yogurts, frozen dairy products and baked goods, like cookies, cakes and pastries.
Cooking and baking with allulose is also an option, and granulated varieties are available online. However, most allulose brands tend to be significantly more expensive than other sweeteners.
When comparing allulose vs. erythritol, for example, the price of allulose is nearly double that of erythritol per ounce. Furthermore, the allulose taste is not as sweet as regular sugar, meaning that you need to use more to achieve the same level of sweetness.
Risks and Side Effects
Is allulose safe? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, allulose is generally recognized as safe, meaning that it can be used as a food additive and sweetener in products sold in the United States.
However, it is still not permitted in many other areas, including Europe.
Studies in humans and animals show that it can be safely consumed in moderation with little to no side effects, even after long-term use. Some of the most commonly reported allulose side effects include digestive issues, such as bloating, gas and diarrhea.
Besides allulose, some of the most common sugar substitutes include:
Although these are all generally recognized as safe by regulatory agencies like the FDA, all except for stevia are produced artificially by food manufacturers.
Natural sweeteners can also be used as easy allulose substitutes. Try sweetening up your favorite recipes with maple syrup, raw honey, dates, monk fruit or coconut sugar.
In addition to boosting the flavor of your foods, these ingredients can also supply other important nutrients and antioxidants to support better health.
- What is allulose? Also known as D-psicose, this sweetener is a simple sugar that is produced commercially and found naturally in several food sources.
- Studies show that it could help promote weight loss and fat loss, reduce blood sugar levels, improve liver health and decrease inflammation.
- Studies in animals and humans shows that it can be safely consumed in moderation with minimal risk of side effects, and it is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, which means that it can be used as a food additive.
- It is commonly used by food manufacturers in processed products and is available in many allulose keto sweeteners as well.
- Because it closely resembles the taste and texture of regular sugar, you can also swap in other natural sweeteners instead, including dried fruit, maple syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar.
Source: Dr. Axe | Nutrition