Medically reviewed by Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
What is allulose? Is eating this new sugar a good idea? Where to buy the ingredient? Get the answers to all your burning questions about this new sweetener.
There's a new buzzword in the world of
sweeteners. It's a new sugar, and it's called allulose. Well, it's not exactly brand new—it's been on the market for a few
years now. But you'll be seeing it more and more on nutrition labels. A big reason: It has just 0.4 calories per gram of allulose, versus the 4 calories per gram that sugar contains.
So what exactly is allulose? I thought today would be a good time to tell you more about the next sweet thing, including if you should consider trying this new sweetener.
Allulose: The New Sugar Hiding in Your Food
When my editor at Reader's Digest asked me to write about allulose, I was excited. I love an excuse to research topics I'm curious about. So I dug into finding out all
about the new sugar, and now I have a lot of info to share with you.
I encourage you to read the full article that will answer all of your "what is allulose?" questions, but here's a brief overview to get you started. Alluose is a sugar that naturally appears in certain foods like wheat, figs, raisins, and brown sugar. It's also popping up in more and more packaged foods and beverages, including ones like chewing gum, salad dressing, and packaged sweets.
In addition to finding allulose in your favorite packaged goods, you can purchase it as a standalone item so that you can play around with cooking and baking with it. Allulose is about 70% as sweet as table sugar. So it's not quite as sweet as sugar. It browns more than regular sugar, which means it could perform well in baked goods like cookies and muffins.
When it comes to sugars, by the way, there are monosaccharides, disaccharides, and other types of sugar. Table
sugar is a disaccharide, meaning it's made up of two sugars, glucose and fructose. Allulose is a natural sweetener that's a monosaccharide, meaning it's a simple sugar.
Where to buy allulose? If you'd like to try cooking with the new sugar yourself, here are a few options available online:
- Wholesome Provisions Allulose Sweetener
- LevelUp Allulose Sweetener
- Hoosier Hill Farm Allulose
- Health Garden Sugar Substitute
Pros and Cons of Allulose
And what about the pros and cons of this sweetener? Here you go!
The Pros of Allulose:
- Per gram, the sweetener has just 0.4 calories. That's a very small amount, compared to sugar. However, it contains more calories than zero-calorie sweeteners such as monk fruit powder, as well as artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (which I definitely don't recommend!).
- It's rare for sugar to be a good option for blood glucose and insulin levels. However, the effect of allulose on blood sugar levels is very small, which makes it a potentially good option for people with diabetes.
- Allulose doesn't cause dental decay, which means it won't cause cavities. The fact that risk of side effects of the sweetener are lower is a big deal.
- It doesn't have a bitter aftertaste, like some people say stevia rebaudiana does.
The Cons of Allulose:
- Human studies on the sweetener are limited, and hopefully more research will be conducted on the sweetener in the future. For now, allulose is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's generally recognized as safe (GRAS) list. This means that allulose is considered safe under the conditions of its intended use.
Baking with the Sugar Substitute
Can you bake with allulose? You definitely can. If you're game for baking with allulose, I recommend doing so in small amounts. As my fellow dietitian Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, author of Nutrition & You, said in my Reader's Digest article, "It would be worth studying if there is an upper tolerable level that should be consumed daily without any negative gastrointestinal or kidney effects."
In a nutshell: Many nutrition experts remain cautiously optimistic about this new sweetener.
Amy's Recipe to Try
Whip up this easy recipe: Easy Coffee Cake Muffins!
I've been really into making big batches of nutritious recipes lately and freezing the extras. In fact, I recently whipped up two bean-and-veggie casseroles so my fiancé and I will have some healthy meals for
I also love having healthy breakfast options on hand, especially ones that help keep me energized when I haven't had time for my morning coffee! That's where these easy coffee cake muffins come into play. I hope you enjoy them.
And if you decide to substitute any of the sugar for allulose, I'm so curious to hear about the finished product! More of a tea person? Then give my matcha green muffins a taste.
Allulose Recipes to Make
If you'd like to bake with allulose, here are a few recipes to whip up:
This blog post was updated in June 2020.
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I'd love your thoughts! What do you think about this new sweetener? Are all your "what exactly is allulose" questions answered?