Concern over sugar intake is rising, even with our clients. According to the 2015 Food and Health Survey (International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2015), sugar found in food is causing consumer concern during food purchasing decisions. In fact, sugar is one of the top three considerations when purchasing food, only behind whole grains and calories. And there is a new opportunity to educate our clients on ways to reduce sugar, with a new low calorie sugar, allulose.
Allulose (also known as D-psicose) is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar, which exists naturally in our environment. Found first in wheat, and later in fruits like jackfruit, figs, and raisins, allulose has 90% fewer calories than sugar. Allulose is also naturally present in foods like caramel sauce, maple syrup, and brown sugar.
Allulose is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) per the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will soon be used as an ingredient in manufactured foods and beverages. We can educate our clients on the meaning of GRAS by explaining that any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive has undergone extensive evaluation. The evaluation includes a scientific review to demonstrate safety of the substance under its intended use. Allulose has been found to be safe for people of all ages for use in moderate amounts.
Allulose is unique in that while some of it is absorbed, the body does not recognize it as a carbohydrate. And because of this, it is not metabolized and researchers have found allulose to have no impact on blood glucose levels. It provides negligible calories at 0.2 kilocalories/dry gram.
With a flavor that is similar to sugar, yet only 70% as sweet, it’s an appealing lower calorie alternative for clients that wish to reduce sugar intake, as well as those who are working towards a healthy weight or for use with clients with diabetes. Researchers have also found allulose to be well tolerated without causing any gastrointestinal symptoms as it is not fermented during digestion.
You may soon find allulose in carbonated or non-carbonated beverages, as well as frozen and non-frozen desserts, yogurts, jams and jellies, chewing gum, candies, sweet sauces and syrups, gelatins and puddings, as well as fat-based cream used in modified fat/calorie cookies, cakes, and pastries.
An award-winning dietitian, Jen Haugen, RDN, LD, is a paid contributor on Allulose.org and the author of the new book, “The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden.” Jen specializes in inspiring moms to create the recipe to a nourishing life through gardening, good food, family, and faith. Her TEDx Talk, “How Moms Can Change the World”, features two simple ideas that can transform a family. Connect with her at www.jenhaugen.com or on Twitter @jenhaugen.