Hey, I’m David - Co-Founder of Nebula Snacks - and a certified super snacker with a massive sweet tooth.
I get cravings all the time for sugar filled snacks, but now I try to keep a low-sugar diet comprised of primarily natural sugars and whole foods. I’ve tried all types of snacks to satisfy those cravings, but dried fruits and veggies don’t always get the job done and the aftertastes often left by artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols like erythritol, maltitol or stevia didn’t cut it for me.
So I got to searching for a better natural sweetener that could reduce my sugar intake AND still deliver a sweet taste.
And that’s when I came across Allulose as my new natural sugar substitute.
What is Allulose?
Allulose, also known as d-psicose, is a low-calorie epimer of the monosaccharide sugar fructose - and is considered a “rare sugar”. It can be found naturally in small quantities in fruits like figs and raisins as well as in maple syrup.
It is about 70% as sweet as your regular table sugar (sucrose) and has fewer calories, containing about ~1/10th the calories of regular sugar. Not a calorie-free alternative, allulose roughly equates to 0.4 kcal/g in dietary energy compared to sucrose (90% less than sugar). It is considered a low-calorie sweetener that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) to consume.
It has an extremely low glycemic index impact, meaning that it won’t spike blood glucose levels after being consumed. It is not metabolized like a normal sugar, but rather is absorbed by the small intestine and excreted through urine. As such, for those watching their sugar intake or monitoring the amount of sugar snacks they are consuming, allulose makes for a great , gluten-free alternative sweetener.
Does allulose raise blood sugar levels?
In a crossover study, 20 healthy adults aged 20-39 (11 males and 9 females) were given beverages with allulose alone, maltodextrin (a sugar) and maltodextrin mixed with allulose at different doses. The study showed no influence on blood glucose or insulin levels for those who had the dose with only allulose. Additionally the mixed doses showed a suppressed glycemic index response postprandial blood glucose) and insulinemic response (postprandial insulin). (Source).
Subsequently, it is also suitable for those following a low-sugar, no sugar, keto or low-carb diets and is safe to consume for those who have type 2 diabetes.
Are there any side-effects to allulose?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that allulose is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS).
However, some may experience bloating or abdominal discomfort from consuming large quantities of allulose, but this side effect is not toxic and usually temporary.
We’d recommend consulting your dietitian or nutritionist if you encounter any side-effects when consuming small quantities of allulose.
Does allulose have health benefits?
A diet heavy in sugar may raise your risk of dying from heart disease, even if you aren’t overweight according to a 15-year study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. (Source). The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests an added-sugar limit of no more than 100 calories per day (~6 teaspoons/24 grams) for most adult women and no more than 150 calories per day (~9 teaspoons/36 grams) for most men. (Source)
As such, the immediate health benefits to allulose are that’s its low calorie and has no impact to blood sugar, making it a good choice for those looking to monitor their sugar intake and focus on natural sugars.
For reference, a regular Hershey’s bar has 24g of added sugars (~100 Calories) alone, which would be 100% of an adult woman’s and 66% of an adult males recommended added sugar intake.
As a low-calorie and low-carb sweetner, allulose can also be beneficial to those looking to cut calories in pursuit of weight loss as part of a balanced diet and exercise regiment. Weight-loss plans that include regular exercise are not only more successful — but are also healthier. By eating a healthy diet and staying consistent with workouts, you're keeping your bones, muscles, and heart strong.
Where to find Allulose on Nutrition Facts labels?
As a result of the these and many other studies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled that the “consumption of allulose produces only a negligible increase in glycemic and insulinemic responses. Therefore, we intend to exercise enforcement discretion with respect to the exclusion of allulose from the amount of “Total Sugars” declared on the label.” (Source)
In addition, as “Added Sugars” is a subset of “Total Sugars” the FDA exercised the enforcement decision that allulose not be considered an “Added Sugar” on nutrition labels.
Since the body does not consider it a carbohydrate, allulose can be subtracted from the total carb count and be used to calculate the “Net Carbs” in the product.
Example: 14g Carbs - 3g Dietary Fiber - 10g Allulose = 1g Net Carb
What can allulose be used for?
Allulose can be used in a granulated, syrup or powdered form to bring all snack ideas to life without the added sugars to make delicious low-calorie sugar-free snacks.
It tastes great in homemade chocolate chip cookies, nut butters, ice cream, brownies and can even be used to make a refreshing home-brewed lemonade or iced tea.
Browse our snack recipes or use as a sugar substitute 1:1 to real sugar in any of your current favorite recipes
How does Nebula Snacks use allulose?
Nebula Snacks offers sugar-free snacks by incorporating a proprietary sweetener blend for our dark chocolate and oat milk chocolate bars including allulose, monk fruit and plant fibers. Our mission is to create healthy snacks that are better for humans and better for the Earth.
Check out the Nebula Chocolate Variety Box to see how we use allulose to make delicious chocolate without the sugar - perfect for on-the go healthy snack, the after dinner treat, or packed in your kids lunchbox.
Submit your snack ideas, recipes or how you’re enjoying your chocolate to the Nebula team at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our site or social!