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ALLULOSE
• 2024 BUYING GUIDE •

On my quest to discover all sweeteners with allulose, I found forty products.

It's known as the "real sugar without the calories" & "the sugar-free sugar".

Find here the complete list of allulose sweeteners and how they compare.

[Also, scroll all the way down to see other sugars that behave like allulose].

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FAQ ABOUT ALLULOSE

  • Have you ever heard of allulose—a rare sugar that is mildly sweet and also known as D-psicose? If not, you’re not alone. Allulose is a relatively new sweetener on the market that has been getting lots of buzz for its culinary benefits and natural origin. But what is it, exactly? Is it truly natural? Let's take a closer look at allulose and answer all your questions.
     

  • Is allulose a natural sweetener? Allulose can be considered "natural" because it's found in nature AND made from a source material also found in nature (corn or sugar beets). However, technically, it's a synthetic sweetener [or to use FDA's wording, a natural sweetener "manufactured artificially"]. Yes, allulose is found in raisins, figs, kiwi, brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup, but only in minuscule amounts. So, the store-bought allulose is not extracted from natural sources. Instead, to be produced on an industrial scale, it's synthetically made from corn (or other inexpensive sources of fructose, such as beet sugar)As previously discussed HERE and HERE, synthetic sweeteners can be called "natural". 

  • How is allulose made? Most products in stores come from corn. Put simply, the process of making allulose involves four steps: (1) starch is isolated from corn, (2) starch being a complex carbohydrate consisting entirely of glucose molecules joined together, is split into glucose in a process called hydrolysis, (3) glucose is converted into fructose by enzymes in a process called isomerization, and then (4) fructose turns into allulose using enzymes from genetically engineered microbes. Looking for details on how allulose is made? Refer to each GRAS notice submitted by the manufacturer for FDA review HERE [for each one, click "D-psicose" on the "Substance" column, and then download the PDF]. One brand imported from Germany comes from non-GMO sugar beets.

  • How sweet is allulose? Does allulose have an aftertaste? Allulose has an almost identical taste to table sugar, offering no aftertaste but less sweetness. It's 70 percent as sweet as table sugar, so you'll need to use about 1/3 more to maintain the sweetness level. You can typically use the same amount as table sugar to achieve desired results in your recipes, but they will be less sweet. Because of allulose's mild sweetness, you'll often find it blended with high-intensity sweeteners such as monk fruit and stevia. Keep scrolling down to see the allulose blends infographics.

  • What's the difference between granulated vs crystallized vs powdered allulose? Chemically speaking, there is no difference. They differ by the size of the crystals. Crystallized allulose usually has the same fineness as granulated allulose. Granulated allulose crystals are slightly smaller than table sugar but larger than powdered sugar. Powdered allulose, as the name implies, looks a lot like powdered sugar as it has smaller crystals than granulated allulose. Since it dissolves more easily, it gives a smooth texture to icing, glazes, frosting, fillings, and sauces.
     

  • Want to know the best allulose sweeteners right now? I created a resource called Sugar Swap Starter Kit to help you with that. You'll learn everything you need to know about allulose. Our kit is specifically designed for home cooks who want to understand how different sugar alternatives stack up, find the best ones, and get tips to use them. You don't need to go through the trial and error of substituting sugar & sweeteners in recipes. This kit offers a quick way to get all your questions answered in one place.

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  • Is allulose better for you than sugar? It's important to understand that allulose meets the chemical definition of a sugar, just like sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Allulose has the same chemical formula as fructose and glucose but its atoms are arranged slightly differently, which makes it behave very differently in our bodies. Like fructose and glucose, allulose is completely absorbed in the small intestine. However, as opposed to traditional sugars, it's not significantly metabolized, providing only 5 to 10% of their calories. So, it offers less calories per gram — 0.4 calories versus 4 calories for table sugar. Unlike common sugars, it's not associated with an increased risk of cavities, and does not cause an increase in blood glucose and insulin levels after it's consumed. 

  • Is allulose a zero-calorie sweetener? Technically, allulose is not really zero-calorie like high-intensity sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, stevia, monk fruit). But by law, it can be labeled as such because it provides a small amount of calories per serving, which can be rounded to zero. Here's the actual amount: 0.4 calories per gram =1.5 cal/teaspoon = 70 cal/cup. As opposed to table sugar's 4 cal per gram = 15 cal/teaspoon = 770 cal/cup.
     

  • What's the glycemic index of allulose? What are allulose's net carbs? Allulose has zero glycemic index and zero net carbs. Most of the allulose we ingest is excreted in urine and does not impact blood glucose or insulin levels. Since 2019, allulose can be excluded from "total sugars" and "added sugars" on nutrition facts labels and may carry the "no added sugar" claim. Here's what you need to know if you're tracking your carbs intake. Allulose is technically a carbohydrate and counts towards the total carbohydrates on the nutrition facts label, but it's not available for digestion, so it has zero net carbs. Net carbs are digestible carbs that break down into glucose and raise blood sugar levels.

 

  • How to use allulose? Promoted as the perfect sweetener, allulose provides the culinary benefits of regular sugar with fewer calories. It browns, looks, and dissolves like table sugar. It offers bulk (body & weight) to recipes. So, as said before, you can typically use the same amount as table sugar to achieve desired results in your recipes, but they will be less sweet. In baking, allulose makes a great substitute for table sugar, resulting in soft, moist baked goods, but not crispy. Okay, you've seen all the benefits, but what's the catch? Scroll down to "What are the disadvantages of allulose?." 
     

  • Where can I buy certified organic allulose? Until the summer of 2023, there was no certified organic allulose in stores. As one manufacturer told me, one reason is that allulose is refined using ion-exchange and absorption resin processes to filter. By law, organic sweeteners must be processed, handled, and packaged according to a long list of rules established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—the National Organic Program (NOP) — and ion-exchange filtration may not be used in the processing of organic foods, unless in exceptional cases. A second reason is that certified organic allulose cannot come from processes that involve genetically engineered microbes. However, in October 2023, two companies started selling the first certified organic allulose I've seen on the market. Check out both products Pyure and Slender Zero.
     

  • What are the advantages of allulose? Allulose has no aftertaste and provides almost zero calories per serving (one teaspoon). It offers bulk to recipes, browns, and caramelizes. It dissolves quickly (even faster than table sugar), making it perfect for drinks and cocktails. It refrigerates and freezes well, resulting in smooth, scoopable ice cream. It does not recrystallize like erythritol.
     

  • What are the disadvantages of allulose? Allulose is less sweet than sugar, so if you want to keep the sweetness level, you can't swap cup for cup (unless you buy blends, which are as sweet as sugar). It costs over 10x more than table sugar. Allulose is a FODMAP—an acronym for carbohydrates associated with negative gastrointestinal effects such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and nausea [The Center for Science in the Public Interest asked the FDA to require a label warning about that]. It browns and caramelizes faster than white sugar, so you might remove your cookies & cakes from the oven before they are fully baked OR get an overly brown baked good. It results in softer, puffier cakes and cookies. It does not crisp up your baked goods like table sugar.

  • Get all the details on how to choose and use allulose by checking out my Sugar Swap Starter Kit  Learn how allulose compares with erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit. See the do's and don'ts of allulose. Discover when to use and avoid it in cookies, ice cream, bars, cakes, and more. 

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other zero-calorie sugars

OTHER ZERO-CALORIE SUGARS

kabocha extract

Quick Facts about the Top Rare Sugars

Kabocha Extract  |  Allulose |  Xylose

  • Rare sugars, as the name implies, are rare in nature. They behave very differently in your body compared to regular sugars widely available in nature [sucrose, glucose, and fructose]. Rare sugars provide about 1.5 cal/teaspoon—versus 16 cal for table sugar—and have no effect on blood sugar levels. Like sugar alcohols (polyols), they are grouped in low-digestible carbohydrates, which offer us benefits, but sometimes side effects too.   

  • Rare sugars are mildly sweet carbohydrates promoted as "the real sugar without the calories" or "the sugar-free sugar". Because of their low digestibility, they provide only a small amount of calories. Some of the amounts we ingest pass INTACT into our large intestine, where it may be fermented by gut bacteria and may act osmotically by drawing water from the body, causing loose stools or diarrhea. The side effects of having unabsorbed sweeteners entering the large intestine include bloating, cramps, flatulence, or laxation, which are common complaints attributed to ingestion of rare sugars.

 

  • Besides allulose (listed first on this page), I've found sweeteners containing the following rare sugars: kabocha extract, D-xylose, and D-tagatose. Kabocha extract is isolated from the kabocha squash, also called buttercup squash "Delica" (Curcubita maxima D.), which contains rare sugars such as xylose, arabinose, and rhamnose. Xylose is made from hemicellulose and is also known as wood sugar or coconut shell powder. It's about half as sweet as sugar. I wrote about xylose on another page as it's used to produce the sweetener xylitolTagatose is made from lactose, is about 90% as sweet as sugar, and provides about 30% of the calories of table sugar (1.5 cal per gram). 

  • The disadvantage of rare sugars: Eating them alone on an empty stomach or in excess may cause diarrhea and other adverse gastrointestinal effects. 

Rare Sugar

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