FT. WASHINGTON, Pa. (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — Enjoying desserts as part of a healthy diet can be a challenge for people with diabetes and summertime is no exception. Strawberry shortcake, fruit tarts and chocolate treats are among seasonal favorites found at many summer parties. Recent research offers encouraging news that some desserts made with added fiber and sucralose, the no calorie sweetening ingredient in SPLENDA® Sweetener Products — in place of added sugar— may help with maintaining blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
The research was published in the Review of Diabetes Research and conducted at the Diabetes Center of the General Hospital of Nikaea in Athens, Greece . Researchers proposed that some desserts producing a low sugar response may be appropriate for people with type 2 diabetes and can help them adhere to dietary guidelines for reducing added sugar.
Researchers compared blood sugar, insulin and c-peptide responses (which gauge how much insulin the body is producing) in people with type 2 diabetes after eating desserts made with sucralose and dextrin (a common soluble fiber), to the same responses in those people after eating the desserts made with sugar.
"Medical experts agree that one key to living well with diabetes is keeping blood sugar levels in the recommended range throughout the day," says Maureen Conway, R.D., Director, Nutritional Affairs, McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. "For people with diabetes, sweets are more than just extra calories, they can also impact their blood sugar. The study was designed to provide data that would assist with the dessert choices for people with type 2 diabetes. The results offer helpful insights into healthy choices and meal planning."
As part of the study, 70 people with type 2 diabetes were divided into seven groups of ten. On three occasions after an overnight fast, each participant received either a meal (bread and cheese); or a meal and dessert made with sucralose and dextrin; or a meal and dessert made with sugar. Differences in glucose, insulin, and C-peptide were evaluated at five different points in time after each meal. Among the desserts used in the study were cake, pastry cream, strawberry jelly, chocolate, and napoleons.
The results showed that the participants who ate cake, strawberry jelly or pastry cream made with sucralose and dextrin had lower after-meal glucose and insulin levels than after eating the same desserts made with sugar. Similar effects on glucose, insulin, and C-peptide levels at specific time points were reported for the milk dessert, napoleon and chocolate made with sucralose. Crème caramel showed no effect. The researchers concluded that the desserts in the study made with sucralose and soluble fiber did not raise after-meal levels of glucose, insulin or C peptide in comparison with meal consumption. In addition, the study largely showed a lower blood glucose and insulin response for meals with desserts made with sucralose and soluble fiber.
"The study supports the wide body of research that confirms sucralose does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels," Conway says. "SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Products can be a great tool in diabetes meal-planning – allowing people with diabetes to enjoy some desserts and still keep their blood sugar levels in check. Desserts vary in their calorie and carbohydrate content, but with careful planning some lower sugar options can be part of a healthy meal plan. The researchers also noted that their study was short term and that further research can add additional insights into diabetes meal planning."
Sucralose, the no calorie ingredient in SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, is not sugar and the body does not recognize it as such. Unlike sugar, sucralose is not broken down for energy. It is not a source of carbohydrate or glucose, and clinical studies have shown it has no effect on blood glucose levels, insulin secretion or blood levels, glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c), or blood glucose control.
A separate study from Wu et al., published last year in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/36/12/e202.full ), showed that consuming sucralose in a drink is shown to have the same effect as water on a person's sugar and insulin levels.
"Both these studies provide strong evidence that SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener can be used safely by everyone, including pregnant women, children and people with diabetes," Conway says. "And using SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, as part of a healthy meal plan with regular physical activity, can be an excellent way to help with weight loss and weight maintenance."
SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener has been used safely by millions of people around the world for more than 20 years, supported by research data from more than 100 studies. Both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) support the use of low calorie sweeteners such as sucralose as a useful tool in managing weight and diabetes. For more information, visit www.splenda.com  and www.splendaliving.com 
With summer comes desserts, and who wants to skip out on delicious treats? Recent research offers encouraging news that some desserts made with sucralose — in place of added sugar— may help with maintaining blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.