Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners.
SugarsThere are many types of sugar, the chemical names for them all end with '-ose'.
From the diabetic's viewpoint the commonly used table sugar (sucrose) is best eaten only in limited quantities in a meal.
Don't eat or drink it on its own, say as sugar in tea/coffee as sugars disolved in liquids are very quickly converted to blood sugar.
Nutritionally too table sugar, glucose even refined fructose (fruit sugar) are little more than energy sources.
All are highly refined products, giving few of the health benefits that other sugar sources like milk, fruit and vegetables give.
Carbohydrate in table sugar has about the same effect as the carbohydrate in white bread in increasing blood sugar levels.
Table Sugar is a source of energy and has little other nutritional value. Other foods even white bread are better for you.
Sucrose, Maltose & LactoseChemically Sucrose, Maltose and Lactose breakdown into other simpler types of sugar when digested, these are -
Sucrose = Fructose + Glucose
Bulk Sweeteners are used in many low sugar and sugar free products although in to large a quantity they can act as a laxative and cause diarrhoea. Some sites give a recommendation of a maximum 25g (1oz) per day limit.
Bulk Sweetenes are also known as sugar alcohols as chemically they are related to alcohol but they have no alcoholic effect.
Bulk Sweeteners are frequently used in special 'Diabetic Foods'. 'Diabetic Foods' are typically expensive and high in fat and not recommended by Diabetes professionals!
On a positive note, the sweetener Xylitol (E967) helps prevent tooth decay. Made from birch trees it has a mild mint flavour and is used in some chewing gums and mouth freshener mints.
Recommendations are to mix intense sweetener types if you are near the advisory daily intake (ADI) limit. Some of the commercial products are mixtures of these sweeteners anyway.
Some of these products have been around for a long time too. Saccharin for instance has been in use for over a 100 years, Aspartame for over 25 years. Where as Sucralose (brand name Splenda) was only recently authorised for use in the UK in September 2002.