If you have diabetes—or if you just pay close attention to your blood sugar—you already know that pure white sugar is just about the worst thing you can eat. The glycemic spikes that result are predictable and intense. It’s addictive and it’s unhealthy, but it tastes great, which is why keto dieters often spend so much time trying to recreate their favorite sweets using alternative ingredients.
There are now many alternatives to white sugar, and our options are getting better all the time. Allulose is one of the newer alternative sugars on the market, and has been touted for its authentic flavor and ease of use as a sugar substitute. Unlike many competing alternative sugars, allulose is a real sugar, but a rare one, found in very small quantities in natural ingredients like figs and raisins. Technically it is a carbohydrate, but it is not metabolized by the body. It has only 10% the calories of the same amount of sugar, and a fraction of the glycemic impact.
RxSugar is the best-selling allulose brand in America. The company calls its product “Sugar Reimagined.” It boasts just about every certification you can imagine—Non-GMO Project Verified, Keto-Certified, Kosher, Halal, Vegan, Grain-Free/Gluten-Free Certified, and FODMAP Friendly Certified.
This is a sponsored review, but my opinions are entirely my own. If I didn’t enjoy RxSugar, we simply would have declined to collaborate with the company.
I don’t need to mince words: this is now my favorite alternative sweetener.
You should know that I am extremely sensitive to the strange aftertastes and effects of most alternative sweeteners. Just one sip of diet soda has me running to scrub the flavor out of my mouth with toothpaste and mouthwash. I can tolerate stevia, but I don’t love it.
RxSugar has the cleanest sugar flavor from any alternative I’ve tried. No menthol-like ‘cooling effect’, no bitterness, no chemical flavors, no weirdness. It does not taste exactly like sugar, although I’m not sure I can articulate exactly how it differs. One important note is that RxSugar is somewhat less sweet than sugar. Even adding extra will not make your coffee or cake as sugary as real sugar, but that’s fine by me. I’d much rather have too little sweetness than too much, and the cloying supersweetness of other alternative sugars can be a real problem.
Before I’d tried RxSugar, my favorite was monkfruit sugar. Monkfruit sugar is sweeter than white sugar, and the flavor is just a little bit more ‘off’. I’ve found it most useful to use in conjunction with regular sugar, mixed fifty-fifty. But allulose is good enough to enjoy without any help from real sugar.
To get a better feeling for the possibilities of RxSugar, I tried it in a recipe that I hoped would emphasize its qualities. I didn’t want to do a keto baked good, because I didn’t want any interference from alternative flours. I decided to make a custard or pudding.
Most pudding recipes use cornstarch or some similar thickener, so I opted for a French recipe, pot de crème, which uses no starch but a huge amount of egg yolks to achieve a luscious consistency. I melted the darkest snacking chocolate I could find—95% cacao—and used a heap of allulose as my sweetener. This was a huge success. It was just sweet enough for dessert, with no off flavors, and the texture was a triumph: rich and smooth. I chose this recipe because I knew that if the RxSugar didn’t dissolve properly or had some other textural quirk, there’d be nowhere for it to hide. But it tasted very much like a real dark chocolate pot de crème you’d get at a restaurant.
I know what I’ll try next: ice cream. Diet Doctor and other sources claim that allulose freezes just like sugar. Frozen treats made with alternative sugars have a tendency of freezing into very hard blocks, and sometimes it seems like a hammer and chisel would be more appropriate than a spoon. Even the better keto ice creams on the market suffer from this problem. If allulose can solve it, I’ll be making a lot more ice cream next summer. Also on my radar: RxSugar caramel.
So how did my blood sugars respond to all this allulose? I started with RxSugar in my morning tea. I had small amounts of RxSugar many times and never saw a discernible impact on my blood sugar.
One time, as an experiment, I decided to overload my morning tea with it—I used four or five times as much allulose as I normally would. With my Dexcom and my glucose meter both at the ready, I confirmed that the allulose did not spike my blood sugar in any way. You can see my glucose line in the photo. I didn’t eat anything else, and had no rapid insulin on board. Had I consumed the same amount of pure sugar, it would have spiked my numbers by some 80-100 points (mg/dL).
Not all alternative sugars behave identically. This rundown from Diet Doctor shows that some can be expected to have a higher blood sugar impact than others. The possibilities range from malitol, a sugar alcohol that increases blood sugar almost as much as real sugar does, to products that are believed to have genuinely zero blood sugar impact. Some of the better-known alternatives, like Sweet ‘N Low, actually contain a not insignificant amount of dextrose. Allulose is believed to have no impact at all.
With the science and my own results in agreement, I didn’t feel the need to test beyond that. I’m confident that I can consume large amounts of allulose without the slightest blood sugar issue.
RxSugar is available directly from the website, and it can be found in many stores, including Publix, Albertson’s, Safeway, CVS, and Walgreens.
A bulk canister with one pound of RxSugar costs $12.99. Packs of sugar sticks are also available, and a line of flavored sugars is in the works.