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The Lowdown On 'Sugar Substitutes'

The Lowdown On Sugar Substitutes
Date Posted: Monday, November 28th, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed as many as eight kinds of artificial sweeteners to be safe for consumption. You probably recognize some of them by their brand name: sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet and Low), aspartame (Equal), and stevia (Truvia). Each has varying levels of sweetness and uses.

These sugar substitutes are popular among people suffering from diabetes because they don’t spike blood sugar the same way sugar does, and among dieters who want something “sweet” without the hefty calories. Because unlike table sugar, which has approximately 16 calories per teaspoon, Splenda, Sweet and Low, Equal, and Truvia all contribute little to no calories. Here’s where they differ:

Splenda (sucralose): Sucralose isn’t broken down in the body, so it has zero calories. It’s about 600 times sweeter than table sugar and can be used in anything. Since it doesn’t lose its sweetness when you apply heat to it, you can use Splenda in hot foods and baking.

Sweet and Low (saccharin): Sweet and Low is one of the first available artificial sweeteners and used in foods, medicine, and even in toothpaste. Saccharin is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and can be used in cooking, too.

Equal (aspartame): Aspartame is typically found in chewing gum, diet soda, puddings, and many other “sugar-free” snacks. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it does have some calories (a measly 2 calories or so) per packet. It also loses its sweetness when heatedso it’s not ideal in baked goods.

Truvia (stevia): Because the sweetness of stevia is derived from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana, it’s often touted as a “natural sweetener.” In the U.S., the plant itself is not added to the food, just a chemical extract called Rebaudioside A. It’s about 200 to 400 times sweeter than sugar.

As fellow Lifehacker writer Beth Skwarecki notes, saying a sugar substitute is “200 times sweeter than sugar” means the manufacturer used 1/200th as much of it to match table sugar’s sweetness.

Source: vitals.lifehacker.com

Date Posted: Monday, November 28th, 2016 , Total Page Views: 1436

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