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Everything You've Wondered About Sugar Substitutes

A woman adds a packet of sugar to her coffee

Sugar may cause a literal release of endorphins and offer a sense of stress relief, but the effects of consuming this carbohydrate aren't exactly joyous. From increasing your blood pressure and causing tooth decay to potential weight gain and increased risk of stroke and diabetes, the various harms that sugar intake brings along with it are excessive, to say the least.

It comes as no surprise that people have been switching to other sweetening substitutes recently. These sugar substitutes are also known as artificial, or non-caloric, sweeteners. The 'non-caloric' part is important as the best sugar substitute would either contain very few calories or none at all.

Excited to know more about them? Well, we have a very interesting brief planned for today that will equip you with all the knowledge that you should have about sugar substitutes. Basically, a complete 101 to artificial sweeteners.

What Are the Different Types of Sugar Substitutes?

Generally speaking, sugar substitutes come in two types

  • Non-nutritive Sweeteners
  • Sugar alcohols

Non-nutritive Sweeteners

Non-nutritive sugar substitutes are further divided in two. First, there are artificial sweeteners. These include acesulfame potassium, advantame, saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and neotame.

All of these are chemical compounds made in a lab. The words, 'made in a lab' really scare off many people. Well, you shouldn't worry as all these artificial sweeteners are FDA-approved and are safe for consumption.

Artificial sweeteners are also a lot sweeter than sugar. So, it comes as no surprise that only a small amount of it can achieve the same effect as actual sugar. This further helps in the 'saving calories' side of things.

The other type of non-nutritive sweeteners is naturally derived from plants. These include monk fruit and stevia. Manufacturers might sell these natural sugar substitutes as being healthier but there isn't exactly any proof that they are any more healthy than their artificial counterparts.

Sugar Alcohols

Remember how non-nutritive sugar substitutes are sweeter than sugar and are added in small amounts? Well, sugar alcohols work the other way around. Bulkier and boasting a chemical structure that is similar to that of alcohol and sugar, these carbohydrates can either be manufactured or occur naturally in some fruits.

Sugar alcohols include xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol, and mannitol. Sugar alcohols are made from two components, only one of which is digestible. This component does give you calories and also impacts your blood sugar. However, the effects are quite less when stacked up against OG sugar.

What Foods Contain Sugar Substitutes?

Now that you know the different types of sugar substitutes, you must be wondering which foods contain them. Well, from diet sodas to yogurts and low-calorie ice cream, hundreds of foods contain sugar sweeteners. As a general rule of thumb, anything that is sweet but doesn't contain too many calories likely includes some sort of sugar substitute.

To confirm, you can always read through the ingredient list on the backside of the product where the nutrition facts label is. Always remember that this list is sorted in descending order according to abundance in the product. However, you won't know exactly how much of it is added. The only way to be sure of the amount of sugar substitute added is to add the sugar substitute to the food yourself.

You can do that by buying an artificial sweetener in granular form. Unsure which to buy? We recommend DureLife All-Natural Sweetener. It contains the sugar alcohol Xylitol in granular form and is a great way to add a bit of sweetness to your meals without having to worry about calories, diabetes, or raising blood sugar levels.

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