Are you trying to quit your sweet tooth cravings? If you think that substituting sugar is a good solution, think again. These sweeteners were created to substitute sugar, but because its consumption were abused, it lead to the obesity epidemic.
But not all sugar substitutes are the same, and there are currently 4 main sweeteners in the market. Each sweetener contains different color packaging, ingredients and have different effects. Let’s get to know and familiarize with each of them.
4 Main Sweeteners
1. Saccharin or Sweet’N Low – Pink packet
Considered to be the most popular artificial sweetener. More studies were conducted to find out its cancer causing effect, but there was no consistent evidence to prove it can increase bladder cancer.
2. Aspartame – Blue packet
Considered to be the second most used artificial sweetener. Aspartame is absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract in 3 forms namley, phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. When these three are broken down in digestion, it metabolizes to formaldehyde, then formic acid and lastly to carbon dioxide and water.
Methanol has been linked to health concerns, such as blindness or headaches, but the levels present in sweeteners are too low for this to occur.
3. Stevia – Green packet
Stevia is a gluten-free and low-calorie sweetener made from the “sweet leaves of the stevia plant.” Little is known about this product, but researchers studied its effects on the body of hypersensitive and diabetic patients. While changes were found in “insulin level, blood sugar levels, urine sodium excretion, blood pressure, lipid profile and weight of the individual,” nothing was that significant to draw statistics on.
4. Sucralose or Splenda – Yellow packet
Sucralose is made from maltodextrin and dextrose, the ingredients required to make it like sugar. While sucralose is considered stable at high temperatures, there have been some concerns that the breakdown of its ingredients maybe toxic to humans.
Now that you know the artificial sweeteners present in the market today, scroll below to know more about what “sweet” you should eat.
Moderation is the Key
Always remember that everything should be in moderation, and this includes sugar consumption. If you are constantly satisfying your sweet tooth with those artificial sweeteners, your cravings for sweets increases. This means that your tolerance for sweet is magnified, so if you consume foods that are naturally sweet, you will crave to add more sugar.
Artificial Sweeteners Sometimes Hide Behind Fancy Names
What are the artificial sweeteners available in the market today? Some of the most popular are sucralose, saccharin and aspartame.
These artificial sweeteners are synthetic and are derived from natural substances, like from the actual sugar or herbs. But these sweeteners are quite intense and are more sweeter than regular sugar. So be careful when consuming them. It is recommended to consume them in small doses.
Sugar Is Actually Not Bad, When Used Appropriately
Most people overestimate the actual amount of calories present in sugar. When in fact, 1 teaspoon of sugar only has 15 calories. This is not bad, when you are only adding it to your coffee.
But when you add it in big amounts to baked goods, these 15 calories teasppon can add up. So measure your sugar usage and always remember if just a dash of it is more than enough.
Novel sweeteners are a combination of various types of sweeteners. The most common and popular is Stevia. Also like sugar alcohols, it can have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts, from from 10 to 50 grams.
If you are experiencing intestinal gas, bloating or diarrhea after your dessert treat, it is time to take a break.
Sugar Alcohol Sweetener
Sugar alcohols are carbohydrates that are present in certain vegetables and fruits. But they can also be manufactured and not like artificial sweeteners they are not sweeter than sugar. They are often times less sweet.
Always remember that sugar alcohols are not calorie free, but are lower in calories than regular sugar. It is present in many processed foods and other products such as frozen desserts, candy, chocolates, toothpaste, chewing gum, baked goods and fruit spreads. Don’t forget to check the labels for the specific name or the term Xylitol.