Feature

Tip of the week: Making sense of sugar substitutes

Artificial sweeteners; Sugar alcohols; Sugar alcohols

Artificial sweeteners. So many substitutes for sugar are showing up in supermarkets that the choice can be “overwhelming.” If you’re diabetic, you’ve probably tried zero-calorie synthetic sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal), and saccharin (Sweet’N Low). They don’t aid weight loss, though, because they trigger food cravings.

Sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols occur naturally in fruit, but they’re also manufactured and “can be easily identified on ingredient labels by the ‘ol’ endings”: maltitol, sorbitol, etc. Calorie-free erythritol is sold for home use as ZSweet and Zero, and tastes like sugar in sweetened drinks and baked goods.

Natural sweeteners. Many common choices—honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar—aren’t good for diabetics, but they reduce the highs and lows sugar can cause. Monk fruit is a very sweet no-calorie option.

Source: The Baltimore Sun

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