How Sugar Substitutes Stack Up
We put them to the test by baking cakes.
There are plenty of reasons to avoid fructose and its even more vilified twin, high-fructose corn syrup.
For athletes, these sweeteners provide much-needed energy. For the rest of us, they’re high-calorie, zero-nutrition temptations that can lead to obesity and a host of related conditionsdiabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease.
When sugar has a rap sheet like this, alternative sweeteners start to look appealing. For diabetics, most of these substitutes don’t cause the dramatic blood sugar spikes associated with the real thing. For weight watchers, zero calories are a dieter’s boon.
But which to choose? There are scores of sugar substitutes most fall into one of four categories: natural sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, dietary supplements, and sugar alcohols. And there’s a new hybrid sweetenertagatosethat is natural and has fewer calories than sugar.
As a category, natural sweeteners are a less processed, better-for-you-option than fructose. Like sugar, they produce energy when metabolized by the body. Unlike sugar, they have some nutritional value in the form of trace vitamins and minerals.
There’s agave from the eponymous plant, honey , molasses, and the syrup family . Over the years I’ve performed enough tests to know that while there are taste and textural differences, most of these more distinctive sweeteners are fine stand-ins for sugar.
Brand names: Sunett, Sweet One
Does Erythritol Cause Weight Gain
High levels of erythritol in your blood have been identified as a possible contributor to weight gain. This appears to be particularly true for children and young adults. Unlike some other artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols are classified as carbs.
Is xylitol inflammatory?
Previously, it was reported that xylitol has an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting cytokine production induced by P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide in Raw 264.7 cells. However, the anti-inflammatory effects of xylitol on live P.
Is xylitol OK on keto? This sweetener tastes just like sugar and can be used to replace it like for like in recipes that call for sugar. Interestingly, Xylitol does not raise blood sugars or insulin levels in the same way that sugar does, meaning that it does not count as net carbs, making it popular for ketoers.
Can erythritol kick you out of ketosis?
No.They are the same in that they both will not disrupt ketosis but they are made from different things. Swerve is a blended sweetener and sugar substitute for low carb cooking. Yet it is made from a blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides instead of stevia.
The Quest For A Natural Sugar Substitute
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On a Sunday evening last September, stevia became famous. In the final episode of Breaking Bad, an image of the sweetener filled the TV screen. Lydia emptied the packet into her mug of camomile tea, not knowing that Walt, her former partner, had poisoned it. How are you feeling? he later asked. Kind of under the weather, like youve got the flu? That would be the ricin I gave you. I slipped it into that stevia crap that youre always putting in your tea.
In an interview with The Guardian, published the next day, the actress who played Lydia laughed about the product anti-placement: Sorry, stevia, she said. Oh, I suppose it feels a bit rubbish. Do you think anyone actually bought it anyway?
Actually, yes. The natural, noncaloric sweetener, made from the leaves of a Paraguayan shrub, now sits in second place in the $400 million market for sugar-bowl sachets. When Cargill introduced the leading brand of stevia, called Truvia, in 2008, the company heralded it as a new category of sweet. Sure enough, imitators followed. A few weeks later, Merisant put out PureVia made from the same ingredient and then the manufacturer of SweetN Low started filling light green packets with what it called Stevia in the Raw.
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What Sugar Substitutes/artificial Sweeteners Are Approved By The Fda
The following sugar substitutes are FDA approved as food additives in the United States:
- Acesulfame K
- Saccharin (brand names: Sweet N Low® and Sugar Twin®
According to the FDA, some sugar substitutes are generally recognized as safe . This means they dont require FDA approval because qualified experts agree the scientific evidence shows these products are safe for use in foods and drinks. Sugar substitutes in this category include highly purified stevia extracts called steviol glycosides and monk fruit extracts .
Sugar alcohols are another class of sweeteners that can be used as sugar substitutes. Examples include mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. The FDA has determined that sugar alcohols are generally recognized as safe for use in foods and drinks.
Aspartame is a common low-calorie sugar substitute. Its a combination of 2 amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Its about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It can be found in thousands of processed foods and drinks. Products that contain aspartame include yogurt, frozen desserts, pudding, dry dessert mixes, chewing gum, and soft drinks.
Its used as a tabletop sweetener. It also can be found in some medicines and vitamins. Aspartame shouldnt be used as a substitute for sugar when youre baking. It loses its sweet taste when its heated.
Is aspartame safe?
Is acesulfame K safe?
Is saccharin safe?
Does Stevia Kill Gut Bacteria
While the study shows that stevia may contribute to an unbalanced gut, neither form of stevia showed evidence of killing bacteria in the gut. This is an initial study that indicates that more research is warranted before the food industry replaces sugar and artificial sweeteners with stevia and its extracts.
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Is Stevia Better Than Splenda
Splenda and stevia are popular and versatile sweeteners that won’t add calories to your diet. Both are generally considered safe to use, yet research on their long-term health effects is ongoing. While no evidence suggests that either is unsafe, it appears that purified stevia is associated with the fewest concerns.
The 3 Best Sugar Substitutes
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Youve surely seen the headlines that overconsumption of sugar leads to all sorts of ills, including weight gain, obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, cavities, increased hunger, high blood pressure, heart disease, nutrient deficiencies, skin issues, cognitive decline, and the list goes on. And perhaps youve even vowed to yourself to give it up for good . Only to unthinkingly pop another sweet treat into your mouth moments later
After all, refined sugar is the epitome of empty calories. It has zero nutritional valueno amino acids, no essential fats, no vitamins, no minerals, and no antioxidants. For most people, there are no reasons, nutritionally speaking, to include it in the diet and a long, long list of reasons to avoid it.
So, if you know all this, why do you keep eating it?
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How Much Sugar Can You Eat If You Have Diabetes
There is no set limit for people with diabetes, though general dietary recommendations say to limit added sugars to less than 10% of your daily calories. The most important thing is to track your carbohydrate intake and account for them in your diabetes management plan. Work with your healthcare provider on the amount that’s right for you.
Erythritols Glycemic Index Is Much Lower Than An Equivalent Amount Of Table Sugar Even After Controlling For Caloric Content
One of the reasons why table sugar is so harmful comes down to its glycemic index: the rate at which it causes a spike in blood sugar.
Erythritol, calorie for calorie, does not cause the same rapid spike in blood sugar.
This combines with its vastly lower caloric content when matched with sugar for sweetness. The result is a sweetener that is much easier on your metabolic system and much better for your metabolic health.
Last, Erythritol makes a great bulking agent for low-carb keto baked goods. So overall, in my view, it remains a top contender as one of my top sugar substitutes in baking. Thanks for reading!
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A Comprehensive Guide To The 4 Best Natural Sweeteners
Looking for a healthy natural sweetener, without the nasty aftertaste and side effects? Check out our guide to the top four natural sweeteners
Humans are hard wired for sugar. Fruit, pastries, soda pop it starts when sugar molecules bind to taste receptors on your tongue. Then, theres a sense of pleasure, as your brain lights up with a flood of dopamine and serotonin. And, for the moment, sugar is amazing.
But, heres the kicker. Eventually that sugar rush comes crashing down, contributing to cavities, obesity, and diabetes. Yet, still you crave the sweet stuff.
The problem is that we have an evolutionary mismatch.
What Is Another Name For Erythritol
Erythritol is 6070% as sweet as sucrose , yet it is almost noncaloric and does not affect blood sugar or cause tooth decay.
What can be substituted for erythritol? The best erythritol substitute would be one of the granular blends in the table below . They tend to be much easier to find and taste a bit better than pure erythritol.
What is xylitol made from?
Xylitol is a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol. Xylitol occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It is also commercially produced from birch bark and corn cob for use as a sweetener. Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gum.
Can xylitol make you gain weight? Xylitol side effects also include constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, borborygmi, colic, increased bowel movements and weight gain. Potential xylitol benefits including aiding in oral health, since some research shows it does have the ability to prevent cavities.
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Is Brown Sugar Healthy
While they are produced differently, resulting in distinct tastes, colors, and culinary uses, brown sugar is often simply processed white sugar with molasses. Contrary to common belief, they are nutritionally similar. Brown sugar contains slightly more minerals than white sugar but will not provide any health benefits.
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The price of obesity in the United States isn’t small, either. Its estimated that the annual health care cost of obesity-related illnesses is $190 billion, representing ~21% of the annual medical spendings in the United States.
It is evident that a lower-sugar diet is key to weight management and healthy living, but we all need to satisfy our cravings once in a while. And if the addictive nature of sugar makes it hard to stop ourselves, is there a way for us to have our cake and eat it too? The answer is yes, and the biotechnology upstart Amyris has the solution.
Amyris supports a sustainable future by producing a wide array of molecules from engineered organisms and renewably-sourced carbon from plants.. They are committed to their No Compromise vision of a world in which both people and the planet benefit through better sustainable products. Their portfolio includes antimalarial drugs, clean skincare products, and now, their latest No Compromise product: the zero-calorie sweetener, Purecane.
Back in 2016, Amyris CEO John Melo felt that it was time for the company to have another growth spurt. On the lookout for the next big thing, Melo realized that big food and beverage companies were pursuing a new strategy of sugar reduction. This was in response to a huge consumer backlash against not just sugar and its negative effects on our bodies, but also against chemically-derived sweeteners.
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Who Should Buy Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are generally safe for all individuals and are great for people trying to lose weight and avoid sugar consumption. Furthermore, since blood sugar isnt affected by the consumption of artificial sweeteners, diabetics will benefit greatly from them.
Special populations such as pregnant women and children should consult a doctor before consuming any artificial sweeteners.
Organic Coconut Palm Sugar Substitute
Organic Coconut Sugar is an excellent 1 to 1 substitute for refined white sugar. BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Sugar can easily replace white sugar or artificial sweeteners in infancy and straightforward dishes. The options are limitless.
Organic Coconut Sugar from BetterBody Foods has a low glycemic index by nature. This means that it doesnt boost your blood sugar as quickly as refined sweets, so you may enjoy the sweetness of sugar without the insulin surge that comes with it. Our USDA-certified organic coconut sugar is gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher.
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What Is The Slimming Sugar
HC-Peptide: It is the scientific name of slimming sugar that is 100% precise and pure concentrate. It stops cravings, controls appetite, and stops fat storage to reduce abdominal fat and lose weight.
You can use dates, fruit purées, yacon syrup, honey, and maple syrup as alternatives to sugar. Although these sweeteners may offer limited health benefits compared with refined sweeteners, any sweetener should be used sparingly.
Taste. Monk fruit sweeteners taste different from regular table sugar, and some find the taste unusual or unpleasant. The sweeteners can also leave an aftertaste.
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Do Not Use These Sweeteners On Keto
Now that you know which low-carb sweeteners are Keto-approved, lets quickly go over some sugar substitutes that are best avoided.
The following sweeteners will spike your blood sugar and put you at risk of falling out of ketosis.
Maltodextrin is often found mixed in with low-carb sweeteners. It is highly processed from starchy plants and is best avoided on keto.
#2. Coconut Sugar
Coconut oil and coconut flour are perfectly fine on the Ketogenic diet, but coconut sugar is best avoided. Even though its absorbed more slowly than regular sugar, its still sugar and a small amount can still kick you out of ketosis.
#3. Agave Nectar
This sugar substitute is very high in fructose, which has been implicated in causing inflammation and insulin resistance, as well as increasing triglycerides and small dense LDL.
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What About Natural Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners can be a better option than refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. They are derived from natural sources and are rich in vitamins, but they have a very high carb level.
These natural sweeteners include:
- Pure Maple syrup
- Raw Honey
This means you must consume these sweeteners in moderation we recommend limiting your consumption of only 1 teaspoon per day.
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What Is Monk Fruit Best In
Monk fruit with erythritol is best in crispy or soft baked goods, such as muffins, cookies, or cakes.
Monk fruit with allulose is best in soft and moist baked goods, such as cakes or soft cookies. It also works well in coffee, teas, or other uses where you would need it to dissolve.
Powdered Monk Fruit With Allulose is really great for frostings! Powdered Monk fruit With Erythritol is great in frostings too, but can still have a very slight aftertaste.
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Sugar Substitutes To Avoid
Evidence suggests that we shouldnt be fooled into thinking that zero-calorie artificial sweeteners with zero grams of sugar are healthy. Both human and animal studies continue to reveal that frequent consumption of diet soda or artificial sweeteners is associated with greater body mass index , obesity and metabolic syndrome.
What are the worst sugar substitutes? One is high fructose corn syrup, which is usually produced from genetically modified corn.
Fructose is a simple sugar that is rapidly metabolized by the liver, causing a sugar high. Researchers believe this quick-acting sugar leads to increased storage of fat in the liver, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, digestive upset and atherosclerosis.
Another popular one is sucralose, which is 600 times sweeter than sugar and may contribute to an addiction for overly sweet foods and drinks. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that cooking with sucralose at high temperatures can generate dangerous chloropropanols a toxic class of compounds.
Human and rodent studies demonstrate that sucralose may also alter glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide 1 levels.
There are many artificial sweeteners on the market today, including:
Which is the safest artificial sweetener? It depends on what you consider to be artificial.
A sweetener in extract form, such as stevia or monk fruit, is a good choice if youre looking for a zero-calorie option.
What To Substitute For Sugar In Baking
Here are our top six sugar substitutes when it comes to baking: Coconut sugar. Play video. Agave nectar or agave syrup. Play video. Fruit concentrates. Unlike fruit juice, which has added sugar, fruit concentrate is basically fruit with the water removed. Maple syrup. Molasses.
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Sweeteners Not To Use
The following sweeteners should be avoided at all costs because no matter how natural it is, sugar is still sugar and will affect your body negatively . These sweeteners will always increase your blood sugar levels, diminish your weight loss, and may even knock you out of ketosis. Stay away from: high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave, rice malt syrup, blackstrap molasses, fruit juice and dried fruit.
What About Other Natural Sugar Substitutes Like Honey
There are several popular sugary sweeteners that health-conscious people often eat instead of sugar, including coconut sugar, molasses, honey, and maple syrup. These really arent much different from sugar.
They may contain slightly smaller amounts of fructose and a tiny amount of nutrients, but your body really wont be able to tell the difference.
Furthermore, while these natural sugar substitutes may be a better alternative to regular sugar if used in moderation, they should not be considered a quick fix for your health concerns.
In fact, consuming high amounts of natural sugars or sugar substitutes over the long term could increase cravings for sweets and may contribute to issues like weight gain and type 2 diabetes (
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