We might have seen many people who are not able to resist sugar sweets. Too much of having something is not good for anyone. As many problems of Obesity , Diabetes mellitus , metabolic syndrome have been linked to high sugar intake , many are now preferring sugar substitutes in their diet .
Did you know there are two types of sweeteners : Artificial and natural sweeteners.
1. INTENSE SWEETENERS
Intense sweeteners are also called non-nutritive sweeteners, because they are so much sweeter than sugar that the small amounts needed to sweeten foods contribute virtually no calories to the foods.
Currently 4 Artifical sweeteners are used for commercial and domestic purposes.
- This sweetener can’t be used by people with phenylketonuria (a rare congenital disorder ).
- Considered generally safe but side effects like headache to loss of attentiveness have been claimed , but there is no scientific validity.
- It can’t be added to food that will be cooked or baked but can be added to some foods , such as coffee after heating.
- Saccharin was associated with cancer in mice but further studies have found no links between saccharin and human cancer.
- U.S. government had removed it from its list of potential cancer-causing chemicals.
- It cannot satisfactorily be used in baking because it lacks the bulk of sugar.
- Acesulfame K , was approved by the FDA in 1998 for use in soft drinks.
- It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar
- Acesulfame K can be used safely by people with diabetes as it is not metabolised.
- The sweetener is more heat stable than aspartame, can be used at oven temperatures more than 390° Fahrenheit and under a wide range of storage conditions.
- The flavor of acesulfame K has been described as clean and quickly perceptible
- Sucralose was approved by the FDA in 1998 for sale and use in commercial food products.
- It is about 600 times sweeter than sugar.
- According to Studies , FDA concluded that the sweetener is safe for consumption by adults, children, and pregnant and breastfeeding women in amounts equivalent to the consumption of about 48 pounds of sugar annually.
- People with diabetes may also safely consume the sweetener, because it is not metabolized like sugar.
- It can be used in recipes that require prolonged exposure to high temperatures (such as baking) or when stored for long periods.
- The product is currently available in the form of a powdered sugar substitute and in some commercial baked goods, jams and jellies, sweet sauces and syrups, pastry fillings, condiments, processed fruits, fruit juice drinks, and beverages.
NOTE : Foods containing intense sweeteners should not be given to infants or children, who need energy to grow.
- The sugar alcohols xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol contain less than 4 calories per gram.
- These sugar alcohols are digested so slowly that most are simply eliminated.
- Excessive consumption can cause diarrhea or bloating in some people.
- Natural sweeteners provide the same number of calories as sugar.
- These include honey, maple syrup and sugar, date sugar, molasses, and grape juice concentrate.
- It has got reputation of being healthier than sugar, but it is not true.
- In reality, these sweeteners contain no more vitamins or minerals than table sugar.
NOTE : Honey may harbor small amounts of the spores of the bacteria that produce botulism toxin and should never be given to babies younger than 1 year.