sugar substitutes

Sugar Substitutes : Artificial and Natural sweeteners

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 .

sugar substitutes
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Did you know there are two types of sweeteners : Artificial and natural sweeteners.

Artificial Natural 
  • Intense sweeteners
    – Aspartame
    – Saccharin
    – Acesulfame k
    – Sucralose
  • Sugar Alcohol
    – Xylitol
    – Mannitol
    – Sorbitol 


  • Honey
  • Maple syrup and Sugar
  • Date sugar
  • molasses
  • Grape juice concentrate 



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.

1. Aspartame

  • 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.

2. Saccharin

  • 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.

3.Acesulfame k

  • 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

4. Sucralose

  • 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.

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