Learning about Sugar Substitutes
If you want to reduce the amount of refined sugar in your diet there are more options than ever. Learn a bit more about the types available, and their pros and cons.
Natural sweeteners such as date sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, rice syrup and others have been available for several years in health food stores. Many people like these because they are less processed than refined white sugar. Be wary of these substitutes however, as they won’t necessarily help with weight loss. Many of these contain just as many calories as white sugar.
Sucralose, aspartame and saccharine all fall into this category. Many people battling weight gain prefer these sweeteners because they have no calories. However, be sure to pay attention to the rest of your diet when you opt for these sweeteners. Studies have shown that people who drink diet sodas can often wind up consuming more calories because the calories they save on their drink make them feel justified. Also, the FDA has set guidelines for the maximum amount of artificial sweeteners you should have in a day. Make sure you use them in moderation.
These are sweeteners like sorbitol and manitol. They are not calorie free, but they are lower in calories than sugar. You usually won’t see these for home use. They are often in gums, toothpaste and some candies. Food manufacturers use sugar alcohols to make their products more appealing to taste. Look on the nutrition label for words ending in –ol or –ase. You may be surprised how much sugar is lurking in your food disguised as sugar alcohol