Navigating the World of Low-Calorie Sweeteners
by Namita S on Feb 07, 2024
In the quest for healthier living, many of us have turned to low-calorie sweeteners as an alternative to traditional sugar. With a dozen different sweeteners available in the market, it can be hard to fully understand how these can affect your health and if they actually are good for you. Let's break this topic down and better understand these sweeteners.
Types of Low-Calorie Sweeteners:
Aspartame is a widely used low-calorie sweetener found in various sugar-free products. It's approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar) and is commonly used in diet sodas, sugar-free gum, and other low-calorie products. Aspartame has recently been found to be a potential carcinogen when consumed in large quantities and hence we've completely banned this ingredient from our store.
Derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, stevia is a natural sweetener with no calories. It is often considered a suitable option for those looking to reduce calorie intake without sacrificing sweetness. Stevia is a suitable alternative or diabetics as it does not spike blood sugar.
Sucralose is a synthetic sweetener made from sugar but modified to eliminate the calories. It's about 600 times sweeter than sucrose and is heat-stable, making it suitable for cooking and baking. Excessive consumption of sucralose is known to affect gut health however, so we recommend limiting its consumption.
Monk Fruit Extract:
Monk fruit extract is a natural sweetener derived from the monk fruit. It contains compounds called mogrosides, which give it a sweet taste without calories. Monk fruit extract is gaining popularity as a natural alternative to sugar.
Sugar alcohols, like maltitol and erythritol, are another category of low-calorie sweeteners. Erythritol, a sugar alcohol naturally found in some fruits, has gained popularity for its sweetness without the calories and potential digestive issues associated with other sugar alcohols.
Pros of using Artificial Sweeteners:
Low-calorie sweeteners can be beneficial for those aiming to manage or reduce their calorie intake, aiding in weight management or weight loss.
Blood Sugar Control:
Unlike sugar, low-calorie sweeteners generally do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making them suitable for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage blood sugar.
Low-calorie sweeteners are non-cariogenic, meaning they do not contribute to tooth decay. They can be a preferable option for maintaining oral health compared to sugary alternatives.
Cons of using Artificial Sweeteners:
Taste and Aftertaste:
Some people find the taste of low-calorie sweeteners to be different from sugar, and some may experience an aftertaste. Taste preferences vary, so finding the right sweetener for your palate is key.
In some cases, excessive consumption of sugar substitutes may lead to digestive issues such as bloating or gas. This is particularly seen in the case of sucralose and certain sugar alcohols. Moderation is essential to prevent potential side effects.
Potential for Increased Sweet Cravings:
Some studies suggest that using low-calorie sweeteners may increase cravings for sweet foods, potentially leading to overconsumption of calories from other sources.
At Wildermart, we say no to certain sweeteners that are known to be bad for your health such as Aspartame. We allow other sweeteners such as monkfruit and stevia which are generally considered to be better-for-you when compared with refined sugar.