Sugar substitute

From WikiMD's Wellnesspedia

A sugar substitute is a food additive that imparts a sweet taste like that of sugar while providing fewer calories or none at all. They are a popular choice for individuals who are aiming to reduce their caloric intake, manage diabetes, or prevent tooth decay.


Types of Sugar Substitutes[edit | edit source]

Sugar substitutes can be broadly divided into two categories: natural and artificial.

Natural Sugar Substitutes[edit | edit source]

  • Natural substitutes are derived from plants and other natural sources. They include:
  • Stevia: Extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, it is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories.
  • Erythritol: A sugar alcohol naturally found in fruits, it contains 0.24 calories per gram and is about 70% as sweet as sugar.
  • Monk fruit extract: Derived from monk fruit, or lo han guo, it is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and is calorie-free.

Artificial Sugar Substitutes[edit | edit source]

  • Artificial substitutes are synthesized chemically. Common examples include:
  • Aspartame: Sold under brand names like NutraSweet and Equal, it is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and contains 4 calories per gram.
  • Sucralose: Marketed as Splenda, it is about 600 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories.
  • Saccharin: Sold as Sweet'N Low, it is 200-700 times sweeter than sugar and calorie-free.

Health Impact[edit | edit source]

There is an ongoing debate about the health impacts of sugar substitutes. While they can help with weight management and blood sugar control, some studies have raised concerns about potential links to increased appetite, weight gain, and adverse effects on gut microbiota. The overall consensus is that they can be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Regulation[edit | edit source]

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the use of sugar substitutes. Before a new sugar substitute can be sold to the public, it must be approved by the FDA as a food additive or be recognized as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Sugar substitute Resources

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