The real deal on artificial sweeteners
The Real Deal on Sweeteners
A simple carbohydratemade from sugarcane or sugar beets.
One teaspoon—which is equivalent to 4 grams—has 15 calories.
The lowdown:"Americans consume over 19 teaspoons of added sugar daily, but the American Heart Association says women should only eat six teaspoons," says registered dietitian Andrea Giancoli.
A sugar- and calorie-free sweetenermade from a chemical compound.
300 to 450 times sweeter than sugar,with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Besides Sweet 'N Low,saccharin is sold as the brand SugarTwin.
The lowdown:Studies in the 1970s linked saccharin to cancer, but the research was debunked, and the FDA and the National Cancer Institute agree it's safe; still, experts don't know how it may affect pregnancy.
A sugar- and zero-calorie sweetenerextracted from a South American plant.
200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar,with a slight licorice aftertaste.
Found in sodas and juices,plus in granulated form (Pure Via and Truvia).
The lowdown:Swap for sugar or find it in a blend made with other sweeteners (so baked goods brown better). It's FDA-approved as a sweetener, but whole-leaf stevia hasn't been deemed safe during pregnancy.
An artificial sweetenerthat starts out as table sugar, undergoes a chemical process, and comes out 600 times sweeter and without any calories.
Also known as Splenda.
The lowdown:For baking, use only a half cup of Splenda for one cup of sugar, and check your brownies or cookies a few minutes before the recipe suggests. Health-wise, it has a clean track record.
A syrupmade from the agave plant.
One teaspoonhas more calories (20) and more sugar content (4.7 grams) than plain white sugar.
Tastes slightly sweeterthan sugar; dark varieties have a caramel flavor.
The lowdown:Agave's glycemic index is lower than sugar's, so it might help you in terms of avoiding a sugar high and crash. But its calorie count versus sugar's doesn't make it ideal for weight loss.
An artificial sweetenerwith 4 calories per teaspoon, but found in such small amounts in diet soda, NutraSweet, and Equal that you'll see zero calories on labels.
200 times sweeterthan sugar.
Doesn't workwell in baked goods.
The lowdown:Aspartame is deemed safe by the FDA and the National Cancer Institute. Still, a study of more than 3,000 women linked diet soda (but not regular soda) with kidney decline.
A sugar- and calorie-free sweetenerextracted from the Chinese luo han fruit.
150 to 300 times sweeterthan sugar.
Found in some herbal teasand mixed with other natural sweeteners in the granulated blend Nectresse.
The lowdown:Monk fruit is a nice swap for sugar: It's safe, tastes good, and is calorie-free. Because it's so much sweeter than sugar, check the package instructions when swapping it in recipes.
Video: Are artificial sweeteners bad for you? Here's the Truth + Science...
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