artificial sweetener

Artificial sweeteners (sugar substitutes) were originally created to help people lose weight and manage glucose spikes and lows in diabetes.  They were thought to be a great alternative.  Saccharin was the first artificial sweetener, accidentally discovered by scientists at John’s Hopkins.

Artificial sweeteners typically marketed to many individuals seeking to lose weight. Artificial sweeteners allow individuals to have the sweet taste they desire without the calories of sugar, or the spike in blood glucose levels. However, many individuals misinterpret the benefit of artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners should not be consumed in large portions or daily for extended periods of time.

Splenda

Splenda is no-calorie sweetener made up of a synthetic compound called sucralose. Sucralose is made of two molecules of sucrose (sugar) and three molecules of chlorine.

Splenda is fast becoming the artificial sweetener choice of many. Splenda is made from sugar. Splenda is sweeter than sugar and has no calories. Splenda is currently being packaged for baking, as well. It is heat stable and can be used for cooking and in hot drinks.

Splenda is often referred to as a natural substance. Products featuring Splenda can be labeled “natural” because of the FDA-approved claim that Splenda is made from sugar. While some industry experts claim that the main molecular ingredient of splenda is, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides.

Nutrasweet

NutraSweet is the brand name for the sweetener aspartame. Aspartame does not come from sugar and it is an artificial product. NutraSweet is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and contains little or no calories.

People with the extremely rare disease Phenylketonuria should consult with their physician before consuming aspartame (Nutrasweet and Equal) in beverages or products.

Equal

Equal is the brand name of a sweetener that contains zero calories. Aspartame, the sweetening ingredient in Equal does not come from sugar and it is an artificial product. Equal is about 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Equal is best used as a sugar substitute for drinks and foods that do not need heating (sprinkle on waffles, mix into a cold drink, add to sauces or salad dressings). Equal is not recommended for cooking or baking. This is largely because Equal provides sweetness but it doesn’t provide the bulk, tenderness and browning properties of sugar. 

Sorbitol

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol naturally found in fruits. It is very sweet and can be used as a low-calorie sweetener. It also works as a laxative to relieve constipation.

Sweet’N Low

Sweet’N Low is an artificial product made with a mixture of saccharin and dextrose. Dextrose is a natural carbohydrate derived from corn and is used to make the sweetness palatable for consumers. Sweet’N Low is between 300 and 500 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories.

Sweet’N Low is a common substitute for sugar, especially tabletop usage and dissolves easily in hot and cold beverages. It can be used as an ingredient for most of your favorite recipes and is useful in cooking, baking, freezing and preserving. Sweet’N Low does not lose its sweetness when it is heated, so there are no special processes required for substituting Sweet’N Low for sugar.

Artificial sweeteners (Sucralose) and diabetes

A study published in Diabetes Care in 2013 showed Sucralose “the yellow packet” caused an increase in glycemic and insulin response (increased insulin resistance). When introduced to Sucralose, the body had to release more insulin to handle the same amount of sugar.

Artificial sweeteners and cancer

There was some controversy in the 1970s regarding Sweet’N Low and its association with bladder cancer. However, currently there is no connection between Sweet’N Low and bladder cancer.