You could make smarter choices for yourself and your family when it comes to sweetening food. One way to reduce your sugar intake without having to sacrifice taste is by replacing table sugar with low-calorie sweeteners. These sweeteners help people who want to enjoy certain foods without risking a spike in blood glucose levels and weight gain. There are two types of sweeteners: Nutritive and non-nutritive.
A nutritive sweetener, like Aspartame, which is said to be 200 times sweeter than sugar, adds to the caloric value of food. It contains more than 2% of the amount of calories that are found in table sugar. A non-nutritive sweetener does not add to the calories in a food. It has less than 2% of the calories than those found in table sugar.
Artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes come in liquid, tablet or powder form.
It’s better to use a variety of different sweeteners rather than just one type and to aim to reduce the amount of sweetener you use over time. But also, beware that the foods that contain low-calorie sweeteners are not necessarily low-calorie themselves so sugar-free foods do not always mean low-calorie foods. Always check the nutrition information on the food labels.
Monk fruit and Stevia are the most popular options as sugar substitutes. Monk fruit sweeteners are 150-200 times sweeter than sugar without adding calories. Stevia can be classified as ‘zero-calorie’ sweetener and tastes 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar.