The Skinny on Sugar Substitutes
Ever notice that when you go out to breakfast the sugar container is now overrun with sugar substitutes? There are so many people refer to them by color- “Hey, mind passing me 3 packets of the yellow” or “What’s better, blue packet or pink packet.” I, in no way, have a personal preference for one over the other. I will sometimes choose splenda, other times plain sugar and when I feel like it, Sugar in the Raw… it’s all up to you!
Here is the breakdown on the most popular brands of sugar substitutes so you can be the judge of what’s best for you.
Splenda- the main sugar in splenda is sucralose. It has zero calories and is about 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is derived from real sugar, not from chemical additives and has been studied many, many times for safety.
Equal/Nutrasweet- main sugar is aspartame and is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA has performed many studies on aspartame and claims there are no health risks, however there were claims that it was linked to cancer back in the day.
Pure Via/Stevia – This has been the latest hype on sugar substitutes. It is a powdered extract of the stevia plant and is all-natural. It can range from 200-400 times sweeter than sugar.
Sweet N Low – main component is saccharin. Although no human studies have found a link between saccharin and it being a possible carcinogen, it was linked to this in animal studies. It has been declared safe, however, try not to consume more than 4 packets per day because your body has trouble digesting it, which can lead to some stomach issues.
Agave – This naturally sweet plant can be up to 90 percent fructose, which is more than HCFS and has about 20 calories per teaspoon. It is 25% sweeter than sugar so you don’t need to add too much!
So, like I always say “To Each His Own.” Now that you have some more information, next time you go out for breakfast you can reach for your favorite sugar or sugar substitute or better yet, drink your coffee black!