Which Sugar Substitutes Should I Try?
Looking to cut back on sugar?
With more and more research coming out about the harmful impact that too much added sugar can have on our health, more people are looking for friendlier substitutes. Interestingly, humans have evolved to enjoy “sweet” foods, so it doesn’t always make sense (and isn’t necessary) to try and avoid sugar (or sweetness!) completely.
Nowadays, there’s a number of sugar substitutes on the market which help to provide the delicious sweetness we all know and love without having such a detrimental impact on our health. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of these options, providing you with the low-down on their pros and cons!
Monk fruit is one of the hottest new sweeteners on the market. Extracts are taken from whole monk fruits to create a sweetener that has zero calories, and is 150-250x sweeter than table sugar. This means that you only have to add a small amount to get amazing sweetness levels! Plus, monk fruit has no impact on your blood sugar levels [provide a link to the article on blood sugars for SEO] so can be a great choice for people with diabetes. At zero calories and zero net carbs, this option is also perfect for anyone looking to lose weight or who is following the keto diet [provide a link to the article on keto or keto ebook]. Check out some of our newest monk fruit sweetened products [link to products]!
Sugar alcohols are another category of trendy non-sugar sweeteners. This category includes popular options like xylitol, erythritol and sorbitol. Sugar alcohols are different from other sugar substitutes, like monk fruit, because they still contain calories. However, they have a fraction of the calories of sugar with a much smaller impact on your blood sugar levels. Consequently, sugar alcohols are often a good choice for people who are looking to lose weight or who have diabetes.
One of the biggest downsides to sugar alcohols is that they may cause digestive issues, like bloating, gas or diarrhea, if consumed in too large of an amount.
If you’re following a low sugar diet (like keto), then sugar alcohols can be a good choice for you! Generally, erythritol is considered the best option because it has the smallest impact on your blood sugar levels (compared to xylitol, sorbitol or maltitol).
Artificial Sweeteners like Sucralose or Aspartame
Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, acesulfame-K or sucralose are man-made chemicals that contain excessive sweetness levels with minimal to no calories. Although these sweeteners have generally been recognized as safe for human consumption, some studies have shown that they might actually cause an increase in appetite and may have an impact on the gut microbiome. However, these sweeteners are still considered approved for people following low carb, keto diets because of their negligible carb and calorie levels.
Regardless of your needs, there’s plenty of sugar substitutes out there for you to try. Although a sweet indulgence once in a while can be a part of any healthy diet, people with a consistent sweet tooth may benefit from trying substitutes! Plus, if you’re looking for keto options, sugar substitutes can be a helpful addition to your coffee, tea or even baked goods.
Beauchamp, G. K., et al. (2016). Why do we like sweet taste: A bitter tale? Physiology & Behavior, 164, 432–437. Retrieved July 10, 2020, from 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.05.007
Health, H., et al. (2019, November 14). The Sweet Danger Of Sugar - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Retrieved July 10, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar
Mäkinen, K. K., et al. (2016). Gastrointestinal Disturbances Associated with the Consumption of Sugar Alcohols with Special Consideration of Xylitol: Scientific Review and Instructions for Dentists and Other Health-Care Professionals. International Journal of Dentistry, 2016, 1–16. Retrieved July 10, 2020, from 10.1155/2016/5967907
Suez, J., Korem, T., Zilberman-Schapira, G., Segal, E., Elinav, E., et al. (2015). Non-caloric artificial sweeteners and the microbiome: findings and challenges. Gut Microbes, 6(2), 149–155. Retrieved July 10, 2020, from 10.1080/19490976.2015.1017700