Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sugar substitutes

My dad makes lime-ade from his lime tree with limes, water, and saccharin (Sweet-n-Low.)

Here are some of the synthetic compounds added to foods labeled "sugar-free." Some of them (all the "-itols" I believe) are sugar alcohols that have two or three of the four calories of regular sugar, and also work as a laxative for many people. In terms of health, aspartame seems to be the most obvious one to avoid, since most of the funding for studies came from the company that produces it. Saccharin actually might be OK, relatively speaking. There is also some evidence that after people eat synthetic sweeteners they tend to consume more calories. 
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal - blue packet)
  • Dextrose
  • Erythritol
  • Glycerol
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate (HSH)
  • Inulin
  • Isomalt
  • Lactitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Saccharin (Sweet-N-Low - pink)
  • Sorbitol
  • Sucralose (Splenda - yellow)
  • Xylitol
Some other names for sugar on labels:

  • Concentrated fruit juice 
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice or cane crystals
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Maltose or malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin

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