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Artificial Sugar Substitutes or Sweeteners

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One way to avoid sugar-based food additives is to avoid the foods that contain them whenever possible. The list is long and includes diet sodas and other beverages, protein shakes, cereals, breakfast bars, sugar-free and frozen desserts, dessert powders like pudding and gelatin, candy, chewing gum, baked goods, diet foods, toothpaste, mouthwash, chewable and liquid medicines, etc. Translate Etc think Read all labels.

Acesulfame potassium, which goes by the names Sunett or Sweet One, is often mixed with other artificial sweeteners because of its unpleasant aftertaste. It can handle high heat baking.

Aspartame has been around since 1965 and is the US food industry’s preferred sweetener. The more common name is Equal or NutraSweet. It is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. It does not withstand baking at high temperatures.

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Saccharin has been around since the 19th century and is about 400 times sweeter than table sugar. It’s a chemical commonly known as Sweet’N Low. It has no calories and is known to prevent tooth decay. It was banned by Canada in 1977 but is accepted in the US. I can’t stand baking.

Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. It goes by the name of Splenda and is a sugar with added chlorine. Its price continues to fall, so it could soon beat NutraSweet as the main sweetener in US foods. Most countries consider sucralose a safe ingredient. It can handle high heat baking and frying. Another NutraSweet sweetener goes by the name of Neotame. It is a super sweetener that is over 7000 times sweeter than granulated sugar.

Xylitol and sorbitol are fruit or plant sugars made by hydrogenation (adding hydrogen like hydrogenated oils). It consists mainly of glucose but has fewer calories per gram. Xylitol has been shown to prevent tooth decay.

Stevia has been used as a sweetener since the 1950s. Truvia and PureVia, developed by soda makers as sweeteners, come from stevia leaves. These stevia derivatives were accepted by the Food and Drug Administration, which had had conflicting opinions on the use of stevia prior to these new additives

Avoiding artificial sweeteners is difficult and may be impossible in the near future, especially if you use pre-packaged foods, mixes and canned foods. Artificial sweeteners sweeten the lives of diabetics who have to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels. But at least now you can know what some of the ingredients on the labels are. If you’re a purist, you might come to the conclusion that baking your own cookies from scratch is worth the time to avoid additives. We all eat and drink the wrong things at times, whether with natural or artificial sweeteners. The most important thing is to eat and drink the right things most of the time.

Thanks to Linda Murdock

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