Which Sweeteners are Safe to Use?

Question:

What are the differences in sweeteners and how do we decide which ones to use?

Answer:

Sweeteners can essentially be divided into one of 2 categories: nutritive and non-nutritive. While nutritive provides a source of calories (typically sugar/carbohydrates), non-nutrititives are not absorbed and therefore do not provide any calories.

The FDA has approved the following sweeteners and acceptable daily intakes. These intake values have been extensively researched and established based on the amount that will not cause harm.

Sweeteners:

Acesulfame K:

-Common Brands: Sunett, Sweet One

Acceptable Daily Intake(ADI): 15mg per kg body weight per day

Advantame:

-Common Brands: No brand name

-ADI: 32.8mg/kg body weight/day

Aspartame:

-Common Brands: Nutrasweet, Equal, Sugar Twin

-ADI: 50mg/kg body weight/day

Luo Han Guo extract:

-Common Brands: Nectress, Monk Fruit in the Raw, PureLo, LoSweet

-ADI: 18mg/kg body weight/day

Neotame:

-Common Brands: New tame

-ADI: 18mg/kg body weight/day

Stevia:

-Common Brands:Truvia, PureVia, Enliten

-ADI: 4mg/kg body weight/day

Saccharin:

-Common Brands:Sweet Twin, Sweet N’Low, Necta Sweet

-ADI: 5mg/kg body weight/day

Sucralose:

-Common Brands:Splenda

-ADI: 5mg/kg body weight/day

When considering an appropriate sweetener for you, keep in mind: taste preferences, nutritional goals, and function.

If additional calories or carbohydrates are a concern then using a non-nutritive sweetener within acceptable intakes is recommended. For those who choose to stay away from anything considered artificial, a nutritive sweetener such as: sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup may be appropriate. As long as they are consumed within a healthy eating pattern without drastically increasing overall caloric intake, their use is acceptable.

Functionality should also be considered. Not all sweeteners taste, cook, or bake the same.  While non-nutritive sweeteners don’t have the same bulk as sugar, Stevia or saccharin can be used in baking with very positive results.

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