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What are the BENEFITS of Sweeteners?

Sweeteners are used in foods and drinks as a sugar replacement. They make foods and drinks taste sweet, but provide no or little energy or calories than sugar. Artificial sweeteners are sweeter than table sugar on a weight by weight comparison, and are therefore only added in minute amounts to foods. Artificial Sweeteners are often found in diet soft drinks, tea/coffee, desserts and yogurt.

Artificial Sweeteners

What are the BENEFITS of Sweeteners?

Sweeteners can be beneficial for anyone trying to control their energy intake or blood sugar levels. Sweeteners also do not contribute to tooth decay, as they are not broken down to acid by bacteria in the mouth.

Common Sweeteners Approved for Use by Health Canada SUCRALOSE Brand name:

Splenda® It is calorie-free because it is not absorbed by the body. It is approximately 600 times sweeter than table sugar. Acceptable Daily Intake: 9 mg/kg body weight per day.

  • does not increase blood sugar levels.
  • can be used in baking and cooking.
  • added to packaged foods and beverages.
  • available in packets and in granulated form.
  • safe during pregnancy.

Artificial Sweeteners

ASPARTAME

Brand names: Nutrasweet®, Equal®, Sugar Twin® (blue box), Sweet’n’Low®Aspartame provides little calories, and is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Acceptable Daily Intake: 40 mg/kg body weight per day.

  • has limited use in baking and cooking as it loses sweetness at high temperatures.
  • can be found in commercial foods such as drinks, yogurts, cereals, low calorie desserts, chewing gum and many other foods.
  • available in packets, tablets and granulated form.
  • safe during pregnancy.

Artificial Sweeteners

CYCLAMATES

Brand names: Sucaryl®, Sugar Twin® (yellow box), Sweet’n’Low®Cyclamates provide no calories and are 30-50 times sweeter than table sugar. Acceptable Daily Intake: 11 mg/kg body weight per day.

  • do not increase blood sugar levels.
  • flavour may change when heated.
  • not allowed to be added to packaged food and beverages.
  • available in packets, tablets, liquid and granulated form.
  • avoid when pregnant.

SUGAR ALCOHOLSincludeSorbitol, Mannitol, and Xylitol. Sugar alcohols provide little calories and are less sweet than sugar. It is used mainly to sweeten commercial foods labelled “sugar free??? or “no added sugar???.

Ref: Canadian Diabetes Association website, 2008..