What is a sweetener?
Sweeteners are food additives that are used as a healthy sugar substitute. These non-nutritive sweeteners are increasingly getting popular and have become an integral part of the daily diet.
They contain very few or zero calories and are sweeter than table sugar.
These days sweeteners are widely used in beverages, desserts, baked products, candies, flavoured yogurt, breakfast cereals, puddings, etc., to improve the sweetness without adding calories.
Sweetener: Benefits & Uses
These are a few claimed health benefits of sweeteners.
- May support weight loss: Sweeteners may help lose weight by reducing overall calorie intake. Sweeteners often contain no or little calories. Replacing them with high-carb table sugar, honey, sugary syrups, etc., may help reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.
- May help control blood sugar levels: Sweeteners may benefit people with diabetes who often find keeping their blood sugar levels in control. Most sweeteners do not get metabolized and do not cause sudden blood sugar spikes. However, a few artificial sweeteners may release energy, but they are metabolized slowly and don't cause fluctuation in blood glucose levels.
- Better dental health: With sweeteners, tooth decay is less likely as the microflora of dental plaque cannot ferment them.
- Reduced risk of metabolic disorders: Sweeteners may help decrease the risk of metabolic diseases like obesity, overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, etc., often associated with high sugar intake.
How does a sweetener work?
When we eat anything sweet, the sweet taste receptors present on our tongue trigger the signal to our brain, and we are able to perceive the taste as sweet.
Similarly, sweeteners work by stimulating the receptors, which signal our brain to identify the sweet taste. Additionally, some sweeteners also block the receptors that recognize bitter or sour, thereby enhancing the sweetness perception.
There are two major types of sweeteners:
- Artificial sweeteners: These are synthetic sweeteners which are chemically made to provide sweetness without calories. Sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium are a few artificial sweeteners examples.
- Natural sweeteners: Natural sweeteners use natural sources and are extracted from trees, fruits or leaves, for example, stevia and monk fruit. Stevia sweetener is extracted from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana. Studies suggest that it may have antioxidant effects. Monk fruit sweetener is made from monk fruit. Experts believe that monk fruit contains compounds called mogrosides, having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
List of the sweeteners with their potency
|Name of Sweetener||Potency (Times sweetener than table sugar/ sucrose)|
How to choose the right sweetener for you?
Consider these points while selecting a suitable sweetener for you.
- Selecting any sweetener depends on multiple factors like taste preference, medical condition, health goal, etc.
- It is important to know the difference between different types of sweeteners. For example, people with diabetes should prefer using a sweetener with a low glycemic index, like stevia or monk fruit.
- If you need a sweetener for baking, prefer ones that can be used for baking.
- People with medical conditions, pregnant or lactating women, should consult their doctors before taking any sweetener.
- Always prefer a certified and reputable brand to ensure quality and safety.
How to use sweeteners?
It is advisable to read the label carefully for usage instructions. However, one can use both natural and artificial sweeteners in the following ways:
- Add them to shakes, smoothies, tea, coffee and other beverages.
- Use them in baked goods to make low-calorie cakes, muffins or pies.
- Start using a sweetening agent in small amounts to adjust the sweetness. They may leave an after-taste when used in excess.
Where to buy sweetener?
Nutrabay.com is India's most trusted leading online website for the best sweetener. Products sold on Nutrabay are 100% authentic as they are sourced either directly from the brands or official importers. We guarantee a hassle-free buying experience online with secure payment options. Check out Nutrabay for the best artificial sweeteners and natural sweeteners in price and quality.
Is sweetener safe to use?
Sweeteners are generally considered safe to use when used as per the recommendation. However, some people may experience headaches, stomach upset, and altered gut balance.
In case of medical conditions, it is advisable to seek medical advice. For example, people with a metabolic disorder - phenylketonuria (PKU), should avoid aspartame sweeteners.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are artificial sweetening agents?
Artificial sweetening agents are artificially made or synthetic sweeteners that taste similar to sugar and are used to sweeten any food product without adding calories.
2. Give examples of non caloric sweeteners.
Stevia and Sucralose are two examples of non-caloric sweeteners.
3. What is sweetener 950?
Every permitted artificial or natural sweetener has been categorized under INS (International Numbering System) code. INS 950 is the code for Acesulfame Potassium sweetener.
4. Name one artificial sweetener which is stable at cooking temperature?
Sucralose sweetener is stable at cooking temperature.
5. What is sweetener 960?
Every permitted artificial or natural sweetener has been categorized under INS (International Numbering System) code. INS 960 is the code for Stevia sweetener.
6. Are there any artificial sweeteners side effects?
Some people might experience mild symptoms like headache, bloating, or gas formation on consuming artificial sweeteners.
7. Which is the best sweetener for diabetics?
People with diabetes can consider low glycemic index sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia.
8. What is INS 955 sweetener?
Every permitted artificial or natural sweetener has been categorized under INS (International Numbering System) code. INS 955 is the code for Sucralose sweetener.