Cut back on Sugar- pros and cons to some sugar substitutes

Whether you are cutting table sugar to save calories or just cut back on refined foods, cutting table sugar can have a very positive impact on your diet. With so many sugar substitutes on the market today, how can you possibly choose the one best for you? Here are the pros and cons of 6 of the most popular sugar substitutes on the market today. (information is from Arthritis Today)….

1) Stevia

Stevia comes from the leaf of a plant in South America. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar so when using it, make sure that you adjust the amount you use to reflect its potency.

Pros: It is a calorie free natural sweetener that is free of chemicals and can be used in cooking/baking

Cons: The FDA has approved the use of the purified extracts of the plant stevia comes from but the leaves and the crude extracts have not been approved.

2) Aspartame

Aspartame is found in diet drinks and sugar free gum. It is sold under major brand names such as Equal and NutraSweet.

Pros: It is one of the most studied sweeteners currently on the market today and it is calorie free!

Cons: Heat breaks down aspartame so do not cook with it. You will regret it. Aspartame gets a really bitter aftertaste when it starts to break down. It also gives some people digestion issues and headaches.

3) Sucralose

Sucralose is commonly known as Splenda. It is typically used in soft drinks, cereals, and baked goods.

Pros: Calorie free and you can cook with it!

Cons: It is a different consistency than sugar so when you bake with it, color and texture of the baked good will not be normal. Cookies, for example, will turn out thinner and paler.

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