Health: Understanding Sugar Substitutes

Confused by the variety of sugar substitutes nowadays?

Understand the pros and cons to make an informed choice.  When choosing sugar substitutes, it pays to be a savvy consumer. Artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes can help with weight management. But they aren’t a magic bullet and should be used only in moderation.

Food marketed as sugar-free isn’t calorie-free, so it can still cause weight gain. Keep in mind that processed foods, which often contain sugar substitutes, generally don’t offer the same health benefits as whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.


 10 Healthier Sugar Alternatives to Try


The FDA has determined that sugar alcohols are generally recognized as safe for use in foods and drinks.


Sugar substitute research from Margie, a WBFJ listener.

Good morning,   There are many things you can use.  What are you trying to accomplish is the question as to maybe what you should use.

Xylitol is great but still has calories.  It does not affect blood sugar.  I use this in chili for sweetner, too, to take some of the acidity out of the tomatoes.

Erythritol is also very good and has no calories.  Does not affect blood sugar.

Both of these are great for baking although if you are making a no-bake dessert, it may be a bit crunchy instead of smooth.  My husband who is extremely picky, notices no difference when we use these for anything we bake.

There is also Monk Fruit but it is generally a blend of Monk Fruit and Erythritol.  You can now get all these things at Wal-Mart (at least on Wendover in GSO) so they are less expensive than other places.  There is a great product called Swerve that also has ‘brown sugar’ and ‘confectioners sugar’ options.

Some ‘paleo’ recipes I use call for maple syrup.  Much more natural but also raises your blood sugar and has calories.  Or Coconut sugar.  Not as sweet and with same consequences.

For tea, I use stevia powder.  No calories and sometimes a bit of an aftertaste.  Not crazy about it in baking.

-Margie B.


Verne Hill
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