Medical Advice

Today’s battle: Sugar vs Sweetener

Sweetener or bitter is today’s question.

Many people use sweetners wishing to avoid eating sugar. Others, turn to them because they do not have a choice.

However, the specialists’ advice for those who wish to simply eliminate sugar from their daily diet is to use natural sweeteners as much as possible.

Food additives are appointed by a European convention with a number consisting of three digits preceded by the letter E.

Also named edulcorants, (E 900), sweeteners are generally used for partial or total replacement of sugar.

Some are natural, such as polyols (sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, lactitol), while others are synthetic (aspartame, acesulfame- K, sucralose).

Here is a list of the main substitutes for sugar and their components.

artificial sweetener

Sugar cubes

Xylitol

It is derived from xylose, which is found in many fruits (bananas, strawberries) and vegetables (carrots, lettuce, cauliflower). It is slowly absorbed by the human organism and through the process of metabolization, the xylitol produces only 4 kcal/g.

The body can daily tolerate a maximum quantity of 90 g of xylitol. However, this type of sweetner is generally used in products such as ice cream, jams or marmalade, specially made for people with diabetes.

Maltitol

It is the result of the modification of a natural sugar molecule called maltose. It is the most similar to sugar in terms of technical characteristics.

A daily dose of more than 30 g for adults and 20 g for children may cause flatulence and diarrhea.

stevia sweetener

Sweet Rainbow Candy

Fructose syrup

This sweetner is a mixture of fructose and glucose. It has a great sweetening effect and contains as many calories as sugar.

It is not recommended for diabetics or overweight people. Many studies have shown that prolonged use of fructose syrup may lead to obesity, diabetes or liver diseases.

Lactitol

It is obtained through a modification in the molecule of lactose (the sugar produced in milk). Lactitol is used as sweetner in ice cream, pastries, cakes, candies or chocolate.

It does not require insulin to be metabolized. Therefore, it is also suitable for diabetics.

Aspartame

This artificial sweetner is obtained by chemical synthesis, and it is mainly used to sweeten diet soft drinks. One gram of aspartame has the sweetening power of 160 – 400 g sucrose.

The daily recommended dose is of 40 mg / kg of body weight. It is also utilized in creams, candies and jellies.

L- Acesulfame – K

It is a chemical product used to sweeten soft drinks. One gram of acesulfame is equivalent to 120 -200 g of sucrose. It is eliminated through urine, and its toxiciy level is almost zero.

The daily dose of acesulfame should not exceed 9 mg/ kg.

biomass sugar Sucralose

It has a sweetening power 600 time greater than that of sugar. However, because of the methods used in its production process, scientists decided that the ideal dose of sucralose consumed every day is of maximum 15 mg/ kg.

Sorbitol

It is obtained from glucose. Along with maltitol, it plays a basic role in the daily diet of diabetics, as it causes a minor risk in the rise of blood-glucose level. This slight risk is due to the low rate of its absorption.

It is used in the production of sugar- free toffees, chocolate, cakes or jam.

The daily intake of sorbitol should not exceed 35 g (a dose of more than 50 g may have a laxative effect).

No matter what type of products we choose to add sweetness to our daily diet, we should bear in mind that moderation is very important.

Moreover, the specialists’ advice is to always go for the natural variant, if it is possible.

Artificial sweetners can produce many adverse effects if the recommended quantity is exceeded. Never use such a product randomly.

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