When it comes to natural sweeteners the biggest question is: Is it really good for you? According to numerous researches yes, they are. But it is important to highlight that we are talking about natural sugar substitutes and not artificial sweeteners.
Natural sweeteners are sweeteners derivative from plants. They taste like sugar, but contain much less calories than the real thing. Even better, they don’t cause tooth decay. Studies reported also that natural sweeteners cause less impact on blood-sugar levels.
One of the most popular natural sweeteners among those who eat sugar substitute natural products is Stevia. On second place comes Xylitol. Both of these natural sweeteners taste like sugar, have much less calories than sugar, have no bitter aftertaste and can also help to recalcify the teeth. Here is a guide to the most popular natural sweeteners.
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the plant Stevia (a plant native to South America). It has no calories and no carbohydrates and taste 200-300 times sweeter than real sugar. It causes no side effects and has been approved for use in Australia since 2008.
If you think you have never ate Stevia, you may be wrong. That is because Stevia is present in many foods available in supermarkets today such as sugar-free gum, soft drinks, chocolate, cordials, biscuits, cereals and yogurts.
Stevia products can be found in grocery and health-food stores, and in online retailers as well. It is available in liquid and powder form, and can be used in beverages and baking. Take note that a teaspoon of Stevia powder is equal in sweetness to a cup of sugar.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and a natural carbohydrate derived from fibrous fruit and vegetables. It contains less than 3 calories per gram, which means it is 40% less caloric then sugar.
Xylitol taste just like sugar, but it should not be consumed in big amounts. That is because when consumed in excess it can cause a laxative effect as it can’t be broken in the small intestine, acting like fibre.
Just like Stevia it is found in grocery and health-food stores and can be used in beverages and baking.
Erithrytol is another sugar alcohol. It is found in pears and berries, but commercially it is produced by fermenting corn or sugar beets. It has virtually no calories (0.2 calories per gram) and taste 70% like sugar.
When consumed in excess it also may lead diarrhea or bloating. It also doesn’t dissolve as easily as sugar, but can be perfectly used in coffee or tea or in home cooking.
As you may know, sugar is harmful for health, and that should a great reason for you to decide to eat sugar substitute natural products. Again, all these natural sweeteners can easily be found in stores or in online retailers.