Aspartame, Sucralose, Ace-K. There are so many artificial sweeteners out there these days-- what are they, exactly, and how do you know if one is right for you? GALTime.com nutritionist and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association Elisa Zied has a lesson in Sweeteners 101 for you. Below is an excerpt from her new book Nutrition at Your Fingertips.
Low-calorie sweeteners-also called non-nutritive sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, or sugar substitutes-provide a sweet taste similar to that of sucrose or table sugar, with few or no calories. They are extremely sweet (often hundreds or thousands of times sweeter than sugar) and are added to diet beverages, yogurt, and other products in very small amounts. They are carefully tested and regulated and have been used safely by consumers for decades.
Currently six low-calorie sweeteners are approved and widely used in the United States. These include (in order of date approved):
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