Sweeteners Beyond Sucrose

Here's a guide to the various sweeteners now on the market:

  • Fructose: Although it doesn't raise the blood sugar as much as ordinary table sugar (sucrose), it may adversely affect the levels of fat in the blood. It's not recommended as a sweetening agent.
  • Sugar alcohols: These include mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, all of which produce a lower glucose response than fructose or sucrose. Still there's no evidence that they aid in weight loss or improve blood-sugar control, and they may also cause diarrhea, especially in children.
  • Artificial sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose): The FDA has approved these for the general public, and they can be an effective tool for diabetics.
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