Eat Right with Leah McGrath
It used to be that if we were looking for a low calorie or no calorie sweetener, we were limited to the familiar blue (aspartame), pink (saccharin) or yellow (sucralose) packets. But times have changed and more options are available.
Here are some different options you should spot at your Ingles Market:
· allulose – source: corn, 70 percent as sweet as sugar, 0.4 calories/gram and 1.6 calories per teaspoon, can be used in a variety of foods. (Note that this may cause GI distress similar to sugar alcohols.)
· erythritol – source: corn starch, 70 percent as sweet as sugar, zero calories/gram, used in low-sugar and sugar-free foods and often blended with stevia.
· monk fruit – 200 – 400 times sweeter than sugar, zero calories/gram, used in a variety of low sugar and sugar-free foods and beverages.
· stevia (steioside and Rebaudioside A) – source: stevia plant, 200 times sweeter than sugar, zero calories/gram, use in beverages, also used to sweeten ice cream, yogurt, jams and pudding.
(Source: The Sugar Association – sugar.org)
In addition to these products, you can find others that are a blend of one or more low- or non-caloric sweeteners, so there should be something to meet the needs of just about everyone looking to add some sweetness with fewer calories.