Weight Manager

August 2008 Issue

Sugar Substitutes Now Boast Virtually Calorie-Free Natural Options

For decades, calorie-free sweeteners have consisted pretty much of the artificial kind like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin. But now the market is expanding to include natural sweeteners. Here’s the lowdown (see chart, right) on a few that are now available in convenient sweetener packets. Some are even available in bulk for baking. Keep in mind some sugar substitutes contain erythritol, a polyol (also called a "sugar alcohol," though it is neither sugar nor alcohol), which is technically not calorie-free because it is a form of carbohydrate. But because it can be used in such small quantities, the calories are practically zero.

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