Living in the Size Zero era, every other teenager and weight conscious individual seems to be making the

so called, Smart Choice by switchin g over to artificial sweeteners, but how much do we know about what we are eating? Others who are interested in such products are Diabetic patients in search of some sweetness to add to their lives. The competitive market has enough products to confuse you. So here I would like to give a bird s-eye view of most commonly available products. All artificial sweeteners come under the additive category as per FDA (Food Drug Association). So it is advisable to confirm the GRAS (Generally recognised as safe) status of any product before consuming it. Artificial sweeteners are classified as A) Nutritive and B) Non-nutritive A) Nutritive As the name suggests this group of sweeteners are not sugar-free, but relative to sugar (sucrose) they have lower calories. These were introduced with the aim of reducing blood sugar fluctuations in diabetic patients and decreasing calorie intake in diabetics & obese patients. Lot of artificial sweeteners were used in the past. ADA (American Diabetes Association) however states that, There is no evidence that foods sweetened with sweeteners have any significant advantage or disadvantage over foods sweetened with sugar. 1. Fructose- commonly known as fruit sugar was promoted as leading to lesser rise in Blood glucose compared to same amount of sucrose. However it is found to have bad effects on Cholesterol and LDL -C levels when consumed in large amounts. Naturally occurring fructose (fruits) doesn t have any bad effects and can be consumed safely. 2. Sugar Alcohols-also known as polyols. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Isomalt, Lactitol, etc are examples of sugar alcohols. The y are less sweet than sugar but add bulk to the food. Manufactured from monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides. Polyols are absorbed slowly and provide 2.5 to 3.5 kcal/gm. They are commonly found in sugar free chewing gums etc. When consumed in large amount, the unabsorbed sugar alcohol can cause severe osmotic diarrhoea. It has been advised that products containing polyols must carry a label stating the risk of diarrhoea.

is similar in composition to Aspartame but much better in properties. It is not heat stable. Eliminated unchanged. It is 200 times sweeter than sucrose. 2. It is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sucrose. ADI . Hydrolyzed in intestine to form aspartic acid. the calories become negligible. It is not yet marketed. dizziness and menstrual irregularities. ADI. Acesulfame K White. 200 times sweeter than sucrose. FDA claims that saccharin poses no health hazard. odourless. 1. FDA has fixed regulations regarding the usage of these products. Every sweetener has a prefixed ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake). crystalline sweetener. Excessive intake leads to headache. Nutrinova) it is a protein sweetener. It is 8000 times sweeter than sucrose. In large amounts it gives a bitter taste.50 mg/kg/day. No caloric value. Neotame. ADI is defined as the quantity of additive that can be safely consumed on a daily basis by a person over his lifetime without any adverse effects. Saccharin (SweetNLow) white synthetic sweetener. It is heat stable and is not metabolised to phenylalanine so safe in PKU patients. . Heat stable. WHO has recommended the ADI 5 mg/kg/day. Aspartame (Sweetone. Not advisable for patients with PKU and inborn errors of metabolism. Contains 4 kcal/ gm but owing to excessive sweetness. Eliminated in urine unchanged. Heat stable so can be used in cooking/ baking/ liquids etc. Safe for Diabetic patients and general population. methanol and phenylalanine. A carcinogenic concern was raised. 4.B) Non-nutritive 4 such products have been approved by FDA at present. however not confirmed. It has no caloric value. 3.15 mg/kg/day.

. Does not affect carbohydrate metabolism in body. Sugarite. Heat stable can be used in cooking & baking. Sucralose (Zero. It is 600 times sweeter than sucrose. Splenda) is recently approved by FDA.5.15 mg/kg/day. It is a derivative of sucrose (table sugar). eliminated unchanged. ADI. Sugar-free Natura.

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