If you're trying to reduce the sugar and calories in your diet, you may be turning to artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes. You aren't alone.
Today artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in a variety of food and beverages marketed as "sugar-free" or "diet," including soft drinks, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit juice, and ice cream and yogurt.
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes but may be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners because they are many times sweeter than regular sugar.
Products containing aspartame can be harmful to people with phenylketonuria or PKU, a rare genetic disease, so products with aspartame carry a PKU warning. For everyone else, there’s nothing to worry about. Sucralose, sold under the brand name Splenda, is made from sugar that has been chemically engineered to pass through your body without being digested. That’s why it tastes like sugar but is calorie free.
Splenda is now the number one sugar substitute on the market, found in salad dressing, cereal and beverages, as well as those little yellow packets.
“Sucralose has been studied for a long time,” says Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, “and there is no evidence of any harm to human beings.”
A great news for a slurpees fan :
Slurpees are going on a diet. 7-Eleven is embracing health-conscious consumers who are trying to slash their sugar intake by offering low-calorie slushy versions nationwide. Next week, “Slurpee Lites” will be offered at most 7-Elevens with diet-friendly flavors like sugar-free mango and sugar-free cherry limeade.
Slurpee Lites will have 50% fewer calories than traditional Slurpees, with a eight-ounce serving containing 20 calories. The new-and-improved drinks are flavored with sugar-free Fanta.