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Sugar Substitute Sweeteners
Fructose – Found in fruits, honey, and some sweet vegetables. Fuctose absorbs more slowly in GI tract than glucose and metabolizes directly in liver independent of insulin. Large intakes of 70+ grams per day can cause diarrhea.
Sorbitol – A sugar alcohol found mainly in plants and used in confectioneries (candy), gum, toothpaste, and diabetic desserts. After absorption, sorbitol oxidizes into fructose. Sorbitol results in a slower, less pronounced rise in blood glucose than sugar. More than 10 grams per day may result in diarrhea.
Xylitol – A compound derived from wood sugar. It causes least harm to teeth of all nutritive sweeteners. Does not increase blood glucose levels. Intake of more than 30 grams per day may result in diarrhea. Also, it may be associated with bladder stones and tumors.
Acesulfame K – A synthetic sweetener that is very stable in heat. Marketed as Sweet One, Sunette, or Sun Sweet Tabletop.
Aspartame – Best known as NutraSweet, it is found mainly in soft drinks, gums, pudding mixes, and other foods. It consists of amino acids that break down in GI tract, then it absorbs and metabolizes. It has a very low nutrient and caloric value.
Saccharin – Better known as Sweet’n Low, Nutra-diet, and Sugar Twin, Saccharin is used primarily in soft drinks and canned fruit. It neither metabolizes or stores in body, but excretes in urine. Saccharin has a bitter aftertaste, is low in kcalories, and may be a possible carcinogen.
Sucralose – Available only in Canada to date. It contains no kcalories and is derived from sugar. It is used in cooking and baking.
Brian D. Johnston is the Director of Education and President of the I.A.R.T. fitness certification and education institute. He has written over 12 books and is a contributor author to the Merck Medical Manual. An international lecturer, Mr. Johnston wears many hats in the fitness and health industries, and can be reached at info@ExerciseCertification.com. Visit his site at www.ExerciseCertification.com for more free articles.