24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Nutrition
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Stay Away From Sugary Sodas, Spare Your HeartKnives: Essential Equipment for Healthy Food PrepHealthy Cooking on a BudgetHeart-Breaking News for Egg LoversAre Enhanced Waters Better for Your Health?Spring Ahead With Spring VegetablesThe Saturated Fat Debate Rages OnHealthy Diet Might Not Lower Dementia RiskDoes Your Family Eat Out a Lot? Watch Your Blood PressureNutritional Supplements Don't Ward Off Depression: StudySlow Down! Eating Too Fast Can Pile on the PoundsTry This Healthy Makeover for a Favorite Fast FoodHealthy Diet While Young, Healthy Brain in Middle AgeHow to Get Your Calcium If You're Lactose-IntolerantWhen it Comes to Diet, Not All Plants Are Created EqualRecipe for a Healthy Heart: Big Breakfasts, Less TVThe Right Way to Cook High-Antioxidant VeggiesLow-Carb Diets Linked to Higher Odds for A-FibHow Much Coffee Is OK?Health Tip: Foods that Reduce InflammationSocial Media 'Influencers' Can Get Kids Eating Junk FoodFast Food Delivers Even More Calories Than Decades AgoCooking With Whole GrainsEasy Recipes for Your Food ProcessorThe 411 on Nutritious, Tasty SeedsAdding Breakfast to Classrooms May Have a Health DownsideSupermarket Smarts: How to Save Money and Eat BetterBerkeley's Efforts Suggest Soda Taxes Do Cut Soda SalesGo Nuts Over NutsFast Food Versus Fast Casual -- Which Has More Calories?High-Fat Diets Do No Favors for Your Gut BacteriaHealth Tip: 10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat HealthierHealth Tip: Eat Less SaltRoasted Root Veggies Make a Hearty Winter SoupAHA News: Living Near Convenience Stores Could Raise Risk of Artery-Clogging ConditionHealth Tip: Eat Less Saturated FatKid-Friendly Food Swaps Everyone Will LoveWill Sugar Substitutes Help You Lose Weight?How to Keep Food Poisoning at BayHow to Choose the Right Cooking OilsCould Diet Sodas Raise an Older Woman's Stroke Risk?Hydrate Right, Your Kidneys Will Thank YouSweet Valentine Treats That Won't Bust Your DietAHA News: Are There Health Benefits From Chocolate?Get The Most From Frozen VegetablesUpdate Dietary Guidelines for a Healthier YouFrozen Berries: Just as Flavorful at a Better PriceMake a Healthy Game Plan for Super Bowl PartyingAHA: Healthy or Not? Keeping Score on Super Bowl AdsCauliflower: The Versatile Substitute for High-Carb Veggies
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development

Will Sugar Substitutes Help You Lose Weight?

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Feb 18th 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, Feb. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The term "sugar substitutes" is a catch-all that covers a wide range of alternatives, starting with those little pink, blue and yellow packets. But their value as a health or diet aid is still uncertain.

A research review in the BMJ found that there's limited evidence to say how much using them helps with weight loss, and that the real answer is to cut back on sugar in general by drinking water and choosing low- and no-sugar foods. Still, sugar substitutes can free up calories you can spend on healthier foods. Here's what you need to know:

Spoonful for spoonful, artificial sweeteners can be 100 times sweeter than sugar, with few or no calories. As food additives, they're regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and must get approval before they can be marketed.

Approved Artificial Sweeteners

  • Saccharin
  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Neotame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Advantame

Sugar alcohols are a type of sweetener commonly used in packaged foods. They're carbohydrates, but the body doesn't completely absorb them, so they don't raise blood sugar as much as natural sugars. They're also lower in calories, but they can have an unwanted laxative-type effect.

Common Sugar Alcohols In Packaged Foods

  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

"Novel" sweeteners are a different kind of product. The most common one is stevia, which is made from a plant. Considered a dietary supplement rather than an additive, refined stevia isn't subject to FDA regulation, though the agency, among others, considers it safe. It's widely available in forms from powder to liquid drops to its own little packets. Monk fruit extract is another sweetener in this group starting to get some traction among consumers.

Although sugar alternatives like honey, molasses, maple syrup and agave nectar may seem healthier than processed white sugar, their calories are virtually the same as sugar.

No matter what sweetener you pick, watch how much you use. A Swedish study found that people who have just two sweetened drinks a day, whether naturally or artificially sweetened, double their risk of diabetes. And the risk grows with the number of such beverages you drink.

More information

Check out SugarScience from the University of California, San Francisco, for a rundown on the various types of sugars to help you make better choices.