A Quick Look at Different Kinds of Sweeteners
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A Quick Look at Different Kinds of Sweeteners

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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What kind of sweetener is in the food or drink you will serve to your family?  Here is a quick look at some of the different kinds of sweeteners.What’s in the food or drink you are serving to your family? Many of us read food labels in order to find the most nutritious, least processed, food possible. Others read the food labels in order to avoid allergens. Either way, it helps if you are well informed about the different kinds of things that might be in your food. Here is a quick look at some of the different kinds of sweeteners.

Sugar
When you see the word “sugar” on a food label, it is referring to a crystalline substance that is derived from plants. It comes from either sugar cane or sugar beet. Sucrose is the more scientific name for sugar. Many people check the food labels on juice drinks to find out how much sugar has been added to the juice.

Sucralose
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener. Sucralose is not found in nature and is not a natural product. There are several brands of Sucralose-based sweeteners, including Splenda, Sukrana, SucraPlus, Candys, Cukren, and Nevella. Some find it appealing because it contains zero calories. Sucralose is often found in diet sodas and other diet foods and is said to be 600 times sweeter than sugar.

The Sucralose Website says that the Sucralose molecule contains three atoms of chlorine. Snopes.com has investigated the claim that Splenda was inadequately tested and unsafe and found it to be false.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup is also called HFCS, Glucose-Fructose, Isoglucose, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Fructose-Glucose Syrup, or High Fructose Maize Syrup. HFCS is the most common sweetener used in processed foods and drinks (in the United States). HFCS comes from corn, and contains more fructose than normal corn syrup. It also contains glucose.

The Mayo Clinic points out that HFCS is chemically similar to “table sugar” and that controversy exists about whether or not the body handles HFCS differently than table sugar.

Fructose
Fructose is also called “fruit-sugar”. It is found in many plants including honey, tree and vine fruits, flowers, berries, and some root vegetables.

Glucose
Glucose is also called “grape sugar” or dextrose. It is found in plants and is one of the main products of photosynthesis.

Aspartame
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was first sold under the name NutraSweet. It is said to be 200 times sweeter than sugar. It has almost zero calories. Aspartame is often found in diet sodas. The American Cancer Society notes that people who have Phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid aspartame. It also points out that “most studies in people have not found that aspartame use is linked to an increased risk of cancer.”

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.