• 2022 BUYING GUIDE •
On my quest to discover all "sugar blends" across the country, I found 35 products.
They allow you to reduce (not eliminate) sugar & calories in your recipe, but still have the benefits of having some "real" sugar in it.
They bake & brown as sugars do, but with 25 to 75% fewer calories.
Not sugar-free. Not calorie-free.
There is A LOT to see here.
Scroll down to explore it all or, if you are short on time, make your choice below:
Contains white or brown sugar blended with a reduced calorie sweetener or a high intensity sweetener. It helps consumers reduce regular sugar intake. It is designed for baking and cooking as it gives the benefits of sugar (familiar taste, rising, browning, moisture) with less calories per serving. 1/2 cup of these sugar blend sweetener is typically equal 1 cup of regular sugar
Contains a caloric sweetener (such as coconut sugar, raw cane sugar, or fructose) blended with a reduced calorie sweetener or a high intensity sweetener. It helps consumers reduce their sugar intake. It is designed for baking and cooking as it gives the benefits of sugar (familiar taste, rising, browning, moisture) with less calories per serving. Also called baker's blend or baking blend, it maintains almost the same role of the sugar replaced in baking, but with less calories.
It is a caloric sweetener in liquid form (such as honey, agave, maple syrup, or corn syrup) blended with one or more reduced calorie sweeteners and/or high intensity sweetener.
1:1 Sugar Replacements are sweeteners that measure spoon-for-spoon (or cup-for-cup) like regular sugar, and mantain some of sugar's role in baking but with less calories. When substituting this sweetener for sugar, consumer must substitute 'equal volume', not 'equal weight', because this sweetener is much lighter than sugar. Do not contain a sugar but have as main ingredient carbohydrates such as polysaccharides (often maltodextrin) that breaks down into glucose.
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What exactly is a sugar blend for? We all know that cutting out sugar cold turkey isn’t easy, and not even recommended. The best way to reduce your sugar intake is by adjusting your palate to foods that are not super sweet. Choose where it might be easiest to modify. You can start cutting 10% of the sugar in your coffee, for example. Once you get accustomed, keep cutting back. You’ll find that you come to prefer less sweet coffee. That’s the ultimate goal: gradually eat less sugar by training your palate. With that said, some people want a sugar substitute to help them reduce—not eliminate—calories & sugar in their recipes, and that's when sugar blends come in handy.
What are sugar blends made of? In the examples above, their general formula is as follows: Sugar blend = refined sugar (from cane and/or beet) + high-intensity sweetener (stevia or sucralose) + low-digestible carbohydrates (erythritol or soluble fibers).
What's the benefit of a sugar blend? Choose a sugar blend when you want to REDUCE—not eliminate—refined sugar in your baking goods. They help you lower your overall sugar intake and at the same time, provide sugar-like taste and texture to your recipes. The above sugar blends maintain (almost) the same role of refined sugar in baking and cooking, but with 25 to 75 percent fewer calories.
How sweet are sugar blends? Some sugar blends are as sweet as table sugar—also called cup for cup or 1:1 sugar replacement. Others are twice as sweet (2:1 sugar replacement) or 3x as sweet (3:1 sugar replacement).
Are sugar blends always made up of refined sugar? No. The sugar blends listed above contain other sugars as main ingredient. Here's their general formula: Sugar Blend = sugar (raw sugar, coconut sugar, fructose or ribose) + high-intensity sweetener (stevia, monk fruit). It may or may not contain a low-digestible sweetener (inulin, erythritol).
Are sugar blends always in granulated form? No. They might be with liquid sugars—honey or maple syrup—as the examples above and below show. The general formula of the above sweeneteners is: Syrup Blends = honey or agave nectar + stevia. They are 2x sweeter than honey and agave nectar so we can use half as much. Syrup Blends maintain (almost) the same role of the syrup replaced with 25 to 50 percent fewer sugar and calories. Honey 2.0 is a blend of honey with a soluble fiber, without stevia; one serving (1 Tbsp) contains 8 g of fiber.
What are lite syrups made of? Light syrups are sugar blends in liquid form. Their general formula is as follows: Lite table syrup = corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup + high-intensity sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame-k).
What's the benefit of lite syrups? Lite syrups offer 50% fewer calories & sugar content (per serving) than their original version, typically providing 25 cal/tablespoon. They are 2x sweeter than their original version, and so, we should use half as much.
What are some examples of lite syrups? I listed six options above. Karo Lite (40 cal/tbsp) offers 33% fewer calories & sugar content than the Original Karo (60 cal/tbsp). Wholesome Lite Syrup and Aunt Jemima Original Lite do not contain high-intensity sweeteners but offer 50% less sugar than their original version.
Any additional ingredients in these lite syrups? They may also contain: (1) preservatives to maintain freshness, (2) artificial and/or natural flavors to improve the taste, (3) thickening agents (cellulose gum or xantham gum) to make them more viscous.
ABOUT MALTODEXTRIN BLENDS
The predominant ingredient in the sweeteners above is maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is blended with a high-intensity sweetener (sucralose, aspartame, stevia, or monk fruit) resulting in a product that is as sweet as table sugar. They offer 90% fewer calories than sugar.
They are labeled as zero-calorie but suggested by their manufacturer to be measured as a cup-for-cup substitute for table sugar. One cup of those sugar substitutes (about 100 cal) does offer significantly fewer calories than table sugar (about 750 cal/cup), but it is not "zero cal".
By law, these sweeteners may be labeled "zero-calorie" because one serving (1 tsp), which is as sweet as 1 tsp of sugar, provides <5 cal. One tsp of these sweeteners provides around 2 cal (due to maltodextrin) and is rounded to zero in the Nutrition Facts label.
Maltodextrin-based sweeteners are included with "sugar blends" because even though maltodextrin is not a sugar, it is broken down into sugars (maltose & glucose) in our mouth, stomach, and small intestine, being absorbed as pure glucose.
Maltodextrin blends give the best results when you do not replace all the sugar required in your recipes. Cakes will not rise and brown like their full-sugar counterparts.
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