"MEASURE LIKE SUGAR" SWEETENER
On my quest to discover all zero-calorie sweeteners which are conveniently measured like sugar on a 1:1 ratio (they are as sweet as sugar), I found 50+ options
Sweeteners that measure like sugar on a 1 to 1 ratio have the same sweetness as table sugar. So you do not have to look for a conversion chart on their label as 1 teaspoon of these sweeteners is equal to 1 teaspoon of table sugar. One cup has the same sweetness as 1 cup of sugar. What a convenience!
They are usually a blend of a bulking agent (filler), which adds body and weight, and a high intensity sweetener. The predominant ingredient is always the bulking agent that may or may not be sweet. The most commonly used are maltodextrin and erythritol. Four high intensity sweeteners are used in these sugar substitutes: sucralose, aspartame, stevia, and/or monk fruit.
When substituting it for sugar, you should measure 'equal volume', not 'equal weight', because they tend to be much lighter than sugar.
Just a Hint of High Intensity Sweeteners
Keep in mind that most of those sweeteners that measure like sugar on a 1:1 ratio have just a hint of high intensity sweeteners (HIS). In some of these sweeteners, the weight ratio between the filler and the HIS is 200 to 2000 (filler) to about 1 (HIS). This means that almost 99% of the weight comes from the filler but 70 to 99% of the sweetness comes from the HIS.
Measuring Cups or Teaspoons (tsp)?
You can directly swap the amount of sugar called for in a recipe with the same amount of these sweeteners. You can choose to measure just 1 teaspoon (tsp) or several cups but you have to keep in mind that one tsp has almost zero calories but one cup (about 48 tsp) of most of these sweeteners provides 70 to 100 cal
By law, these sweeteners may be labeled as 'no calorie sweetener' because one serving provides less than 5 calories. One tsp of these sweeteners provides 1.5 to 2 cal (if with erythritol or maltodextrin) and is rounded to zero in the Nutrition Facts label. The filler (often erythritol and maltodextrin) is what adds calories, not the high intensity sweeteners. They do add minimal calories if you are measuring teaspoons.
In case you are using and measuring cups of these sweeteners, they are not free of calories, so refer to Cup-for-Cup Sweeteners.
Are they really zero calories ?
Most sweeteners labeled as 'zero calories' are not really calorie free. This is because, by law if a sweetener provides <5 cal per serving, these calories may be rounded to zero and the product may be claimed as 'no calorie sweetener'. However, I want you to be aware that if you are measuring cups of these sweeteners, the calories are not zero.
One cup of these products do offer significantly less calories than table sugar, as one cup of sugar provides about 750 calories, but again, they are not 'zero calories'.
To understand what I am saying, you need to know what one serving is.
A serving size for tabletop sweeteners is found on the Nutrition Facts Label. You will see it expressed in teaspoons, drops, or squeezes. One serving is usually the amount of product with sweetness equivalent to one or two teaspoons (tsp) of table sugar. To find out if it is equivalent to one or two tsp, look for a conversion chart on the product's label as I show you in the images below.
Splenda Granulated has only two ingredients: a filler (maltodextrin) and a HIS (sucralose). By law, it may be labeled as 'no calorie sweetener' because one serving (1 tsp), which is as sweet as 1 tsp of table sugar, provides less than 5 cal. One tsp of Splenda Granulated has 1.98 cal (due to maltodextrin) and is rounded to zero in the Nutrition Facts label. However, a cup of Splenda, which has about 48 tsp, provides 95 calories.
The image below shows another example. Swerve Granular is made up predominantly of erythritol (0.4 cal per gram). One tsp of Swerve Granular contains 4 grams of erythritol, providing 1.6 cal which, by law, may be rounded to zero and labeled as 'zero calories'. Keep in mind that a cup of Swerve Granular has about 70 calories.
For that reason, tabletop sweeteners that are suggested by the manufacturer to be measured as a cup-for-cup substitute for table sugar are listed with the Reduced Calorie Sweeteners, even though their label states 'no calorie sweetener'. Look for the Cup-for-Cup Sweeteners.
In case you are using/measuring teaspoons, they in fact add minimal calories, so refer to the Teaspoon-for-Teaspoon Sweeteners listed on this page.
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