REDUCED CALORIE SWEETENERS

On my quest to discover all sweeteners with 25 to 90% fewer calories than table sugar, I found hundreds of options and list them here in two groups: one with sugars and the other not.

aka Sugar Blends

  • Reduced-Calorie Sugars (aka Sugar Blends), as the name implies, are not sugar-free but have less sugar than the caloric sweetener they replace. Most of them are intended for baking or cooking to be measured in cups. They maintain (almost) the same role of the sugar or syrup they replace, but with 25 to 75% fewer calories.

  • They are blends of 2 or more sweeteners. The main ingredient is a sugar or syrup such as white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, or corn syrups. The second predominant ingredient is a  low-digestible sweetener and/or a high-intensity sweetener.

  • They are typically two times as sweet as table sugar or the caloric sweetener it replaces, i.e., half teaspoon (tsp) of these blends is equal to one tsp of table sugar (or the syrup it replaces)

  • One to one sugar replacements made with maltodextrin are included with reduced-calorie sweeteners because they are not calorie-free when you measure them in cups. Learn why here. Also, maltodextrin is not a sugar but is broken down into sugars (maltose & glucose) in our mouth, stomach, and small intestine, being absorbed as pure glucose.

  • Mildly sweet low-digestible carbohydrates such as polyols, rare sugars, and soluble fibers are incompletely or not absorbed at all in the small intestine. They are digestive resistant or partially digested and provide 25 to 90% fewer calories than table sugar.

  • They pass into the large intestine where they are fermented by the microbiota. This offer you digestive benefits but may also result in gastric discomfort. They are promoted as prebiotics (stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut), low "net carbs," and low GI

  • Most of those carbohydrates are less sweet than table sugar and so, they are often blended with high-intensity sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, and sucralose.

  • Some are 1:1 sugar replacements (spoon for spoon, they are as sweet as table sugar). They contain erythritol and are listed here in this page with other reduced-calorie sweeteners because they are not calorie-free when you measure them in cups. Learn why here.

  • Advantage: Sweet taste, lower in calories, bulking properties, and digestive health benefits - as a fiber or as a prebiotic. Disadvantage: Excess consumption may cause diarrhea or other adverse gastrointestinal effects.