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
White Sugar Blend contains white cane sugar blended with a reduced calorie sweetener and/or a high intensity sweetener. Brown Sugar Blend contains regular brown sugar instead. 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 white or brown sugar blends sweetener is typically equal 1 cup of regular white or brown sugar
Raw Cane Sugar Blend: is a raw cane sugar blended with one or more reduced calorie sweetener and/or high intensity sweetener. Also called baker's blend or baking blend, it maintains almost the same role of raw cane sugars in baking, but with less calories. Is typically twice as sweet as regular refined sugar.
Liquid Blends (syrups) are often 2x as sweet as the pure caloric sweetener. These blends contain honey or agave blended with stevia. It maintains some of honey or agave's role, but with less calories. Pancake syrup, waffle syrup or simply 'syrup' may be (1) LITE, LIGHT; (2) LOW CALORIE caloric sweeteners (sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc) are blended with high-intensity sweeteners (sucralose, stevia, etc)
Are tabletop sweeteners that measure 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.
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.
Erythritol-based Sweeteners. Erythritol is a polyol or sugar alcohol - a type of carbohydrate that, unlike sugar, is not completely digested. It is less sweet than sugar (~70% the sweetness of regular sugar). It is promoted as a natural sweetener as is found in nature but is synthetically produced by fermentation or an electrochemical process. It is considered a zero-calorie sweetener as it provides 0.2 kcal/g.
Xylitol is a polyol or sugar alcohol - a type of carbohydrate that, unlike sugar, is digested slowly, having little impact on blood sugar or insulin levels. Xylitol provides about half the calories of regular sugar (sucrose). Xylitol is the sweetest of the polyols and is as sweet as sucrose.
Xylitol-based Sweeteners. These sweeteners contain xylitol blended with stevia, inulin, erythritol, or sucralose. Xylitol is a polyol or sugar alcohol - a type of carbohydrate that, unlike sugar, is digested slowly, having little impact on blood sugar or insulin levels. Xylitol provides about half the calories of regular sugar (sucrose). Xylitol is the sweetest of the polyols and is as sweet as sucrose.
Sorbitol and mannitol were the first polyols to become available as sweeteners; suited for sugar free recipes, they attracted diabetics. Sorbitol, mannitol and isomalt are about half as sweet as table sugar. Sorbitol provides 2.6 cal per gram, Isomalt 2 cal per gram, and mannitol 1.6 cal per gram.
Sweeteners that measure 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. Erythritol, the main ingredient, is blend with a high intensity sweetener such as stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose.
Sweeteners with soluble fibers | Fructooligosacharides (FOS): a carbohydrate with linear chains of (< 9) fructoses. Inulin (from Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, or agave): a carbohydrate with long chains of ( > 10) fructoses. Isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO): a short-chain carbohydrate, produced from starch. FOS, inulin & IMO have 1/2 the calories of table sugar and are prebiotics (are minimally digested in the small intestine and stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria)
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.