I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.
Every spring I look forward to seeing the first new leaf buds on the bare tree branches in my yard. They are a happy reminder that green leaves will soon provide shade from the summer sun and a sheltered place for birds to nest. The downside of this seasonal event is that I will have to rake the colorful remains of those leaves from my lawn in the fall, but that is the cycle of nature.
Another cycle I follow is the one that revolves around the question, “What is the best sugar substitute?” As predictable as the falling leaves, there are regular “debates” about aspartame or sucralose, stevia or sucralose, etc.
Since that question is surfacing again, I thought I’d correct some misinformation about sugar substitutes and put the facts in order – at least for another year!
Ingredients or Brands
The first thing I know I must do when I hear people comparing aspartame, sucralose and stevia is clear up the confusion between ingredients versus brands. There is a difference!
Sucralose, stevia and aspartame are all names of sugar substitute ingredients. The most popular brand made with sucralose is SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener. You can check the chart below for brand names of some other sugar substitutes, and learn more about how they’re all made, in my previous blog Sucralose, Stevia, Aspartame, What’s the Difference?
Are Some Sugar Substitutes More Natural Than Others?
Another question I often hear is whether some sugar substitutes are more natural than others. I dedicated an entire blog to explaining What Does “Natural” Mean, so I’ll summarize by saying it’s not what you may think. Many highly processed foods containing fat, sugar and salt can qualify for a “natural” label, so don’t be misled by that claim.
What is the Best Sugar Substitute?
Whenever anyone asks me what is the best sugar substitute, my stock answer is it’s whichever one you like the best. Since they all provide a sweet taste without the calories of sugar, it’s really a matter of personal preference.
And anyone who wants to know more about the differences between sucralose, stevia and aspartame, I’ve created this handy chart just for you!
Sucralose or Aspartame or Stevia Comparison Chart
1 And/or isolated
2 Intakes are too small to result in any appreciable calories
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Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, “The Everyday RD,” is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating well.
For further information about low-calorie sweeteners, visit the Sugar Substitutes section of this blog.