Exploring The Colorful World Of Artificial Sweeteners

There’s a battle between refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. As of late, trendy substitutes have claimed to come from natural sources. If you have tried to limit sugar consumption by sprinkling one of those pastel color packets on your morning coffee, there may be a chemical reason you haven’t seen the payoff.

According to a study by the researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine, an experiment in mice proved that artificial sweeteners don’t have the same reward-signaling dopamine benefit as their sugar counterpart. This is because dopamine is only released when the sugar is broken down. If the same outcomes prove consistent with humans, it may explain why diet drinks haven’t had as big an effect on the population as many health advocates had hoped.

Still, sweeteners can be a low-calorie addition to your daily diet. Not sure which one is for you? Here is a breakdown on the differences between the veteran brands and some newcomers:

Equal – The blue packet of Equal sitting out on the counter of your morning coffee shop is made from aspartame. It has been approved by the FDA to be used in food and beverages. It is up to 220 more sweet than sugar, and isn’t the best for baking since it loses some sweetness when cooked at a high temperature. When using, sprinkle one packet for every two teaspoons of refined sugar.

Sweet’N Low – This saccharin-made sweetener in its iconic pink package has been used since 1878. It has experienced some controversy, but is still safe to use according to the FDA. Depending on the brand, it’s 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. Similar to Equal, one packet equals 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Splenda – This yellow packet is made from sucralose, which is sourced from sugar. It can be 600 times sweeter than sugar and has been approved for use by the FDA. This particular brand can be used in equal measurements to refined sugar.

Truvia – This last sweetener in the green package is made from the stevia leaf. Its compounds have been determined safe to use. It is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. This brand is one of the newer products on the market and is touted as being a natural sweetening agent.

Attend an online culinary school program to learn the importance of FDA-approved food and what it means for consumer safety.

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