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Get the Skinny on sweeteners: plant-based, no calorie and low calorie sweeteners

The market for all-natural, no-calorie sweeteners is booming, but how do they really measure up?  Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on plant-based sweeteners, and how to know which one is right for you.

 

  • Most plant-based no- and low-calorie sweeteners are decent options for those looking to reduce sugar consumption or avoid artificial sweeteners.
  • Each has distinct taste/texture; some better in cooking/baking, others better in drinks & no-bake sweets.

The similarities:

  • Most are made with high intensity zero-calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit (monk fruit is a fruit called luo han guo; it’s been used for years as a calorie-free high-intensity sweetener).
  • Erythritol, dextrose, and/or maltodextrin often used to provide bulk and texture.
  • Some contain added sugars (e.g. molasses, fructose), so not technically calorie-free
  • All of the following can be used in baking/cooking, though may need to adjust cooking times/temps

SWERVE

Calories: 0 calories on label; contains 0 calories per packet or teaspoon

Ingredients: Erythritol, oligosaccharides (non-digestible carbs from fruits/vegetables), natural flavors

How to substitute for sugar:  Measures cup-for-cup like sugar.

 

TRUVIA

Calories: 0 calories on label; contains 0 calories per packet or teaspoon

Ingredients: Erythritol, rebiana (stevia plant), natural flavors

How to substitute for sugar:  ½ packet or 3/8 teaspoon of Truvia = 1 teaspoon of sugar

 

Z SWEET

Calories:  0 calories stated on label; contains 0 calories

Ingredients:  Erythritol, S. rebaudiana leaf extract (stevia), calcium carbonate, natural flavors

How to substitute for sugar:   One ZSweet Supersweet packet = two teaspoons of sugar; granulated ZSweet measures cup-for-cup like sugar.

 

PURE VIA

Calories: 0 calories stated on label; actually has 4 calories per packet

Ingredients:  Dextrose (sugar), Reb A (stevia), cellulose powder (fiber), natural flavors

How to substitute for sugar:  ¼ teaspoon or ½ packet of Pure Via = one teaspoon of sugar.

NECTRESSE (from the maker of Splenda)

Calories: 0 calories stated on label; actually contains 3.58 calories per packet or ½ teaspoon

Ingredients: Erythritol, sugar, monk fruit extract (luo han guo), molasses

How to substitute for sugar:  ¼ teaspoon of Nectresse = one teaspoon of sugar; one packet of Nectresse = two teaspoons of sugar.

NATURALS (from the maker of Equal)

Calories:  0 calories stated on label; contains 3.98 calories per packet

Ingredients: Fructose, monk fruit extract, Reb A (stevia extract)

How to substitute for sugar: One packet = one teaspoon sugar

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