What About Artificial Sweeteners?

Posted: September 24, 2013 in Blog, Nutrition
different sweetener packets

You may never have heard of him, but you have probably used his discovery at some point. Constantin Fahlberg discovered saccharin, the first commercially available artificial sweetener, in 1878.

Since then, we have had a love/hate relationship with artificial sweeteners. We love that we can enjoy sweet foods and drinks without weight-gain worries or fears of raising blood sugar levels. But artificial sweeteners never seem to taste quite like real sugar and some studies have raised flags about their effect on our health.

Just What is an Artificial Sweetener?

Let’s start at the beginning. There are two classes of sweeteners: nutritive and non-nutritive.

Nutritive Sweeteners get their name because they provide calories. They include:

It’s the energy they contain that make nutritive sweeteners a challenge for anyone who enjoys sweet foods. Too many nutritive sweeteners can lead to weight gain and higher blood sugar levels.

Non-nutritive Sweeteners, or Artificial Sweeteners, provide no calories and do not affect blood-sugar levels.

The artificial sweeteners available in Canada include:

To learn more about artificial sweeteners and what to look for when you are trying to manage your weight or maintain stable blood sugar levels, be sure to talk to a nutritional expert who can help find options specific to your goals.