Role of low calorie sweeteners in a balanced diet

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Low calorie sweeteners provide a simple way of reducing the amount of calories in our diet without affecting the enjoyment of sweet tasting foods and drinks.

A wide variety of products contain low calorie sweeteners, including soft drinks, dairy products such as yoghurt and ice cream, desserts, chewing gums, condiments such as salad dressing, mustards and sauces and many other products including chewable multivitamins, mouthwashes and cough syrups.

Each low calorie sweetener has its own unique taste profile, characteristics and benefit. By using different blends of low calorie sweeteners, subtle taste options are also available. Food and drink manufacturers choose which low calorie sweetener to use, either on its own or as a blend, based on taste considerations, stability and the type of food or drink that will be added. By using different blends of low calorie sweeteners, subtle taste options are also available. Blending low calorie sweeteners is safe and the use of a blend reduces the amount of each individual sweetener that would be needed to sweeten foods and drinks.

Considering the challenge of increasing rates of obesity and diabetes, low calorie sweeteners can provide an important alternative to sugar and other caloric sweeteners. Low calorie sweeteners, when used in place of sugars and as part of a balanced diet, can be a helpful tool to reduce energy intake and body weight and thereby risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

By replacing the equivalent sweetness of sugar without the equivalent calories and increasing palatability of healthy and low calorie foods, low calorie sweeteners, if used consistently to reduce calories, can prove helpful in weight reduction and weight maintenance. Furthermore, as low calorie sweeteners do not affect blood glucose and insulin levels, they may be used to provide sweet-tasting foods and drinks for people who must carefully monitor carbohydrate intake, such as people with diabetes. These benefits are covered in more detail on ‘Sweetness in the diet’ section.

To learn more about the health benefits of sweeteners choose from the list below: