What Sweetener Substitutes Are Safe To Use?

The two safest choices of the “packet sweeteners” on restaurant tabletops are saccharin and stevia. More than 100 years ago, saccharin originated from a plant imported from China. In its original form, saccharin is a complex sugar extract from the plant. Decades ago, saccharin was sold in tiny pin-sized pellets, and merely two or three were enough to add sweetness to coffee or iced tea. Stevia is similar to saccharin in its origin. It is extracted from a plant grown in South America and is also a complex sugar extract.

Both stevia and saccharin (in its original form) are complex plant carbohydrates, so they do not pass into the bloodstream, yet they still deliver a natural sweetness. People complain that both can be bitter, but that is an easy problem to fix. Don’t use too much. It’s the same as seasoning a tomato with too much salt or pepper, or using too much garlic or oregano on lasagna. Start off slowly and add, as you “taste test.”

Modern consumers are in the habit of using huge amounts of sugar and they automatically pour on the same amount of saccharin or Stevia as they do aspartame or Splenda. If you simply use one-quarter the amount of saccharin or stevia for one serving of sugar, then the taste is pleasant, natural and should not be bitter.

Don’t be surprised that I recommend saccharin – I am simply realistic. Many people refuse to give up the colored sweetener packets, especially teenagers focusing on their weight, and diabetics who feel the need to use sweetener substitutes. Many people are becoming more receptive to the reality that chemical sweeteners may not be worth the health risk.

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