Sugar or sweetness has a new name – Sweetener! We are familiar with it, and use it in our daily lives as a substitute in tea, coffee, juices, and desserts. But, do you know what exactly you should be looking for in the sweetener that you are consuming? Here are essential things that you need to look for in your sweetener.
1- Does it leave a bitter after-taste?
It is important to check if your sweetener leaves a bitter after-taste in your mouth. Many people revert to sugar after trying a few alternatives, as the taste of some artificial sweeteners just isn’t the same. The bitter after-taste ruins the taste of the original food and you end up eating something more than desired, which results in you piling on extra calories.
2- Does it overpower the taste of your beverage/food?
While it’s good to cut down on calories, a sweetener that overpowers the taste of your favourite beverage/food is a complete put-off. It’s advisable to be sure about the taste of the sweetener you choose.
3- Does it help to cut calories?
Most sweeteners available are ‘low-calorie’. As a result, people tend to consume them in large quantities and end up consuming additional calories. It’s advisable to look for a ‘no-calorie’ sweetener and consume it in appropriate quantities.
4- Is it safe for everyone?
It is extremely important to check if the sweetener is suitable for everyone, rather than running the risk of uncalled-for reactions. For example, some sweeteners such as aspartame are not suitable for people suffering from metabolic disorders.
5- Is it gluten-free?
Today, a lot of people are suffering from gluten intolerance. You might want to check if your sweetener is gluten-free, to ensure that there is no allergic reaction post-consumption.
6- Is it US FDA approved?
I’d recommend a sweetener that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the US, or a reputed international body like the WHO. Many ‘natural’ sweeteners are still being tested for their harmful effects on the body.
7- Can it be used for cooking?
The sweetener you choose should be versatile. Aspartame, for example, loses its sweetness when heated, and relatively has a shorter shelf-life. Therefore, it is not suitable for cooking or heating. Sucralose, on the other hand, retains its sweetness when heated, so it makes for a much better sweetener when used for cooking.
8- Is it easily available?
You don’t want to be stuck without your regular sweetener, or be forced to use an alternative, if you shift locations or cities. Therefore, it is best to use one that is widely available across the world.
9- Is there a limit for daily consumption?
Health-concious people should check if their daily sweetener consumption falls within the accepted daily intake (ADI) parameters, as per experts.