To Your Health: Sweetners are popular

To Your Health: Sweetners are popular By Pam Carter, RD Low-calorie sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, allow many people with special dietary needs to enjoy familiar, pleasing tastes without all the calories.

These products can replace sugar in foods and beverages; they are used in soda, sweetened drinks, yogurt, and ice cream. They also make a simple substitute for table sugar. If you�re looking for a sweet alternative to sugar, here�s a breakdown of some of the most popular sweeteners available:

Saccharin (Sweet N Low, Sugar Twin) � Saccharin can be used in both hot and cold foods to make them sweeter. You may recall that some studies giving very large quantities of saccharin to rats raised concerns that saccharin could cause cancer, but many studies and years of use have shown saccharin to be safe in the quantities used by consumers.

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) � Aspartame is another low-calorie sweetener. Because high temperatures can decrease its sweetness, check the manufacturer�s Web site or call its toll-free number for guidelines when using aspartame in recipes.

Acesulfame potassium (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet, Sunett) � Another low-calorie sweetener on the market is acesulfame potassium, also called acesulfame-K. This sweetener is heat stable and can be used in baking and cooking.

Sucralose (SPLENDA) � Sucralose is the newest low-calorie sweetener on the market. Sucralose is not affected by heat and retains its sweetness in hot beverages, baked goods and processed foods.

Hy-Vee registered dietitians are available to the public to answer questions about smart eating. For more information, recipe ideas or to contact your local dietitians, visit and click on health or call toll-free 866-865-4878.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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