'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

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Santi253
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'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:27 am

https://www.foodbeast.com/news/zero-cal ... -calories/

Given the calories of supposedly calorie-free sweeteners, are we better off just putting real sugar in our coffee?
The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference shows that 10 grams, i.e., ten individual packets, of Splenda (NDB No: 19868) have 33 Calories. Ten grams of Splenda contain 9.00 g of carbohydrates consisting of 8.03 g of sugars (dextrose) and 0.96 grams of starch (maltodextrin).

For comparison, 10 grams of granulated sugar (NDB No: 19335) have 39 Calories. This is only 6 calories more than the equivalent weight of Splenda. Anybody who uses Splenda instead of sugar is saving an insignificant number of calories.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:39 am

Greetings,

The calorie or kilojoule content of beverages should be on the nutritional information panel, and this panel will not differentiate the natural from the artificial.

If calorie count is your consideration, look there instead of to the ingredients or marketing verbiage.

Metta,
Paul. :)
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

The calorie or kilojoule content of beverages should be on the nutritional information panel, and this panel will not differentiate the natural from the artificial.

If calorie count is your consideration, look there instead of to the ingredients or marketing verbiage.

Metta,
Paul. :)
The problem is that, in the United States, if an Equal or Splenda packet has less than five calories per packet, the government allows it to be listed as zero calories per serving on the nutrition facts label.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:47 am

I just went to the grocery store and bought some packets of Sugar in the Raw. Given that artificial sweeteners like Equal and Splenda have just as much calories per gram as table sugar, I no longer think that artificial sweeteners are worth buying. Perhaps food companies mislabel these products as zero calories in order to make money off people who don't know any better.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Idappaccayatā » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:03 am

While I'm not recommending artificial sweeteners, your concern with sugar should be it's negative health effects, not the calorie content. That isn't why it causes weight gain, necessarily.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:16 am

treyg21 wrote:While I'm not recommending artificial sweeteners, your concern with sugar should be it's negative health effects, not the calorie content. That isn't why it causes weight gain, necessarily.
Sugar consumption definitely needs to be kept in moderation. I usually only have sugar in my coffee, and avoid any other kind of sugar.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:59 am

The first two ingredients of artificial sweeteners are dextrose and maltodextrin, types of sugar. I feel like I've been deceived my entire life.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:14 pm

This is the USDA's nutrition facts database:
https://ndb.nal.usda.gov

Per 100 grams, Splenda has 336 kcal and 80.33 grams of sugar:
https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show ... n=&q=&ing=

Per 100 grams, Equal has 365 kcal and 80.70 grams of sugar:
https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show ... n=&q=&ing=

Per 100 grams, granulated sugar has 375 kcal and 100 grams of sugar:
https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show ... n=&q=&ing=

Despite claiming to be calorie-free, the most popular zero-calorie sweeteners have almost the same amount of calories per gram as table sugar. This is because, if an individual packet has less than five calories, it's legally allowed in the United States to be labeled as zero calories.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Idappaccayatā » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:41 pm

Santi253 wrote:The first two ingredients of artificial sweeteners are dextrose and maltodextrin, types of sugar. I feel like I've been deceived my entire life.
I agree. It's really alarming they get away this. Or it will say "zero sugar added" and have fructose as one of the first ingredients.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by DNS » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:28 pm

Not that I support artificial sweeteners, but if your read the rest of those articles, you can't compare gram for gram because artificial sweeteners are lighter and more potent in their sweetness. You don't need to use 10 splenda packets in a cup of coffee, one is more than enough, which apparently is just 3 calories. I occasionally use stevia which appears to be plant-based and no calories, but use just one tiny pinch per cup, the recommended amount.

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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:38 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Not that I support artificial sweeteners, but if your read the rest of those articles, you can't compare gram for gram because artificial sweeteners are lighter and more potent in their sweetness. You don't need to use 10 splenda packets in a cup of coffee, one is more than enough, which apparently is just 3 calories. I occasionally use stevia which appears to be plant-based and no calories, but use just one tiny pinch per cup, the recommended amount.
Many people, including myself, are apt to take something for granted as calorie-free, without doing any research or even reading the ingredients on the product. For now on, I am going to be more likely to read the label, including the fine print, and do some research on the internet when something is in doubt.

Sucralose and aspartame, in their pure form, have zero calories. The calories come from the bulking agents that are added to the packets. The question then, for me, is whether these artificial sweeteners taste good enough to justify the calories. Is it just me, or does real sugar like Sugar in the Raw taste better in coffee than an artificial sweetener? Aside from fruit, the only real source of sugar in my diet is from two sugar packets in my coffee.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Mkoll » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:30 am

David N. Snyder wrote:I occasionally use stevia which appears to be plant-based and no calories, but use just one tiny pinch per cup, the recommended amount.
Yeah stevia is plant-based. The extracts are compounds from a plant that has been used as a sweetener for a very long time. I use the liquid with a dropper. Has a bit of an aftertaste but it's not game-breaking.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:24 am

Mkoll wrote:Has a bit of an aftertaste but it's not game-breaking.
What tastes better, stevia or cane sugar?
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Sujith Manoharan » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:39 am

Santi253 wrote: Many people, including myself, are apt to take something for granted as calorie-free, without doing any research or even reading the ingredients on the product. For now on, I am going to be more likely to read the label, including the fine print, and do some research on the internet when something is in doubt.

Sucralose and aspartame, in their pure form, have zero calories. The calories come from the bulking agents that are added to the packets. The question then, for me, is whether these artificial sweeteners taste good enough to justify the calories. Is it just me, or does real sugar like Sugar in the Raw taste better in coffee than an artificial sweetener? Aside from fruit, the only real source of sugar in my diet is from two sugar packets in my coffee.
A small pellet of sucralose-based sweetener gives the same sweetness of a full teaspoon of sugar, so the amount of calories will be much less. It may not be absolute zero, though. The other main thing to note is the Glycemic Index, which indicates how fast blood sugar rises when something is ingested. Sugar has a high GI value, which is why diabetics avoid it.

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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:45 am

Sujith Manoharan wrote:Sugar has a high GI value, which is why diabetics avoid it.
Yes, I would rather have diabetics use an alternative to putting table sugar in their coffee. As for me, putting 5 to 10 grams of sugar in a cup of coffee seems like a small amount.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:14 am

Santi253 wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Has a bit of an aftertaste but it's not game-breaking.
What tastes better, stevia or cane sugar?
Sugar but it has many downsides. Stevia has none except for a mild aftertaste.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:41 am

Mkoll wrote:
Santi253 wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Has a bit of an aftertaste but it's not game-breaking.
What tastes better, stevia or cane sugar?
Sugar but it has many downsides. Stevia has none except for a mild aftertaste.
I am just asking because I've never tried stevia. Does monk fruit taste good?
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:31 pm

No idea, never tried it.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:17 am

I would like to please reiterate that I started this thread just so we can perhaps be more mindful about what we eat, instead of blindly believing whatever is on the food label.

I am still putting Equal in my coffee, which is about four calories per packet, but with the new knowledge that it isn't really zero calories. I also recently learned that milk has B12 in it, even though it's not on the label.

I never meant to demonize non-nutritive sweeteners in general, especially for people like diabetics who need to control their sugar intake. It would be irresponsible of me to say it's okay to eat all the sugar you want, because Equal and Splenda have some calories and sugar anyway.
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Re: 'Zero-Calorie' Sweeteners Aren't Actually Calorie-Free?

Post by Santi253 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:19 pm

For the first time in a few weeks, I just drank a cup of coffee and got my full enjoyment out of it, because I put in four packets of Equal. While I am disappointed by the deceptive labeling of these products, they at least allow me to have sweeter coffee with fewer calories.
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