Views:6 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2020-10-16 Origin:Site
When it comes to food and beverage trends, "natural" is the mainstream, and low-calorie and non-calorie sweeteners are no exception. Sales of stevia sweeteners led by Truvia natural sweeteners have surpassed the sales of artificial sweeteners including aspartame, sucralose and saccharin. In August last year, research firm Nielsen reported that sales of stevia increased by 11.9% year-on-year, while sales of artificial sweeteners fell by an average of 6.6%.
Monk Fruit is another popular non-nutritive natural sweetener. According to Nielsen's April 2018 data, the use of Luo Han Guo in foods such as cereals and nutritional bars has increased by 20%, and the use of vitamins and lactose-free milk has increased by more than 150%.
No wonder natural sugar-free sweeteners are becoming more and more popular. Americans are the world's largest consumers of sugar, with an average of 1/4 cup of added sugar per person per day. However, we are well aware that excessive consumption of sugary foods and beverages is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and fatty liver.
Consumers want to reduce their sugar intake while enjoying sweetness. Artificial sweeteners used to be a solution, but due to concerns that they will not help weight management, and may even lead to weight gain, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure, the popularity of artificial sweeteners has declined.
The health aura of natural sweeteners is plant-based and seems to meet all criteria. But are they really as innocent as they seem?
Stevia leaves have been used as a sweetener since the 16th century, but this extract has only been approved as a food ingredient in the United States and Europe since 2008.
The full name of the stevia plant is stevia. It is a shrub native to South America and also grows in Japan and China. The leaves are harvested, dried, and then soaked in hot water. The resulting liquid is filtered and purified to separate sweet compounds called glycosides, the most common of which are stevioside and rebaudioside A (also known as reb A).
Its natural sweetener products contain no calories and no sugar. Stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you only need a small amount of stevia to sweeten food and drinks. It has a very low calorie content and can be called a "zero calorie" sweetener. In order to make it more bulky so that it can be used to replace sugar more easily, other sweeteners, carbohydrates, and fiber are usually added to the packaging and bags of stevia you see in the grocery store.
One disadvantage is that some compounds in stevioside, especially stevioside, tend to have a bitter aftertaste. This is another reason why other sweeteners are sometimes added.
Monk Fruit is a small melon from China. The sweet ingredient Mogrosid V is extracted from dried fruit or fruit juice, and its sweetness is 150 to 250 times that of sugar. Luo Han Guo sweetener contains 2 calories per teaspoon, which is low enough to be labeled as "zero calories"
The taste of Luo Han Guo is different from sugar and can have an aftertaste. Like stevia leaf extract, Luo Han Guo is usually mixed with other sweeteners, starch and fiber to increase volume and improve taste.
Consumers want to reduce their sugar intake while still enjoying some sweetness.
A systematic review last year found that natural sweeteners and artificial sweeteners are often evaluated as a whole, rather than individual compounds, which makes it difficult for us to distinguish which sweeteners are better.
Stevia has been determined to be safe for use by the general population, including children. The acceptable daily intake (ADI) is set at 4 mg per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, according to the Food and Drug Administration (Food and Drug Administration) data, if your weight is 150 pounds (approximately 47.5 kg), you can consume up to 273 mg of stevia, which is equivalent to 10 packets of stevia per day. Agent.
Animal studies have shown that stevia leaf extract is non-toxic. So far, there have been no reports of any negative reactions in humans. Studies on the effect of stevia leaf extract on fecal bacteria show that there is no significant effect on the bacterial balance.
Studies have also shown that stevia does not increase blood sugar, nor does it cause tooth decay like sugar. Compared with artificial sweeteners, stevia can also help reduce insulin levels: A study of 19 thin people and 12 obese adults found that compared with the sugar-free artificial sweetener aspartame, meals Eating stevia before meals can significantly reduce insulin levels after meals.
Some people worry that low-calorie sweeteners will make people hungry because of people’s expectations of sweetness in calories. The above study of lean and obese people found that when participants ate stevia instead of sugar before meals, they did not compensate by consuming more calories, nor did they report differences in hunger levels. However, a Singapore study found conflicting results. Thirty healthy men were randomly assigned to drink beverages containing stevia, monk fruit, aspartame or sugar. They had lunch an hour later. Research results show that compared with drinking sugary drinks, drinking sugar-free drinks, whether natural or artificial, will cause men to eat more at lunch.
Some people worry that low-calorie sweeteners will make people hungry, because people expect the calories of sweetness. Monk Fruit sweetener contains almost no carbohydrates and zero sugar, so it will not raise blood sugar levels. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally believes that Monk Fruit is safe, but it has not set an upper limit for daily intake. In general, the research on Luo Han Guo is still too young to explain how it affects human health.
The most important question of stevia and Monk Fruit is: Can they help people lose weight? So far, there is no evidence to support the idea that low-calorie sweeteners help weight loss.
What about the other ingredients?
Look for some better ingredients in sweeteners including erythritol, inulin and cellulose. Some less desirable additives are glucose, maltodextrin and lactose.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol naturally found in grapes, mushrooms and beer. Food additives are sugars made from corn or wheat starch through yeast fermentation; then the compound is separated and purified. Erythritol contains 0.24+ Luli per gram, while sugar contains 4 calories per gram, but its sweetness is only 70% of sugar. It also helps fight tooth decay.
This sugar alcohol has little effect on blood sugar levels and does not seem to affect gut bacteria. Based on research on animal toxicity, cancer risk, and reproductive health, erythritol is considered safe.
But be aware that excessive intake of sugar alcohols can cause bloating and other digestive problems, especially for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Erythritol is the least aggressive of sugar alcohols because, unlike most other alcohols, erythritol is resistant to fermentation by colonic bacteria.
Other common active ingredients in the stevia and Monk Fruit mixture include fibers such as inulin and cellulose. Inulin is mainly extracted from chicory root. This probiotic has many potential health benefits and can promote beneficial bacteria in the gut. It can also help control blood sugar and control weight. Cellulose exists in plant cell walls and is an insoluble fiber that helps promote cell regularity.
Stevia brands such as raw and pure Via and several monk fruit sweetener companies add glucose or maltodextrin to their mixtures. These simple sugars have a high glycemic index. This amount is very small. If you only eat one or two packets, it will have almost no effect on your blood sugar. However, if you use these sweeteners in large amounts, the carbohydrate content will increase.
Some brands will use lactose as a bulking agent. Although the amount is small, it may be worrying for people who are lactose intolerant, particularly sensitive and or who use a lot of sweeteners.
Are stevia and Luo Han Guo sweeteners better because they are natural? Of course, the plants and fruits are natural, but the extracts in the sweeteners are processed and refined and can be added to food to replace sugar.
Remember, "natural" does not mean "better". "For example, due to concerns about kidney health, stevia leaves and crude stevia leaf extracts are not approved for use in food.
It is also important to consider how to use stevia and Luo Han Guo sweeteners. Did you put them in your breakfast coffee instead of sugar so that you can eat one more doughnut? Then you are very wrong.
Low-calorie sweeteners should be used as a tool to help reduce the added sugar in your diet. Even so, you should use them as reasonably as possible to help your taste buds have a lower sweetness. Another key strategy is: often choose nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, to obtain fiber and nutrients as well as natural sugars.