A sugar substitute is a food additive that provides a sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy than sugar-based sweeteners, making it a zero-calorie or low-calorie sweetener.
There’s 2 categories of sweeteners:
- Natural one, like Stevia and Xylitol
2. Artificial one:
- Saccharin (Sweet’N Low, Sugar Twin). You can use it in both hot and cold foods. Avoid this sweetener if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). You can use it in both cold and warm foods. It may lose some sweetness at high temperatures. People who have a condition called phenylketonuria should avoid this sweetener.
- Acesulfame potassium or ace-K (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet, Sunett). You can use it in both cold and hot foods, including in baking and cooking.
- Sucralose (Splenda). You can use it in hot and cold foods, including in baking and cooking. Processed foods often contain it.
Let’s talk a little bit about the demon of artificial sweeteners, called Aspartame.
Aspartame is an amino-acid formed by aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. That’s why those who suffer from phenylketonuria, should avoid this sweetener, because those people, genetically can’t create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine, which can lead to serious health problems. They can’t even eat food that contain protein because of that issue.
Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by James M. Schlatter, a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company. Schlatter had synthesized aspartame as an intermediate step in generating a tetrapeptide of the hormone gastrin, for use in assessing an anti-ulcer drug candidate.
I also have an entire video about this topic, where you can find all studies in description.
Reviews have found no association between aspartame and cancer. This position is supported by multiple regulatory agencies like the FDA(Food And Drug Administration) and EFSA(European Food Safety Authority) as well as scientific bodies such as the National Cancer Institute. The EFSA and FDA state that aspartame is safe for human consumption.