Not all sweeteners are created equal

  • 15/10/2015
Not all sweeteners are created equal

Dietician Angela Berrill told Paul Henry the differences between the various types of sweeteners in our diet.

"It all comes down to the fact that sugar is sugar. We need to be mindful of how much of that sugar we're having in our diets. We also need to be mindful of hidden sugars."

Simple sugars found naturally in foods such as fruit offer little nutritionally other than extra energy means they should be consumed in small amounts.

Honey is often chosen as natural alternative due to its antibacterial properties.

Rice malt syrup is a refined sugar produced by cooking rice flour or starch, Angela says the idea that it's a better alternative to table sugar is questionable.

Agave has a more moderate effect on blood sugar than sugar, it is about 50 per cent sweeter than table sugar.

Raw sugar is less refined than white sugar still contains the same amount of kilojoules.

Natural sweeteners are generally made from plants and taste as sweet as or sweeter than sugar without the kilojoules. There is evidence that consuming exceptionally sweet food may program the brain to seek out sweeter food.

Sugar alcohols such as mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol are carbohydrates found in some fruits and vegetables which are only partially broken down in the body and offer up to 40 per cent fewer calories than sugar.

Watch the full video for the full segment.