The Sweetness Spectrum
Below, created by nutritionists Diana Stanczak and Megan Pentz-Kluyts with help from nutritionist Dr Kathleen Melanson, reveals which sweeteners and sugars pack the biggest punch.
Though it doesn’t taste sweet, lactose is still technically a sugar. It’s a combination of two sugar building blocks, glucose and galactose. Found in milk and dairy products.
0.16 times sweeter than sucrose
The same type that’s in blood sugar, glucose fuels your muscles and brain. It’s a simple sugar, meaning it’s a part of complex sugars, such as sucrose and HFCS. Found in sports drinks, honey and agave nectar.
0.75 times sweeter than sucrose
Sold as sucralose or yellow Canderel, it’s formulated from chlorine atoms that are substituted for hydrogen-oxygen groups in ordinary sugar. Found in many low-kilojoule desserts and beverages.
600 times sweeter than sucrose
You know this stuff as table sugar. It’s a 50-50 glucose-fructose combination and is usually derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. Found in a wide range of processed foods and beverages.
1 times sweeter than sucrose
This fructose-glucose syrup is derived from the same plant that yields tequila. It’s high in fructose, containing up to 90%. Agave is sweeter than sugar, so you can use less of it. Found in coffee as a sweetener.
1.6 times sweeter than sucrose
This natural blend of fructose and glucose is slightly sweeter than table sugar and is a better source of antioxidants and nutrients. Found in some granola bars, pretzels, honey-coated nuts and cereals.
1.5 times sweeter than sucrose
Sold as Equal or Candarel, low-kilojoule aspartame is made by combining two amino acids. Found in many sugar-free products, including diet sodas, some low-kilojoule yoghurts, fountain drinks, carbonated water, non-nutritive sweeteners (aspartame and acesulfame K), flavouring, preservatives (potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate), caffeine and anti-foam.
200 times sweeter than sucrose
A simple natural sugar found in fruit, fructose ranges from 1.2 to 1.75 on our sweetness scale, depending on the kind of fruit. Keep in mind that consuming fructose in fruit is best because you’re also getting water, fibre and a host of nutrients as nature intended. Found in fruits, as added fructose in some diabetic jams, energy drinks and other sugars like, table sugar, honey and agave nectar and Tantalize Liquid Sweetener.
1.4 times sweeter than sucrose
Natreen contains both saccharin and cyclamates, a concoction of sulphur and other complex chemicals. Found in fountain drinks, carbonated water, non-nutritive sweeteners (aspartame and acesulfame K), flavouring, preservatives (potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate), caffeine and anti-foam.
300 times sweeter than sucrose
Approved in 1998 by the FDA, the “K” in acesulfame-K refers to the mineral potassium, which is naturally found in our bodies. Studies show that 95% of the consumed sweetener basically ends up excreted in the urine because the body can’t break it down. Found as a coffee sweetener, in soft drinks and flavoured drinks.
200 times sweeter than sucrose
Check out the latest video on how these ingredients make you fat and even have a look at why so many people are waging war on sugar!