The health concerns related to artificial sugar alternatives haven't been proven, but they do present a risk many people don't want to take. There is a solution, however, to the human fix for sugar: sweet, natural alternatives to sugar that are nontoxic and low in both energy and glycemic index:
- Stevia (S. rebaudiana): Stevia is sweet, noncaloric herb native to Paraguay. 300 times sweeter than sugar, it has little impact on blood sugar. However, the FDA has not approved Stevia as a sweetener. In the United States, it is currently approved only as a health supplement.
- Oligofructose: Recognized as safe by the FDA, and even as the source of various health benefits by others, oligofructose is derived from various plant sources. Because it resists digestion, oligofructose is essentially free of calories.
- Sugar Alcohols: Neither a sugar nor an alcohol, sugar alcohols are sweet and have a glycemic index (though lower than that of table sugar). Each sugar alcohol, including maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol, is different, though all are nontoxic.
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