December 1, 2020

6 Different types of sugar and sugar substitutes

sugar

sugar

The word ‘Sugar’ always bring crystal white sugar also known as ‘Table Sugar’ in your imagination. But the truth is something very unusual. Sugar is supposed to be much more complex than what we think. 

So now the question arises if Sugar is complex, that how complicated it is? And what are the types of Sugar available? And what kind of sugar is healthful?

Let us first talk about the types of Sugar which we see or have come across either in our study or in our discussion.

Types of Sugar

  1. Granulated Sugar – You more commonly recognize it as the table sugar or white sugar that we use daily in our domestic work. Also known as the daily sugar, granulated sugar is most widely used in commercial and homely recipes and dishes. It is completely Sucrose developed from Sugarcane and processed to give it a texture like salt.
  1. Confectioners’ Sugar – Confectioners’ Sugar is a fine sugar. It is also known as Icing Sugar. It is a remarkably fine form of the Sugar. It is the finest and tiniest among all the Sugar types. Confectioners’ Sugar can easily dissolve if you use it as a topping in any of your recipes. It is mixed with cornstarch to prevent clumping when stored. 
  1. Caster Sugar – Almost similar to Granulated Sugar, Caster Sugar has a much thinner and finer texture. Since it is very small in size, it is easier to use the Caster Sugar in bakery items like Biscuits, Cookies or any desert-like Cream, Cake, etc. 
  1. Brown Sugar – When White Sugar is mixed with Molasses, then essentially Brown Sugar is developed. It is a by-product of sugar that is boiled-down in thick and dark syrup. It is available in both refined and non-refined forms. Both forms display the properties of molasses. Brown Sugar in combination with the Granulated Sugar is used in bakery items like Chocolate Cookies.
  1. Fruit Sugar – Very less commonly used in the food supply, Fruit Sugar is used in as Table Sugar. Naturally, occurring fructose originates in fruits. It chemically combines with glucose to form the sucrose of high fructose corn syrup. Fruits are known for their high nutrients content and fiber.
  1. Cane Sugar – At times, you might have heard of people expecting Cane Sugar over the most common Table Sugar. The identification of Cane Sugar can be suggestive to its origin. Sucrose is extracted from Sugar Cane. Sugar Cane is a tropical plant that contains a highly concentrated sweet substance. It is reasonably similar to Granulated Sugar, Cane Sugar is the sweet substance contained in the tropical plant, Sugar Cane.

Knowing the types of Sugar available at the wholesale food suppliers, no wonder, we all would be highly interested in knowing whether this Sugar is healthy in any form of its consumption, right? 

Is Sugar Consumption healthy? Which form of Sugar is healthier?

Considering the amount of sugar being consumed and the number of patients detected with Diabetes, combining healthy with sugar is not fair. Sugar is sugar. It cannot be related to something which comes in healthy food substance. Despite its different concentrations of sweetness, color, and texture, all the sugar carries 16 calories in every teaspoon of its consumption. As per American research, a man should not consume more than 9 teaspoons of sugar in a day. And a woman should not go above 6 teaspoons of sugar. So, till the time sugar is consumed in the limits mentioned, sugar can be okay to be called healthy. But, once the limit is exceeded, it does not stay as healthy food. 

So if sugar is not healthy to be consumed, what can be consumed as a substitute for sugar to maintain a sugar level in body and blood for survival? Let’s talk about it!

Sugar substitutes are chemicals or natural plant-based substances used as natural sweeteners to enhance the taste of food and drinks. You can also be called as ‘Artificial Sweeteners’ or ‘Non-Calorific Sweeteners’. It can be used in place of Table Sugar and can be replaced as sugar in food or drinks.

What whole earth sweetener sugar substitutes that can be utilized?  

The whole earth sweetener sugar substitutes that can be used in place of sugar as food additives and the ones which are easily available at wholesale food suppliers are as follows,

  1. Acesulfame K (Also known as Sunett and Sweet One) – It is sweeter than sugar, almost 200 times. It is calorie-free. 
  2. Advantame 
  3. Aspartame (Two brand names which are familiar – Equal and Nutrasweet) – It is consumed commonly. It is considered as a low-calorie sugar substitute.
  4. Neotame (Also known as Newtame) 
  5. Saccharin (Known with its two brand names like Sweet’ N Low and Sweet Twin) – It is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. Saccharin is a low-calorie sugar substitute that was first time discovered in 1879. 
  6. Sucralose (Brand – Splenda) – It is a no-calorie sugar substitute and about 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. 

Sugar Alcohols are other sugar substitutes that can be used. It is considered another class of sweeteners. For example, Mannitol, Xylitol, and Sorbitol are Sugar Alcohols that are used often. Sugar alcohols are recognized as the safest to use as sweeteners in food and drinks.

The most common sugar alcohols that we find in food or drinks are listed below with the calorie concentration.

  1. Erythritol – Contains 0.2% calories per gram.
  2. Isomalt – It contains 2% calories per gram. 
  3. Lactitol – It contains 2% calories per gram.
  4. Maltitol – It contains 2.1% calories per gram.
  5. Mannitol – It contains 1.6% calories per gram.
  6. Sorbitol – It contains 2.6% calories per gram.
  7. Xylitol – It contains 2.4% calories per gram.

Are Sugar Alcohols Safe?

As per one American authority, FDA, Sugar Alcohols are considered as safe. The qualified experts of America agree with the evidence that using Sugar Alcohols are safe to be used in foods or drinks. However, you should always consume Sugar Alcohols in moderation. Because even Sugar Alcohols are heavy in consumption and hard to digest. Eating large amounts of Sugar Alcohols can lead to bloating or diarrhea. 

To summarize, sugar substitutes are considered the safest form of sweeteners in the past few years. But even sugar substitutes should be used in the limit as it may also cause issues if used in excess.