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Sugar and Sweeteners
Provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health

Are some sugars better for your health than others?

This is a very common question - usually people wonder if honey is better for you than table sugar. The fact is there isn't a lot of nutritional difference between brown, raw sugar, molasses, fructose, honey, or table sugar. Your choice should be based on taste and preference. Remember that sweets should be eaten sparingly because they contain calories and few other nutrients. Sugars, especially sticky ones, also cause dental caries.

Is it okay to choose foods and drinks with alternative sweeteners?

You can certainly enjoy sweet tastes and cut calories when you choose alternative sweeteners - also called non-nutritive sweeteners, very low-calorie sweeteners, and intense sweeteners.

While these sweeteners can be part of a healthy diet for most adults, infants and children need the calories from carbohydrates for growth. Children over age two who eat a well-balanced diet may occasionally use foods and beverages sweetened with intense sweeteners.

The three types of intense sweeteners approved for use in the US are:

  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Acesulfame K.

For more information on health and nutrition, visit the ADA. With nearly 70,000 members, ADA is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Chicago-based ADA serves the public by promoting optimal health and nutrition.


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