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Get answers to your nutrition & healthy eating questions.
Call us toll-free† at 1-877-510-510-2 to speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.
Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes that have a sweet taste. There are many different types of sweeteners available. Some are found in pre-packaged foods and drinks and some may be purchased to add to foods like coffee and tea, or for baking and cooking. Read on to learn more about artificial sweeteners, where they can be found and if they may be right for you.
There are two types of artificial sweeteners. Those that have calories and those that do not.
Sugar alcohols are sweeteners with calories. They have fewer calories than table sugar and have only a small effect on your blood glucose level. Use the table below to get more information about sugar alcohols.
The table below lists sweeteners with no calories. These sweeteners do not have an effect on your blood glucose level. They are often used in very small amounts because they can be 30 to 3000 times sweeter than table sugar.
*The amount of sweetener that a person may consume in a day is typically well below what is considered safe.
It is important to read the ingredient list. Sweeteners may be listed under many different names.
Yes. Health Canada regulates all sweeteners that are used and sold in Canada. Sweeteners are only approved when scientific evidence confirms that they are safe.
If you have a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU), avoid foods that have aspartame.
Sugar substitutes are safe in moderation during pregnancy. However, it is important that foods and drinks made with these do not replace more nutritious options. If you have concerns or questions about using sweeteners, talk to your health care provider or a dietitian.
It is recommended that infants and children avoid sweeteners. Foods and drinks with sweeteners may replace other more nutritious foods.
Read the ingredient list on foods like yogurt, canned fruit, cereals and cookies that may contain sweeteners.
It depends. You may choose to use sweeteners as part of your diabetes management if:
There are many different types of sweeteners available that can be used for different purposes. It is important for you to decide which ingredients are right for you.
If you have any questions about sweeteners, call EatRight Ontario 1-877-510-5102 or send an email.
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