There are several sugar substitutes available on the market today. They are of varying calories, organic origin, safety levels, and sweetness. Here is a look at some of the best sugar substitutes for weight loss, and how they can help you restrict your calorie intake.
Splenda is probably the most convenient sugar substitute available. Sold in the sugar aisle at most grocery stores, it is popular both for home uses, such as baking, and as an ingredient in many low-calorie products. However, there have been recent studies suggesting that Splenda does not help you achieve and maintain long-term weight loss. The fact is, Splenda has no calories. When you use it in place of sugar you are subtracting those calories from your diet. The trouble is that studies suggest your brain is not fooled by the sweet taste, and therefore urges you to replace those calories in some other way. Substituting Splenda or Baking Splenda for real sugar will cause you to consume fewer calories and thereby help instigate weight loss. It is up to you, if you are trying to lose weight, not to replace those calories with an extra carton of yogurt or a few extra bites at dinner.
Stevia is derived from the Stevia plant and is intensely sweet. It goes through very little chemical intervention before arriving in your grocery store. The product contains no calories, can be bought in a powder or granule form that is similar to sugar, and can be used to sweeten drinks or for certain forms of baking. Stevia can eliminate hundreds of calories from your diet without sacrificing sweetness.
Agave is another natural sugar substitute. It is a liquid culled from a cactus that grows in the American Southwest and in Mexico. Agave has nearly as many calories as refined sugar, however, it is much sweeter, which means that you will most likely end up using less product. If a recipe calls for one cup of sugar a half cup of agave will provide the same amount of sweetness. As a bonus, Agave has almost no impact on blood sugar, making it safe for diabetics to eat in moderation.
Substituting low- or no-calorie sweeteners for sugar is a tricky game, especially if your goal is long-term weight loss. Often times you just won't feel satisfied with imitations, and your body and brain will always be hoping to encounter the real thing. This temptation often leads to weight gain. Some people can cultivate a true preference for low-calorie sweeteners, especially natural ones. If you struggle with this, consider another option. Try a moderation of your beloved real sugar and healthier sweet alternatives. A batch of low-calorie Stevia-sweetened fudge might be more satisfying if you know a single delicious sugar-sweetened cookie is waiting at the end of the week.