A Series of Sweeteners - CulinArt Group

Eat Well Blog

A Series of Sweeteners

 

What is the difference between the various sweeteners out there? What does it mean when sugars are “naturally occurring” or “added”? See below for our sweet review of sweeteners.

Starting with the basics – naturally occurring sugars are the ones that are found naturally in foods. For example – sugars found in fruits and dairy products. Added sugars include the sweet taste that is added to foods or drinks during processing or preparation of the product. For example – granulated sugar in coffee, brown sugar in cookies, honey in tea, maple syrup on pancakes, etc.  The big difference between naturally occurring and added sugars is that the sugars found naturally in fruits, veggies, and dairy contain additional health benefits including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Is there a difference between the variety of added sweeteners? Or is sugar just sugar? Sugar has many different names that can appear on a food label: dextrose, brown sugar, powdered sugar, corn syrup, fructose, granulated sugar, nectars, and more – there are more than 50 names that notify customer that there is sugar in a product. From agave to maltodextrin, our body metabolizes sugar pretty much the same way. Overdoing your intake of any and all forms of sugar can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. The newly updated nutrition facts panel now separates the grams of added sugars to help us identify the natural vs added sugars in our labeled food products.

Too much sugar could cause a spike in energy and then steep decline leaving you feeling sluggish, craving more sweets, headaches, and other signs of the “sugar blues.” Looking for a way to rid yourself of the blues? Try these tips:

  • Read the Label: now that added sugars are called out, check out the product’s nutrition label and list of ingredients to see what you are consuming before you purchase it. Items like cereals, sauces, dressings, and yogurt can be a sneaky source of lots of added sugars.
  • Go Whole: choose foods with less ingredients and jump on the whole food bandwagon. Try making your own granola bars or sauces at home, so you know exactly how much and what goes into them!
  • Train your Tongue: don’t give up so quickly! Try unsweetened, or less sweetened items a few times before ruling them out.
  • Focus on other Flavors: citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa can add a subtle sweet taste without the added sugar.

We can’t forget to mention artificial sweeteners. There are six sugar substitutes that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – acesulfame potassium, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and stevia. Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that have been developed to be used in place of sucrose (table sugar) to sweeten foods and beverages. These artificial products are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, so only small quantities are needed, and contribute little energy intake. Regulatory agencies, like the FDA, set a level of Acceptable Daily Intake levels for each sweetener. This would be the highest amount of the sugar substitute that can be consumed safely over a person’s life without any negative effects. This amount will ultimately depend on each individual person and their medical information. The FDA also regulates these sweeteners and reviews them to declare them as “generally recognized as safe.” There are some health concerns when it comes to sugar substitutes, but research is being conducted.

All in all – yes, sugar is sugar. There are some better alternatives when it comes to sweetening your foods. Even though these sweeteners will metabolize the same way, try these options to add some sweetness with whole and natural ingredients:

  • Very ripe fruits
  • Applesauce
  • Date sugar
  • Dried fruits
  • Raw honey
  • Pure maple syrup

What is your preferred sweetener?

  • 0
  • April 8, 2020

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What our clients are saying

“I just wanted to express my thanks and give two thumbs up for the updates to our lunch menu. My selections have been quite tasty—corned beef Reuben, jambalaya—and I appreciate that, too! I am looking forward to trying some new items in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work!”

“You know that I haven't been home (India) for a long time now.  I miss my mama, I miss the food, I miss the smells, I miss the people. Starting yesterday, I started to smell my mama's kitchen at Parker.  I KNEW something Indian was brewing; I could smell the garam masala!  Thank you for the delicious tofu curry.  It made my belly and soul happy.”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn’t do this without you. Chef Jay and Chef Paul have been so awesome in the Hubbell Café.  There has been significant change, but they take it in stride and keep the delicious food coming.  We truly appreciate them!”

“We can’t thank you enough for all the time and effort you put into getting this emergency shipment of water to our Waco, Tx office. As always, you guys pulled out all the stops and did everything possible to help! I know it doesn’t seem like much to you, but our employees in TX that need drinking water are truly grateful. I feel so fortunate to work with such true professionals. I think you set the bar that your competition wishes they could match!”

“I wanted to let you know that for this entire school year I have been so well fed! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE all the diversity of salad choices we have each day and the amazing entrees.  My favorites are the carnitas, chili, curry, and cajun chicken days.  I am so grateful for all the care that goes into the food because I know I do not eat enough vegetables or balanced meals without you and your crew's work.  Thank you so much!  You take such great care of us!!”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

“I’m the GM for Branson [Ultrasonics] and based in the Brookfield office.  This is the first week that the café has been up and running in our new headquarters and just want to acknowledge the great job Adam Schnittert and the CulinArt staff onsite have done.  Our employees’ feedback thus far has been very positive.  The expanded options and menu quality have been very well received.  Just want to send you a quick note of thanks.”

“We appreciate the excellent service that is a hallmark of the Chadwick Culinart team. You all are such professionals - and you always deliver your service in such a pleasant manner! Thank you for everything you do to help make the Village events successful. We greatly appreciate your talents, efforts, and kindness.”

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