No sugar is added, but ice cream and other dairy products still contain the natural milk sugar, lactose. Photo courtesy Dreyer’s.


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KAREN HOCHMAN has tried almost everything in this article, and is glad to have the opportunity to put it all down on [digital] paper.



June 2005
Last Updated March 2012

Product Reviews / Diet Nibbles / Diet Candy

Demystifying Sugar Substitutes

Page 5: Nutritive Sweeteners, Continued ~ Sugar Alcohol


This is Page 5 of an 11-page article on sugar substitutes, natural and artificial. Click on the black links to visit other pages.


Sugar Labeling

Most people have become astute label readers and know that the label “No Refined Sugars” simply means that a different form of sugar—such as honey, molasses or apple juice—has been used to sweeten a product. The sugars are metabolized similarly by the body. A product that is sweetened only with fruit juice may have lower calories, but it won’t be nearly as sweet as a product sweetened with sugar or honey.

“Sugar-Free” and “No Sugar Added” are not the same.

  • No Sugar Added foods have no form of sugar added during processing or packaging. They do not contain any high-sugar ingredients. Any particular No Sugar Added product may, however, still be high in carbohydrates from other ingredients; so check the label if that is your concern.
  • Sugar-Free foods should contain no sugar whatsoever. Since there are trace amounts of sugar in fruits and milk, e.g., products that contain them might be labeled No Sugar Added, but they technically could call themselves Sugar-Free. USDA guidelines give manufacturers the right to call products Sugar-Free if the natural sugar level is below a certain threshold; but some prefer not to use that claim and go with No Sugar Added.
Sugar Free Oreos
These cookies are sugar-free. No ingredients* in them contain natural sugar. (You can buy sugar-free Oreos online.)

And now on to the second major category, the non-nutritive or “artificial” sweeteners.


Continue To Page 6: Artificial (Non-Nutritive) Sweeteners

Go To The Article Index Above


*The ingredients include Maltitol, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), High Oleic Canola Oil and/or Palm Oil, Polydextrose, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Cornstarch, Glycerin, Milk Protein Concentrate, Inulin (Natural Extract From Chicory Root), Whey Protein Concentrate, Emulsifiers (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Leavening (Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Salt, Milk (Enzyme Modified), Dextrose+, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Cellulose Gum and Gel, Chocolate, Cream, Sucralose (Sweetener), Acesulfame Potassium (Sweetener). *Excess Consumption may have A Laxative Effect. +Adds A Trivial Amount of Sugars.


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