It may sound ridiculous to find a sweet that will help you maintain your weight. But it is possible. Thanks to the artificial sweeteners that have replaced the sugar in sweets! We will tell you how artificial sweeteners actually work...
Everyday Chemistry - The Chemistry behind artificial sweeteners.
With people having become more health and weight conscious, artificial sweetners have started replacing sugar in our lives. Each one of us wants to look good, hit the gym, work out and choose a calorie-controlled diet. Here is an explaination of how artificial sweeteners actually work...
What are artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are meant for those people who cannot have sugar or sweet substances, in other words, people suffering from diseases like diabetes and for those who wish to cut down the calorie intake to bring down their weight to the right level.
The most famous artifical sweetners are saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose. Saccharin is one of the oldest artificial sweeteners and was discovered in 1878. It passes through our digestive system without changing form and hence adds no calories to the body.
James Schlatter discovered Aspartame in 1965. He licked his fingers, which had been contaminated with the chemical. The calorie count of this chemical was also as low as saccharin.
Sucralose is the most used and is a chlorinated version of table sugar. Sucralose is around 600 times sweeter than sucrose and even small quanitites of it are enough to give you the same taste as sugar. Since the amount of intake is less, the calories get cut down automatically.
Acesulfame potassium was also discovered in 1967. Being very stable, even under heat it can be used in cooking and baking. It is often used along with other sweeteners.
Out of all the options, sucralose has been found as the most natural and safe form of artificial sweetener.
How do artificial sweeteners work?
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that is responsible for adding a larger proportion of calories in our body. Artificial sweeteners offer lesser or almost no calories while they offer the same amount of sweetness. So when your body doesn't get extra calories, it will use the stored fat and you will lose weight.
When the sweeteners are added to sweets, they lend the same taste as sugar but lesser calories as compared to sugared food items.
However, they need to be consumed in moderation to avoid any adverse effects on our health in the long-term.