Sweeteners are sugar substitutes that  are added to food and provide a sweet taste like that of normal conventional sugar while containing significantly less food energy (kilojoules or calories) than sugar-based sweeteners, making it a zero-calorie or low-calorie sweetener and having no effect on the blood glucose.

Non-nutritive sweeteners are commonly used in sugar-free products which are still sweet, like diet products. Non-nutritive sweeteners, such as aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharine, stevia, xylitol, and neotame are so popular due to it being approximately 300 to 13 000 times sweeter than sugar but has no nutritional value.

However, consuming sweeteners in excess may lead to diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal discomfort.

Content supplied by Retha Harmse (Registered Dietitian)