An A-Z Guide to Sweeteners, Part IV, the end

Finally, the conclusion of a guide to sweeteners.  To repeat: There is no sweetener that we can consume in vast amounts.  None.  There are certainly some that are better than others.  There are some that even have side benefits.  But the take-home message is still “eat sweets in moderation, if you eat them at all.” 

According to the U.S. government, Sugar is defined, not by its agricultural origin (i.e. what plant or animal it comes from), but solely by its chemical formula.  The formula is C12H22O11.  The chemical is called sucrose.  And it doesn’t matter whether it comes from sugarcane, sugar beets, some other plant, or a lab it’s all “sugar.”  (…and then it gets confusing, because the word “sugar” refers not just to sucrose, but also to a class of compounds called “sugars,” [note the plural] which includes sucrose, plus fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and many more which are found naturally in sweet foods.  This is why you might see an ingredient list that doesn’t include “sugar,” but a Nutrition Facts panel that still lists “sugars.”)