At a glance: the difference between sugar and sweeteners

Sweeteners, just like sugar, is part of our everyday diet. Many people choose to replace them with natural sugars - whether for dietary or health reasons, or just because of simple preference. But what is the difference between sugar and sweeteners?


What is sugar?

Sugar is the generic name for a number of sweet-tasting carbohydrates found in food. 

Sugar has calories, while sweeteners may or may not have calories.

Sugar contributes solids to foods, which impacts the mouthfeel and viscosity of many dairy products.


What are sweeteners?

Sweeteners are food additives that provide a sweet taste like sugar while containing significantly less food energy. 

Some sugar substitutes are produced naturally and others produced synthetically.

Many common artificial sweeteners are several hundred times sweeter than sugar.


What is lactose?

Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products. 

An enzyme called lactase breaks this disaccharide down into glucose and galactose, two sugars which are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

These two sugars are both sweeter than lactose. So when lactose is broken down prior to consumption, the result is a sweeter dairy product.


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