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NNS Sweeteners Chart - Natural, Sugar alcohols, Artificial

Chart of Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (NNS)


Nutritive sweeteners provide a sweet taste and a source of calories or energy, whereas NON-nutritive sweeteners are sweet without the usual calories

NNS are low calorie sweetener alternatives added to many drinks and food products.   In the U.S., the FDA permits food labelling as follows:

   "Zero-calorie, "no calories", "without calories" (you get the idea).   Means the food contains < 5 calories / serving.

   "Sugar-free".  Means food contains < 0.5g (2 calories) of sugar / serving, it does not mean it contains NO sugar / calories.

NNS use is growing rapidly.  The 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) suggests that 2009-2012 NNS adult consumption has doubled and child consumption has increased 54% since 1999-2000. (Sylvetsky et al, 2017; NHANES 2009-2012).

NNS were introduced with the intention of reducing caloric intake and controlling blood glucose levels without compromising the human desire for the taste of sweet.   However, as consumption of non-nutritive artificial sweeteners (NAS) has increased, the percentage of the population with a high BMI has continued to rise:

artificial sweetener consumption

Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 January; 89(1): 1-14.

NNS are not harmful to teeth, but may not be such a sweet deal for your health:

  Can cause some bloating, diarrhea and flatulence when consumed to excess.

•   NNS without accompanying carbs may stress adrenal glands and ironically . . . may increase weight gain!

•   Non-nutritive artificial sweeteners (NAS) have been linked to alteration of gut flora and several health issues: including weight gain, metabolic disorders, migraines, type-2 diabetes, vascular events, kidney function disorders, hepatotoxicity, and immune system disruptions.

Artificial NNS cause weight gain 

Non-nutritive artificial sweeteners (NAS) are toxic to gut bacteria increasing risk of prediabetes

NAS have also been identified as emerging environmental pollutants.  Concerning concentration levels of ace-k and sucralose have been measured in receiving waters (i.e., surface waters, groundwater aquifers and drinking waters). Such concentrations are among the highest known trace pollutants from human activity.  NAS are resistant to wastewater treatment processes and so accumulate through water treatment cycles.  Molecules, 2018

There are 4.2 grams in 1 LEVEL teaspoon of sugar, nutrition facts generally round this down to 4 g / tsp.

G.I. = Glycemic Index    S.I. = Sweetness index (table sugar is 1)    H.S. = Heat stable

Chart of Non-Nutritive Sweeteners
Natural/Plant NNS
Chemical name G.I. Cals.
S.I. Plant or Trade name Heat
a.k.a. D-psicose
(monosaccharide with same formiula as fructose)
0 1 0.70 Dolcia Prima;  Used like sugar
1/10 calories of sugar.
Net carbs of zero calories after metabolism;
FDA-approved April 2019.
Yes "Rare sugar" found in trace amounts in a few foods (incl. figs, raisins, kiwi, wheat);
negligibly raises blood sugar or INSULIN
Stevia leaf 0 0 300 Various foods and beverages Yes Distinctive aftertaste;
Steviol glycosides:

0 0

Stevia; Equal naturals®; Truvia®(by Coca Cola);
Stevia in the Raw®; SweetLeaf®; Sweet Drops™;
 Sun Crystals®; and PureVia®(by Pepsi)
FDA-approved 2008;
Yes Leaf  extracts;
Licorice aftertaste
Stevioside   300
Rebaudioside A   450
Mogroside V 0 0 150
Luo Han Guo ("Monk fruit"); Purefruit®; Nectresse®*
Available as powder (mixed with bulking agents, such as  dextrose or erythritol), granules, or liquid; 
 FDA-approved 2010;
Yes Fruit extract;
Chinese fruit;
Fruity / licorice aftertaste
Glycyrrhizin 0 0 50 Licorice.   Licorice root extract;
licorice flavor;
inhibits enzyme that deactivates CORTISOL
Sugar Alcohol NNS
Chemical name G.I. Cals.
S.I. Plant or Trade name Heat
Erythritol (0.2 cals/g)
1 1 0.7 Equal naturals® Yes Produced by fermenting glucose in cornstarch
Xylitol    (2.4 cals/g) 7-12 10 .95 -1
3 40 0.4-0.8      
Sorbitol (2.6 cals/g) 4 19 0.5-0.6      
(1.6 cal/g)
2 13 0.5  
Artificial Sweetener NNS
Chemical name G.I. Cals.
S.I. Plant or Trade name Heat
Aspartame - "Neurotoxin"
"Blue packet"
0 0 100-220
coke canEqual original®; Canderel®; Nutrasweet®;Spoonful®;
Natrtaste blue®;
beverages, cereals, yogurt, frozen and gelatin desserts,
 candy, sugar-free gum, juices, diet sodas,
vitamin supplements,  laxatives.
? Toxic to gut bacteria;
Fully metabolized (50% phenylalanine, 10% methanol, 40% aspartic acid);
Bitter aftertaste;
Sucralose - "Organochlorine"
"Yellow packet"
0 0 500- 755
splenda packetSplenda®; Equal sucralose®;Zerocal®; Sukrana®; SucraPlus®; Candys®;
Cukren®; Nevella®;
Yes Toxic to gut bacteria;
sourced from sucrose;
 "Pink packet"
0 0 200-400 swee n low packetsSweet 'N Low®, Sweet Twin®, Sugar Twin®,
 Necta Sweet®
Yes Toxic to gut bacteria;
Oldest artificial sweetener (1879)
Familiar saccharin taste.
Acesulfame K (Ace K)
0 0 200 Sunett®and Sweet One®ACE®, ACE K®,
Sweet 'N Safe®Equal original®
Often in sugar-free sodas;
Yes Toxic to  gut bacteria;
Potassium salt of 6-methyl-1,2,3-oxathiazine-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide.
Neotame 0 0 10,000
Newtame®  In low-calorie foods / beverages
Approved 2002;
Yes Toxic to gut bacteria;
Made by Nutrasweet;
Degrades in some liquids depends on pH
Cyclamate 0 0 40     Discovered 1937; US banned it in 1969 after reports of tumors in rats ;  popular approved sweetener in other countries.
Advantame 0 0 20,000   Yes  

*Nectress is manufactured by McNeil Nutritionals, the makers of Splenda®. It is mainly monk fruit extract with a small amount of erythritol (a sugar alcohol), sugar and molasses.

Equal original: Dextrose with Maltodextrin, Aspartame, Acesulfame K

Equal sucralose: Dextrose with maltodextrin, sucralose

Equal naturals: Erythritol, Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Flavors

Nutrasweet:  dextrose with maltodextrin, aspartame  

Purevia and Truvia: Reb A and erythritol as granules


NHANES 2009-2012. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Sylvetsky, A.C.; Jin, Y.; Clark, E.J.; Welsh, J.A.; Rother, K.I.; Talegawkar (2017) S.A. Consumption of Low-Calorie Sweeteners among Children and Adults in the United States. J. Acad. Nutr. Diet. 117, 441-448. PubMed

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