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When you're craving something sweet, you don't have to reach for the sugar bowl or a sugary treat to please your taste buds. Sugar substitutes can give you that sweet taste without sugar. CVS carries a diverse assortment of sugar substitutes with natural and artificial options that can be used in beverages, on foods and in recipes. You can shop the entire selection or refine your search to quickly buy the best sugar substitute for your needs online.

Why Use Sugar Substitutes?

Table sugar or sucrose is used to give food a sweet pleasing taste. Unfortunately, table sugar is high in calories and does not provide any nutritional benefits. Consuming too much sugar can contribute to obesity, leading many people to search for sugar substitutes with fewer calories. People with diabetes may also need to opt for sugar substitutes, as sucrose can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Natural Sugar Substitutes

One way to add sweetness without sucrose is to use a natural sweetener. Honey, a thick syrupy substance made by bees, is a popular option and can be used in beverages and recipes. Agave nectar sourced from a plant called the agave cactus is another natural sugar alternative. Generally, agave is sweeter than sugar, so it should be used sparingly. Both honey and agave nectar contain calories, making it important that you monitor how much you use for weight control. For a calorie-free natural sugar substitute, you can consider stevia. This granulated sweetener is made from the stevia plant and can be added to both foods and drinks. You can also cook and bake with stevia; however, you will need to check the packaging for conversion information.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are man-made products that can substitute for sugar and include aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. Aspartame and saccharin are completely synthetic, while sucralose is derived from sucrose. All three artificial sweeteners are calorie free. Most tend to be sweeter than sugar, so you can use less to get similar results. When used in baking and cooking recipes, artificial sweeteners may alter the taste and texture of food. You can read the product information printed on the packaging for tips on how to cook with different artificial sweeteners.

Selecting the Right Sugar Option

If you're unsure which sugar substitute is right for you, consult a health care provider or dietitian. Some sugar substitutes do pose a risk for side effects and potential health complications, so some may not be ideal for you.

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