Zero sugar, no sugar, no added sugar, sugar-free- You must have read these tags on products advertised as healthier alternatives.
What do these terms mean? Is there a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health? Let’s find out.
What Does Zero Sugar Mean?
Here is how FDA defines different zero sugar, no added sugar, and low sugar products (1):
- Sugar-free/ Zero Sugar: One serving of these products contains less than 0.5 g of both natural and added sugars.
- No added sugar: No sugar, natural or artificial, are added in the making of these products.
- Low sugar: These products contain 25% less sugar than the regular version of the same product.
What is Glycemic Index (GI)?
The Glycemic Index (GI) of a food depicts how quickly a food increases the levels of sugar (glucose) in your blood (2).
Foods with high GI increase the blood sugar levels too quickly and too much sugar means trouble!
Some research suggests that high GI foods increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions (3).
High GI foods have a value of 70 or higher, intermediate and low GI foods have a numeric value between 56 and 69 and less than 55 respectively.
Types of Sugar - High vs. Low GI Sugars
High GI sugars
These sugars include cane sugar coming from sugarcane, high fructose sugar coming from fruits and other sources, and glucose (the most abundant sugar type). These sugar types with the highest GI index- close to 100.
Consuming products containing these sugars can increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases like heart conditions, high blood lipid levels, diabetes, and more (4).
Low GI sugars
Maltitol is a natural sweetener derived from corn. It has a low GI of 35. Virtually, it has no caloric value and is sweeter than normal sugar. Research suggests that maltitol causes a significantly lower rise in blood sugar levels and reduces the chances of diabetes (5)
Xylitol is a natural sweetener with a GI value of 13. Derived from vegetables and sugars, it improves gut health, oral health, and lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes (6).
Erythritol is a natural sweetener that has a GI value of 0 and has zero caloric value. It is safe to use and is even more beneficial compared to xylitol in improving oral hygiene (7).
Stevioside is a natural sweetener derived from the Stevia plant. It has a GI value of 0 and health benefits similar to other sugar substitutes described above.
The KalaVita Promise of Zero Sugar
Most of the vitamins and other focus-promoting supplements and gummies contain a ton of sugar. Eating a few of these gummies can give you enough sugar that you need in the whole day.
However, KalaVita Nite Nite and Focus Focus gummies contain healthy natural sweeteners. These zero sugar products give you the desired health benefits without the side effects associated with excessive sugar intake.
- Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, Franceschi S, Hamidi M, Marchie A, Jenkins AL, Axelsen M. Glycemic index: overview of implications in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):266S-73S.
- Rippe, J. M., & Angelopoulos, T. J. (2016). Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current Understanding. Nutrients, 8(11), 697. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8110697
- Saraiva, A., Carrascosa, C., Raheem, D., Ramos, F., & Raposo, A. (2020). Maltitol: Analytical Determination Methods, Applications in the Food Industry, Metabolism and Health Impacts. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(14), 5227. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145227
- Gasmi Benahmed A, Gasmi A, Arshad M, Shanaida M, Lysiuk R, Peana M, Pshyk-Titko I, Adamiv S, Shanaida Y, Bjørklund G. Health benefits of xylitol. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020 Sep;104(17):7225-7237. doi: 10.1007/s00253-020-10708-7.
- de Cock, P., Mäkinen, K., Honkala, E., Saag, M., Kennepohl, E., & Eapen, A. (2016). Erythritol Is More Effective Than Xylitol and Sorbitol in Managing Oral Health Endpoints. International journal of dentistry, 2016, 9868421.