Our new no added sugar chocolate buttons contain a natural sweetener called Inulin, made from the humble chicory root. But is it safe? We know that Inulin is extremely safe but we want to explain why...
Sweeteners: Are they the best and safest alternative to sugar?
We all have cravings and for some of us – it’s sugar. And, as much as we are becoming more conscious of the harmful effects of sugar, it can be challenging to entirely give it up.
Sweeteners have been introduced as alternatives to sugar in recent years, but are they safe? If yes, which ones? Put on Sherlock Holmes’ hat and let’s find out together.
What are sweeteners?
Sweeteners, as their name suggests, are compounds that give food, beverages (soft drinks), or candies a sweet flavour without adding calories. They typically include additional components along with carbs like starch or sugar.
Differences between sweeteners and sugar
Sugar is a crystalline derived from sugarcane or beets whereas a sweetener is an additive that is added to food to make it taste sweeter.
Although sweeteners are frequently used in place of sugar, they don't have the same chemical structure or flavour.
Which sweetener is safe to consume?
The following sweeteners are approved for usage in the UK:
- Acesulfame K
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), sweeteners are generally safe to consume as part of a healthy diet and can be excellent alternatives to sugar for diabetics.
Although there is some debate about the benefits and risks of some artificial sweeteners. According to Healthline, when compared to sugar Aspartame 'was linked to lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease' and research on the safety of Acesulfame K 'has been called into question, and animal studies show that it may have several adverse effects'.
Types of sweeteners
Sweeteners are classified into 2 categories namely:
They are derived from plants and contain more nutrients than table sugar. Antioxidants and vitamins, for instance, are present in raw honey and maple syrup. Another excellent example of healthy advantages is inulin.
They are synthetic sugar replacements and are much sweeter than sugar. They undergo extensive manufacturing processing that changes their chemical structure, making them 100x sweeter than sugar. Some examples of artificial sweeteners are xylitol and sucralose.
Did you know: Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the gut bacterial balance leading to several health issues such as weight gain, low blood sugar levels and increased risk of cancer?
Now, the big question is: what sweetener does Push Chocolate use in its vegan chocolate buttons?
When we first decided to create healthy chocolate, it was crystal clear that we had to consider the amount of sugar. Using inulin as a substitute has enabled us to cut the sugar dose by 43% but maintain a similar sweetness level to other vegan chocolate.
What is inulin?
Inulin is a natural dietary fibre found in many plants. It is most commonly extracted from chicory root, but it can also be extracted from artichokes, wheat, and other plant sources.
Health benefits of inulin
Inulin is a prebiotic fibre which means that it feeds the good bacteria in the gut. It acts more like a starch than sugar, therefore it does not readily absorb in the body and doesn't raise blood glucose levels after eating.
- Inulin helps to manage diabetes
According to numerous studies, HP inulin lowers liver fat and improves blood sugar levels in those with diabetes and pre-diabetes. Other kinds of inulin might not, however, play the same role.
- Inulin contributes to better digestive health
As mentioned earlier, inulin stimulates the growth of good bacteria. The good and bad bacteria in your gut must coexist, and inulin helps to maintain this balance. A healthy gut will boost immunity, resulting in improved digestion.
In kindergarten children, inulin has proved to be effective in terms of better digestion and fewer infections.
- Inulin helps to prevent cancer
Many studies confirm that inulin reduces the risk of cancers such as colon cancer. Inulin functions as an anti-carcinogenic, halting the spread of cancer.
Although inulin is considered to be relatively safe, it should not be taken in very high quantities (over 30 mg). High doses or excess inulin can lead to cramps and diarrhoea.
No Added Sugar Chocolate Buttons
Delicious chocolate which is low in sugar – does that even exist? Well, we created it!
This year, we introduced our brand new no added sugar chocolate buttons which are ideal for anyone looking to cut back on their sugar intake.
Our low sugar chocolate buttons come with:
- 4.1g of natural sugar per 100g
- Zero sugar alcohols such as stevia
- Zero artificial sweeteners
- Zero preservatives and flavourings
Inulin, the natural sweetener, gives our low sugar chocolate buttons their inherent sweetness.
Our low sugar chocolate buttons are diabetes-friendly and Keto-friendly. We made sure that even with less sugar, our vegan chocolate tastes great.
A natural, healthy, sugary obsession but with less sugar
If you are advised to reduce your sugar intake, you would likely strive to hang onto chocolate as much as you can. And, we don’t blame you. Chocolate is our go-to comfort food, our scary movie buddy, and a source of instant happiness.
As long as Push Chocolate is here, you won’t have to stop enjoying chocolate. Instead, enjoy chocolate that's better for you and the environment. *winking*